Today I had to contend with untold weevils. Even now I cannot think of these weevils without shuddering. Seriously, I get shivers every time I remember my battles with these copious little creatures that housed themselves quite comfortably in our beans, flour, rice, couscous, and pasta. The old adage that they taught us in D.A.R.E., while not particularly helpful in staving off the large pests of peers and their drug coercion, does actually hold true when it comes to smaller pests--there is strength in numbers.
I set out in true domestic fashion to make lentil soup so that we could enjoy it on Sunday after church. With the untrammeled pluck of a new housewife, I industriously grab the bag of uncooked lentils from the pantry (okay, so it's really just a shelf in the front closet), threw them on the counter, and energetically plunked a large pot full of water onto the stove. I was ready for the quick two-minute boil and then the hour long soak to rid the beans of any unwanted organic particles and finally the actual soup-making process of dicing vegetables, sauteeing mixtures, and putting it all together to simmer. I was fully prepared, after all, I had an entire day to make this soup.
My elaborate plan, I soon discovered, had a slight kink in it. I had pulled out the dried green peas instead of the lentils. No problem, the lentils were still in the pantry. But what's this, oh, oh no, I don't think that I can handle this. Little black bugs were filing out of the green peas. 5, no 7, 10, AHHHH this bag--still sealed, mind you--was entirely infested. A bean, a bug, a bean, two bugs...there was no end to it. Acting in true problem solver style, I threw on an oven mitt and tossed that bag right into the trash, quickly mushing the remaining bugs into a paper towel. Well, at least that solves the problem of where the little black bugs were coming from (I had seen a half dozen in the course of that week).
Then it dawns on me that the green peas might not be the only infested bags of dried beans. Oh no, my lentils! I snatch them from the pantry; they seem to be okay. No visible infestation. I then don my oven mitt a second time and gingerly fish out the remaining bags of beans: black, kidney, great northern, and 16-bean. I toss them like hot potatoes onto the counter for the dreaded inspection. Uhh...I can see the beastly little creatures enjoying their spacious habitat amongst the great northerns and the 16-bean. creeping, crawling, tramping over the beans in their sealed bags. It gives me the willies so bad that I can't stand to examine the others, so I toss out the whole lot.
As much as I want to just run out of the apartment screaming, "Help! Bugs!" my ego (and my sense of duty) simply wouldn't let me. To my horror, I spent the rest of the afternoon examining the contents of my pantry, tossing the infested, and thoroughly cleaning the entire affected area. "Oh the horror, the horror" does not even come close to the duration of my shivers this afternoon.
And yet, industrious housewife that I am, I can say that even though I didn't end up making lentil soup for tomorrow (I couldn't decide if the lentils were infested or not so I threw them out to eliminate the paranoia), I thoroughly and impeccably cleaned our front closet, also known as the pantry.