Monday, February 10, 2014

Storage war

Storage war

    Today’s topic comes courtesy of Kay. I’m sitting there at the table reading the paper and eating my breakfast cereal when Kay announces from over at the kitchen sink, “You’re not supposed to store potatoes in the refrigerator.”

    Had she said radishes or rutabagas I would’ve either ignored it or said something like, “Power to the people!” Stuff sometimes hits my brain so fast that before I can think about it, it instantly comes out my mouth. My doctor said it’s likely caused by tuna snouts. I said, “What?”  --  He said, “I didn’t say anything.”

    But, potatoes? You can’t store ‘em in the fridge? Where did that come from? Kay and I have been married 42 years last November, and in that time she’s never shared with me proper tater care.

I’ve always put spuds in the fridge. So much better than, say, the trunk of the car. But, out of the blue, during my Nutty Nuggets and Wheat Chex combo and while I’m reading the Handyman article about how to level your house with an aerosol can of Builder’s Foundation, she informs me that I’ve been ruining our potatoes.

I remember my Grandma Teegarden used to store onions and potatoes in a food cellar. I have no idea why the didn’t rot, but they didn’t. If I store our spuds in the closet, they’ll sprout and grow up my trouser legs in two weeks. Makes no sense.

Kay got me to wondering what other food storage habits I had all wrong. So, I came up here and googled “Food Storage” in an attempt to show Kay that I know so much more wrong stuff than she does. The Internet contains so many crazy things about food.

Did you know that honey is regurgitated nectar? That has nothing to do with storing food, but it’s interesting as all get out. Bees vomit nectar several times before depositing it in the, uh, hive honey-receptacle. If they only de-gorged themselves once, our honey would be impure. If they didn’t regurgitate it at all, it’d taste like… well, nectar with a hint of bee spit. Bees? You gotta love ‘em.

Something else that also showed up under the googledge of “food storage” has to the shiny coating on jellybeans and apples. J-beans and apples get their shine from shellac made of bug poop. Not just any bug poop. The defecation is harvested from the latrines of the Lac Beetles of East Asia. You can actually wash the shellac off your apples, but not off your jellybeans, unless you want a gummy mess made from pelican perspiration. (I just made up the perspiration part.)

I don’t know if you were aware, but if your main food storage concern is in anyway tied to a fear of bears, you’re supposed to keep your food in the car during the day. At night bears can get into your locked car through the shattered windshield. So, at night, you need to take your leftovers out of your car and put ‘em in a food locker. I think Academy sells food lockers for hikers. Of course, they don’t provide the twice-humped camel you’ll need to haul the thing.

Also, I read that if your food is kept outdoors in your ice chest, you should never turn your back on it. You think the bears aren’t studying you during the day, but they are. -- “Hey, he’s relieving himself in the woods. Now is our chance!”

Another storage trick is almost too obvious to mention. Almost. I found it on one of the food storage sites. It appears that we should never store any food that we don’t like. I kid you not. It was right behind the helpful hint -- “Don’t buy food you won’t eat.” – That’s almost like a warning sign on a stapler that reads, “Do not insert your tongue between the two clamp-down things and then squeeze.“

Do you know how to store boiled eggs? I used to think I did. You put the in-the-shell eggs in your fridge and put a wet paper towel over them. At the end of a week, you throw away the eggs and put the paper towel between two pieces of buttered toast. Seriously, you’re supposed to toss a boiled egg after a week in the fridge. However, it’s been proved that boiled eggs will keep for three weeks under your bed if you keep ‘em in an Easter basket. I think it has something to do with the dye.

I realize that the one thing most of you are concerned about is pickles. Should you refrigerate ‘em once the jar is opened. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on that, so you can do what you want with your pickles. Uh, probably shouldn’t store them on your dashboard.

 Oh, and it’s supposedly not good for you to use your fingers as tongs in an attempt to remove a pickle from a jar. Especially after you’ve been harvesting jellybean shellac from East Asian Lac Beetles. I’m just sayin’. – Hey, if I just save one of you…


1 comment:

  1. AND honey is the only food that doesn't spoil.