Friday, October 27, 2006

That's kinda like I still feel. It's been a rough week. So far.

The visit with my mom was fun. We shopped, I worked, she took care of my kids and did the cooking. My Uncle came for a visit. He played my alleged husband's army games on my computer while my mom played word games on her own laptop. All very exciting.

I like when my mom cooks for me, but I have some issues with it. Some of ya'll may know I have a phobia about of food poisoning. And I am aware that it is an irrational fear. I think I handle it pretty well. I can function as a normal adult human being. Mostly. Fine, so I overcook all of my meat. And I use a thermometer on EVERYTHING I cook. And I will NEVER send my kids to school with a lunch that includes anything with chicken or mayo in it.

Basically, take all of your normal precautions and double them. I have issues.

My mom, on the other hand, is the opposite of a person with food poisoning issues. And this shows on many occasions in a short visit.

It starts with her dishes. They often have bits of food left on them. 'Often' is maybe too mild a word. Always. It's more like ALWAYS. I tend to rush in and wash the dishes when she isn't looking, just so I know they are clean. Especially since I have seen the cloth that she uses to wash the dishes with. Ick. She thinks I am very industrious, always washing my dishes so quickly. She knows about my food issues, but has yet to figure out that that extends to old flakey food stuck to my plate.

Then, there is the frozen food debate. When I go shopping, I plan my day specifically around making sure that the VERY LAST things I buy are my frozen items. I then rush straight home and put it all in the freezer. Because frozen keeps it safe. Safer. Whatever.

So, one day, my mom decides to make us all dinner. She stops at M&M Meat Shop to get perogies, cabbage rolls, and some chicken. All of it frozen. We still had shopping to do. It was ok, she assured me, we would be quick. Until we stopped to visit a friend of hers. Then we had to go meet her for coffee. And sit. And drink coffee. And sit. All the while, I can hear the frozen goods in the back of the looooser cruise, calling to me. 'Tara....we're meeeelllllting.'

When my mom finally figured out why I kept stealing glances at the van, then my watch, she brushed it off and said 'Oh. Your issues. Don't worry. I checked. You can keep frozen food out of the freezer and as long as it doesn't reach room temperature, it's OK.'

What?! Which PART? Because I bet the outside of those things are room temp by now!!!

So, we finally get home, and I rush it all into the freezer. But then, about 2 hours before dinner, my mom starts her prep work. So she takes the perogies out of the freezer. Why? I don't know. They can cook from frozen. But she decides to thaw them. Does she get a bowl or plate or even a cutting board? No. She cuts open the bag and dumps the whole whack of them straight onto my countertop. The countertop wiped by her, with the same cloth she used to wash dishes.

Can I help it if I think she might be screwing with me at this point?!?! Would a mom do that????

I was good, though. I ate all of it, and didn't imagine stomach pains later. I didn't dive across the table and slap a perogie right out of the mouth of one of my kids, just to save them from the horror of it all. I didn't accidentally pour lighter fluid all over dinner and then set it on fire, just to make sure all the germs were cooked off. But I wanted to.

It was the last thing that got me, though. The thing I WON'T eat, no matter how much I love my mom. It was the peameal bacon (aka Canadian Bacon for you Yanks).

We had four chunks of it safely in the freezer. Everyone decided to use it the next morning for eggs benedict. Yummy. I make a MEAN eggs benedict. So, I took all the bacon out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to partially thaw. Like I was SUPPOSED to do. But then the drinking started. Wine. Vodka. Whatever. I didn't have any. I worked the next morning. But nobody else was really up for eggs benedict the next day. Or any other solid form of food.

I decided to leave the bacon thawing in the fridge. We could have it later, maybe for dinner. Then I went to work. When I came home, my mom told me that they ate one chunk, but she put the other 3 chunks back in the freezer.

What????????? WHAT???? Isn't that, like, rule number ONE???? Never, ever, NEVER, refreeze meat that has already been frozen and then thawed. NEVER. So, it's just sitting there. In my freezer. Waiting for my alleged husband, who does NOT have the same phobia as me, to ask me why we don't have it for dinner. And when I tell him why, he'll roll his eyes at me and say, 'Oh right, your issues.'

So, ya. I have ISSUES. And I'm OK with my issues. Because they almost never interfere in my life. Except when my mom visits. Then I have to take those issues and hold them wayyyyy deep inside. And hope I don't die of food poisoning.

I'm so glad my mom doesn't read this. But just in case.....LOVE YA MOM!!!


Blogger OneCraftySAHM said...

