Botulism and other fascinating tidbits

ahh!  anxiety!  race anxiety!

And I write to relieve anxiety and I have this story/thought on my mind and since multitasking X6 isn’t enough right now, I don’t think it will go away and stop taking up critical brain-space until I write it down.  So.  Once upon a time during my senior year of high school, I took a cooking class where I was in a group with Courtney Jones, Joey Hill, and Ethan Swenson.  We nick-named our teacher Mama Beaut (probably Joey’s idea, I don’t even actually know what her name was?  Mrs.  Beatler?) We all always made fun of our teacher for being obsessed with warning us that dented cans will give us botulism.  Sometimes the weirdest of information sticks, and for the rest of my life, whenever I buy canned food, I will check for dents.  I haven’t the slightest clue what botulism is–but it sounds bad and I don’t want it.  So, after our vacation with Tanner’s family, we ended up with some leftover group-groceries, and one of them was a dented can of olives.  And I ate them this week.  The entire time fearing, thinking, and stressing that I was going to get botulism.

(This story has a point, I promise.  Actually, on second thought, this might not all come together at the end so if you are looking for sense to be made/edification/upliftment, stop reading)

The one other piece of Mama Beat knowledge that stuck with me pertains to Salmonella (what can I say, her foodborne disease unit was powerful and life changing).  It was in her class that I learned that 1 in every 20,000 eggs will give you Salmonella if you eat it raw.  I also learned and that Salmonella is not life-threatening, but rather a few days of miserable illness.  Which knowledge was undoubtedly intended to dissuade me from eating unsafe raw-egg containing food (i.e cookie dough.  Does anyone ever eat anything with raw eggs besides cookie dough?) but actually had the opposite effect.  I had previously been warned so vehemently against cookie-dough that I was of the impression that eating it would lead almost always to Salmonella which in turn meant imminent death.  But now I knew how slim the chances were!  1 in 20,000?  What are the chances that out of 20,000 eggs, the one you put in your cookie dough instead of cooking it is going to be the rogue one?  And then even if I do get it,  it’s only a few days of vomiting?  I decided that for a lifetime of cookie-dough enjoyment, this was a risk worth taking.

Which brings me to tonight, when I am cooking some peanut butter cookies and am so so so wanting to down half a bowl of the dough, but would never get over it if I gave myself salmonella right before the big race.  And since I’m on a rambling roll, I’ll tell you that I contemplated all of this as I was trying to roll the dough in sugar and it was abnormally sticky and I couldn’t figure out why even after 4 double checks of the recipe.  I concluded that I must not have put in enough flour, even though I was sure I did, and put a little more in, but still super sticky (which means mega sticking to my fingers, making eating it even more tempting to lick/eat)  So I put a batch in the oven, and 4 minutes later realized–peanut butter!  I forgot the peanut butter.  In my peanut butter cookies.

At which point I contemplated my options, scooped off all of the half-cooked-sans-peanut-butter-non-cookies, dumped them back in the bowl with a little bit of remaining cookie dough, added the peanut butter,  mixed it all up, re-rolled them in sugar,  cooked them again.  And. . . they still turned out amazing because God loves me.

Ending statements:

1) Mama Beaut would be horrified

2) Apparently I was too enthralled over diseases in her class to actually learn anything about cooking  (though in my defense they never make anything in those classes more complicated than orange julius and rice crispy treats)

3)  I’m a stress case.  There are so many last minute things to remember–food, sunscreen, so many water bottles, chapstick, clothing layers, heart rate monitors, photo ID, registration packet, bikes, helmets, pumps, spare tires, tools, shoes, odometers–every single one of them being critical and X2 because my husband is at work and I have to pack all of his too.  Pray I don’t forget anything!


2 thoughts on “Botulism and other fascinating tidbits

  1. Good luck on your race!!! I’ll be cheering for you from home 🙂 Also I’m glad I know that fact about 1 in 20,000 eggs has salmonella. I’m always so concerned about that I eat my eggs under cooked. But like you said- I think I’ll take a lifetime of runny eggs and risk being sick for a couple days!

  2. Kristen says:

    We visited Utah this weekend and I think I told my husband 100 times that LOTJA was this weekend and I knew someone who was doing it haha. I am so excited to hear all about it! I hope it went well for you =)

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