The perils of kitchen gardening

15 Feb

I’m not the easily-grossed-out type. I once thumbed through my travel photos and discovered a cockroach in one of my Parisian meals. I expected snails (they were on the menu), but the cockroach was novel. I laughed it off as extra protein and moved on with my life.

I was reasonably well organised this evening and had dinner timed for when P walked in the door. I gave my bacon and vegetable casserole a final stir before thickening, and discovered this.

I suspect the problem was the handful of parsley I washed as a bunch rather than as individual stalks. I was in a hurry.

So, spot quiz people – what would you have done?

A. Ordered a pizza

B. Plucked it out pretended it never happened

C. Called it “Casserole de la Caterpillar”?

D. Hidden it in one of the servings and asked each family member how much they love you?

I went B.

But I didn’t enjoy my dinner.

27 Responses to “The perils of kitchen gardening”

  1. Leanne Cole February 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    That’s hysterical, thanks for the laugh.

  2. Sarah February 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Aren’t insects the food of the future?

  3. Barbara Good February 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I’d go with B too. Thankfully I usually find the caterpillars before cooking, either that or I just don’t notice them in there. I usually fill the sink with a little water and plonk the leafy greens from the garden in there for a while, that way the caterpillars float to the top and it doesn’t take an age to wash every individual leaf.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Yeah I like that approach. I also like the adage “ignorance is bliss” πŸ™‚

  4. Robyn February 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Actually, the question is, how can you be certain he was the only one in there???

    I’d have gone with B too, although we did A tonight!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

      I checked. Actually I was mostly checking that he hadn’t excreted the entire contents of his digestive system and that the dinner was indeed safe to eat.

  5. S February 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    I had a beautiful crop last year, but kept finding these tiny caterpillars hiding in invisible crannies. I quickly learned to drown them out πŸ˜‰
    And not only “would” I go with Option B, I have πŸ™‚

  6. Gavin February 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    I would have definitely gone with B! At least you found it before you ate, and not when it was dangling on your spoon.

    Gav x

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

      Yeah, I think that actually would have totally grossed me out. That and turned the kids off my cooking for life!

  7. Sarah February 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    It’s like that old joke from primary school:

    Q: What’s worse than finding a grub in your apple?

    A: Finding half a grub! Ewwww!

  8. Tracey February 16, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    I think kitchen gardening makes most people less squeamish about such things. Insects and other wee creatures are just a part of the garden and become less frightening.

    I was recently served a small (live) earthworm with a side salad of cos lettuce in a cafe. Most people I know would have carried on a bit about it and made a scene. But as a gardener and cook, I’ve been there myself. I discretely signalled one of the staff, pointed out the offending beastie and suggested he warn the kitchen staff they need to be a little more vigilant with the prep. The cafe were happy to comp the meal and offer me something else, and were appreciative that I didn’t make a huge public fuss about it.

  9. Kate February 16, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    It happens here quite regularly . I just pluck it out and don’t worry about it.

  10. Frogdancer February 16, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Yep. Happened here too with an earwig.
    I figure that I don’t have to tell the boys EVERYTHING about what happens in my day….

  11. Darren (Green Change) February 16, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    I’d go with B (and indeed, have many times!), but I’d have enjoyed my meal as well. You’re not going to get sick from a grub or two, even if it had excreted. The chooks would probably be wondering why I’m cooking their food now, though!

  12. veggiegobbler February 16, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Eew! I would have gone B too. And I would have had a very small meal that night and inspected each mouthful carefully. And I wouldn’t have told the rest of the family

  13. Linda Woodrow February 16, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    I go with Darren. Nothing unhygienic about a caterpillar. You eat a lot more of them than you know! It’s interesting to read the US FDA rules for the amount of insects, insect parts, rodent hairs etc allowed in food, particularly spices.

  14. kim February 16, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Yep , happens alll the time here. Our kids do a caterpillar check before they will eat home grown broccolli. Glad it happens in other homes too. Yes, B is the best choice …and a caterpillar is still better than pesticides anyday.

  15. Robyn February 16, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Actually, Albert tells me he often finds grubs and things on broccoli from Woolies. I’m not sure what he’s talking about as I haven’t actually bought broccoli from Woolies in a VERY long time…

    My kids would probably want to eat the caterpillar. One, because he’s only 7 months and generally eats anything he can get into his mouth and the other child is just a big strange… She’s actually asked me before if she can eat the grubs in our garden!

  16. Liz February 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Whereever I eat my mums salads I check for both bugs and dirt as her washing of salad leaves leaves a bit to be desired….. I would have definitely done B and been paranoid for the rest of the meal. I do find that soaking things like broccoli in salty water dislodges a lot of the critters before cooking. What I really dislike though is when I accidently chop a caterpillar with the salad ingredients – gross….

  17. Gardenglut February 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    B is not only my answer but what i have done before (accidentally of course)! I often wonder how many fruit fly grubs I might have eaten.

  18. Lilian February 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    B it is for me too – been there done that… you’re in good company!

  19. Norma Chang February 18, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    In a raw salad and moving would gross me out, but in cooked food I go with B.

  20. Mrs Bok February 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Eeeeek!! It’s happened to me too. The perils!!


  1. Harvest Monday – 20th February 2012 « 500m2 in Sydney - February 20, 2012

    […] in a massive batch of beef stock I am preparing and the casserole on […]

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