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How to get rid of flour weevils. Readers' respond:
"Dear Suzanne--Your best bet for bug proofing cereals, grains and grain products is to bag them tightly and keep then in a freezer until ready for use...Freezing works.--Don N."
"You probably don't want to hear this, but it's my understanding that those little guys in your pantry don't 'hitchike their way in'; they are already there when we buy the products at the store.
I've started keeping cornmeal, flour etc. in the freezer."
SMOKE 'EM OUT BUT DON'T BOTHER NUKING 'EM
"Dear Suzanne--Do you know how to keep those pesky weevils out of your flour or wheat products? Something I learned years ago from my Grandmother (who just turned 99 this year). Place a pack of matches in the container that has your flour in it. Lay the book right on top of the flour. The little critters do not like the sulfur. I have been weevil free for at least 30 years. Thanks--Tina"
"Dear Suzanne--I had been finding little bugs on the kitchen counter and also discovered them in cereal. Then, guess what? I took something out of the microwave and on the floor of the oven was one of those bugs. His coloring was quite a bit darker than all of his cousins, and by [golly] he was walking! Guess nuking them won't even help!"--Belle
"Dear Suzanne--I have a really old fashioned solution to your 'mealy bugs' problem, one that was handed down to me by my mother, via her mother, a long time ago (I am 72, so I learned about this about 50 yrs ago). Go to your local hardware store and buy some brand new nails, (yeah, yeah, I know they don't sell any other kind but this is to discourage you from using any old nails you might have on hand). Place about 6-8 nails in your flour canister, same in the bran flakes (warn your husband NOT to eat them), and the little bus stay away! How's that for ruining your appetite?"--Betty M.
TOSS OUT WHATEVER THEY TOUCH
"Suzanne - your take on the bug batter was just too funny. We have a bug problem in CA too. They especially love birdseed - so we microwave it for a few minutes before putting it an airtight container to store for our pets. One time we were microwaving some brand new seed and a ton of little bugs came running out of the seed, all over the container, and up the walls of the microwave. It was a little bug holocaust - absolutely disgusting!
If only I could have tossed out the microwave at that time...--Mindy M."
LIVE WITH 'EM
"Many, many years ago my grandparents moved from Nebraska to Florida and found a number of new things to get accustomed to. After their acclimatization, my grandfather started telling us how one could assess the length of time folks had lived in Florida --
From 1 to 2 years, when ants were found in the sugar, they threw the sugar away.
From 3 to 4 years, when ants were found in the sugar, they strained out the ants and used the sugar.
From 5 years on, the ants had to look out for themselves.--Judith H."
EAT 'EM ANYWAY!
"Dear Suzanne--I couldn't help laughing when I read your Dear Reader today! It reminded me of a story my English professor told 20 years ago. She was making Hungarian Goulash for a dinner party she was having for several professors and the head of the English Department. As she lifted the lid to check the stew, a gigantic roach slipped off the range hood and fell into the pot. She fished out as much of it as she could but wasn't able to find all the pieces (legs, antennae, etc). So she put the lid back on, let it finish cooking and served it for dinner. She said she figured whatever was left in there was cooked anyway! To this day I have trouble eating any stew that I haven't cooked (myself)!--Christi"
"Suzanne--Your "Dear Reader" column today made me laugh as I remembered childhood visits to my grandmother in Titusville, Florida. One day, she made me Kraft macaroni and cheese--a particular favorite of mine. As I chewed the first mouthful of cheesy goodness, my teeth crunched on something I wasn't expecting. I shrugged it off, assuming it was just an underdone piece of pasta. My next bite yielded similar results, so I looked a little closer at the contents of my bowl.
'Grandma, there are bugs in the mac and cheese!' I exclaimed with horror, expecting her to quickly snatch my bowl away and maybe take me to get some more palatable lunch at a fast food restaurant. 'Oh those are just weevils,' she replied. 'They won't hurt you, they're extra protein.' When I protested further, all I got in response was one of my grandma's favorite responses to wasteful behavior: 'Children in China are starving and would kill to have that food.' I think at the time I would gladly have given it to them but I finished my lunch, and as you can see I lived to tell the tale."
JUST LAUGH AT 'EM
"I hope your husband appreciates that you chose the lesser of two weevils. :)"
"Two weevils eventually made it to safety. Sadly, one of them eventually died...obviously the lesser of the two weevils.(Sorry -
couldn't resist!)Keep those funny e-mails coming. We love to read with friends like you.--Nancy M., Olive Branch, MS"
IGNORE THE BUGS AND SHARE THE RECIPE
"Suzanne--I loved your Dear Reader tale today about the bugs. I was laughing as you described the bug exodus out of the batter -
especially picturing them in their swim goggles. As a fellow baker, I feel your frustration at having everything in the bowl, anticipating the finished product, only to discover you have to dump it out and start over.
What kind of muffins were you making?? Are you going to share the recipe? Thanks for the laughter--Kathy" (the recipe is at the end of this blog entry)
TRUE CONFESSIONS OF THE BUGGED
"I have a confession story, one I've never told another soul. Years ago, when my son who's now 37, was in grammar school, I discovered, to my dismay, tiny bugs in the cooked cereal I had fixed for his breakfast. The pantry was bare, and we were just barely on schedule for school. I made a quick decision to extricate the little fellows from the bowl, which I painstakingly did--and after adding some sugar and milk, served my son his breakfast. Being late for school wasn't good, and didn't little boys routinely eat some shady stuff? Still, I've been plagued with guilt over this incident for at least 30 years. What do you think?"
"Your column today about the weevils almost left me in hysterics! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I too have had a similar problem with weevils in grits (you keep hoping those little black dots are just irregularities in the hominy but suddenly see the formation of legs as they are boiled alive). There is that instant where I found myself actually considering the protein content of a weevil vs. the horror of feeding my family insects. It quickly passed and I soon was pouring the whole mess into the sink and deciding on pancakes instead. But, to my chagrin, I opened the Bisquick package and found a similar infestation. I embarrassingly admit to a momentary hesitation with a sifter in my right hand and 2
1/2 cups of Bisquick in my left hand - do I or not? To sum up, we had toast and eggs that Saturday morning.-- Ellen C., Collierville, TN"
Dolly Madison Muffins
Mix together in large bowl:
4 eggs, beaten
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 T. (tablespoon) cinnamon
5 teaspoons baking soda
Add these two ingredients alternately:
5 cups flour
1 quart buttermilk
6 cups raisin bran cereal--(the cheapest works great)
Mix all ingredients together. Let batter stand in refrigerator at least 24 hours before baking. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Batter keeps four weeks in the refrigerator. Make some fresh every morning.
Batch makes 4-5 dozen muffins.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.