OMG! This sounds like me and my mom! I go to her house and am totally grossed out. She wraps up left over meat with the same package (which is half on, half off) and just sets it in her fridge next to all the other stuff to get germies! She sets raw chicken on her counter top and doesn't wipe it off until dinner is finished. (It's bad enough she sets it on the countertop). I am a meat freak too, I will NOT refreeze meat, I'll throw down the extra dough and get myself fresh! I wander if this is a generation thing? or if were just obsessive?

9:27 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have to have issues, yours are good ones. (except when your Mom comes to visit.

Have a great weekend.
And careful what you eat!

9:44 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...'d probably better not come eat at my house. I'm not THAT bad (I'm the same way as you about the frozen food shopping, my plates are clean, and one simply does NOT thaw meat on the countertop) but I'd probably make your eyes twitch a bit.

Haven't food-poisoned myself yet, though. I try to avoid that.

10:04 a.m.  
Blogger Nichole D. said...

I may be your worst nightmare. I will spare you the cringing details, though. Did youy know anything can be left safely on a counter for 4 hours?

10:30 a.m.  
Blogger aj said...

Tara, I empathize. You see, I have those SAME ISSUES.

Really. It's something I've been dealing with since childhood. I am absolutely terrified of food poisoning.

I just don't get why more people aren't like us.

10:54 a.m.  
Blogger marlo said...

as a child about 8 or 9 I was afraid of pork, I had a serious fear of trichinosis. I dont even know how I knew of this disease but if my pork was even pink at all I would not eat it. I still have serious food born illness fears. Chicken scares me to death and the thought of raw meat any where near my veggies makes me hurl. So preach on! I have had food poisioning quite frequently from eating at a certain someones house.

11:44 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm in between you and your mom somewhat. No, I wouldn't refreeze anything. No, I wouldn't thaw something directly on the counter, though I will thaw something on a plate on the counter. And I will bleach said counter afterward. I also take frozen stuff straight home and put it away (and on hot days, I'll put the frozen stuff in a cooler in the trunk until I get there).

But... I grew up eating raw cookie dough and never got salmonella. I still eat raw cookie dough when I bake cookies. I tend to think that some of the "alarms" we've all been exposed to in the last couple decades fall under the category of "My GOD, how did we EVER manage to survive our childhoods??"

That said, there's absolutely nothing wrong with you and your issues. They work for you and that's perfectly fine. :)

1:22 p.m.  
Blogger MommaMonkey said...

Those aren't issues, those are for real concerns. I'm right there with ya. I freak out about food being out too long. I buy my frozen stuff last too. I live 1 minute from the grocery store. I always think to myself, "How do people who live out in boo-foo land bring home frozen stuff without it going bad?" I freak about icecream melting during my one minute trip! I guess I have issues too.
My mom use to let leftover food sit out to cool down before putting it in the fridge. I always thought it was strange. But then I saw thins report on TV that said if you don't let things cool before putting them in the fridge, bacteria grows at a faster rate on the foods. And some f the bacteria is not good for you. Especially so with soups and stews. Now I always leave my leftovers out to cool down a bit, and then put them in the fridge. But I freak out if I forgot something out for a long while. I usually end up throwing it away.

I'm with CraftySAHM, it just may be a generation thing.

9:26 p.m.  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

You would freak at what my husband does to our food. I try and take sensible percautions against food borne illnesses because no one likes to get sick. Personally I think your issues are a bit better than most. At least you are striving to keep your family healthy. I would never ever eat refrozen meat, ick!

2:39 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my! I can relate! My mom has doesn't recognize expiration dates which drives me crazy! I NEVER eat at her house, EVER! My motto: when in doubt, throw it out.

3:23 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! Take out that extra "has". Doh!

3:23 p.m.  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey there... I dont think I am quite that bad, but I do look at expiration dates. And I dont like keeping leftovers in my frig. More than likely I give extras to the neighbors the day I cook it or it gets thrown away.

2:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm SO with you on all of your "issues" Tara I'm always afraid of food poisoning and I've had it...twice. Not fun at all. I got it from restaurants so you have to wonder what goes on behind the kitchen doors in those places. ***shudder***

And Sue, my mother is the same way about expiration dates. She could care less that the company bothers to print them. Drives me crazy! She's a clean freak, but she doesn't seem to think there's a reason for expiry dates.

Hey...speaking of food-related things (I sure hope Tara doesn't mind me posting this here), I JUST posted this on my blog so this food post is a perfect intro: I'm trying to start a recipe challenge on my blog. I'd love it if you could all drop by and leave your favourite. Just make sure you wash your dishes and counters thoroughly before you start to cook! And clean up afterwards! LOL!

8:18 p.m.  

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