Sunday, November 05, 2006


Yesterday was a little unsettling. Mid afternoon I needed a snack, so I decided to make myself a salad. There were some greens in the refrigerator that Doreen had prepared the day before. So I grabbed a bunch of them and made a quick salad dressing and started eating. First, I noticed a hair in the salad. Not a big deal. And then there was some little black thing that could have been a long-dead fruit fly. It was very small. Perhaps it was a tiny, blackened, wilted piece of lettuce. I removed it and flicked it into our compost bucket.

I kept eating, and soon noticed a plump green worm/caterpillar. Ug. This was harder to shrug off. I asked Doreen if she had actually washed the salad greens. She insisted that she had. I removed the worm and added it to the compost bucket. I continued eating the salad, but inspected every leaf very carefully. I finished what was in my bowl, but it took a while, as I was being very cautious. Somehow the salad wasn't that satisfying. I was still hungry, but decided to not to have any more.

Later that day I cooked dinner. It was super yummy. I made a wilted spinach salad and pasta with a creamy mushroom and walnut sauce. The "cream" is actually walnuts that are pureed in a blender. I hadn't made this recipe before and was very pleased with how it turned out. It was a little bit of work, but it was definitely worth it. Yesterday was chilly in a late-autumn-in-Maine sort of way, and the rich pasta and the spinach salad were perfect for the weather.

Alas, you can probably guess where this story is headed. I was half way through my second serving of the yummy pasta when I noticed a small, white worm thing on the edge of the bowl. I showed it to Doreen. She denied any knowledge of it and claimed that it was wiggling slightly. I didn't really want to inspect it too closely; I quickly flicked it into the compost bucket, a move that I was becoming quite familiar with.

What's really baffling is that it's hard to figure out where the worm came from and how it could still be slightly alive. Perhaps it had been hanging out in the bag of pasta. But the pasta had been boiled vigorously for 12 minutes. And the walnuts were thoroughly pureed. So any walnut-worms would have been similarly pureed. (Ug.) The other ingredients were onions garlic, and mushrooms, all of which were slowly sauteed for at least 10 minutes. So perhaps this is one tough worm, capable of surviving sauteeing, boiling, or pureeing. Or perhaps the worm crawled in some somewhere after the meal was done. I've considered this incident several times over, and each time I reach this point and then I think that I should stop thinking about it.

I'm pleased to report, however, that today my food has been bug-free. I think.

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