Fecal poisoning

Picture taken by me, not on Unsplash

My mom told me to always wash fruits and vegetables (obviously). So, one day, as I was helping her to make a salad (a rare occasion, indeed) I remember washing said vegetables in the best way I knew how: with warm water.

My mom ran over with the same emotional fervor as if I was urinating on them…

Nooooo! Not warm water — keep it cold.

Huh?? What? Why?!!

I forget the reason she gave me when I questioned this foolish notion. Something about blanching, I think. We wouldn’t want to ‘blanch’ them (?). And so, I agreed, and for the last few decades have been doing the cold water thing.

Which is ridiculous. I mean, have you ever tried washing dishes with cold water?


Side note: I have a theory that the reason why I’ve had so few cavities over the years (whilst maintaining a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks whenever possible) is that I’ve always rinsed my mouth out with warm water after brushing.

But with those vegetables, my mom’s voice still rings in my head every time I think of washing them in warm water.

I just. Can’t. Do it. 
It’s crazy.

Rory loves strawberries. She must eat 10 strawberries a day. Strawberries are her jam. She’d rather eat strawberries than ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, or glazed donuts. (So, unfortunately, dad has to eat those things for her — wouldn’t want to waste.)

This means we buy a shitload of strawberries. I know they’re pre-washed. I also know how useless washing them in cold water is. But I do it anyways. Because when you’re a parent, your superstitious inclinations take on new heights.

I’ve considered not rinsing them at all (I mean, I wouldn’t dare want to ‘blanch’ them in that horrible warm water). But then, a scene emerges in my mind… This scene involves me serving her a bowl of unwashed strawberries. The next clip of that scene involves her taking one bite and then immediately projectile vomiting across the kitchen before writhing on the floor, clutching her throat.

When the paramedics show up, they get her situated in the ambulance with an oxygen mask and IV’s. That’s when the big guy with the well-kempt mustache checks her pulse and then shoots a darted, seething, judging stare at me and says (with sweat beading down his brow for dramatic effect)…

Yep… Fecal poisoning. 
Gun it, Charlie. We gotta get her in — stat!

I did it. I didn’t wash the strawberries. I gave my daughter fecal poisoning…

And then I snap out of it.


I guess I’ll just wash the strawberries in the stupid cold water.