No promises that I can keep this up, but I did manage to make another batch of bread. I thought these loaves might come out better than the last ones. I identified a potential thing I could tweak, but it didn't help. They aren't bad, but I never can seem to get my bread to rise quite enough. But this recipe is better than some I use, and it tastes good.
However, it turned out to be a much bigger project than I had in mind. I wanted to add a little rye flour, which meant I need to get into my "grains" tub.
Notice up front- if you don't like bugs, just back away and wave goodbye.
But we have a horrible problem with grain moths. Plodia interpunctella, also called indian-meal moths, pantry moths, flour moths, etc.
I thought I had everything in this tub sealed adequately. So I opened it up to find the rye flour, and as you can see, there are moth bodies down among the packages, and even a worm in the groove at the top edge. (Not to mention frass- moth poop)
I'm not going to try to tell you how to get rid of grain moths. I've decided it's impossible once they get established. The moth traps are too small- they are expensive and they fill up. All of this comes under the heading of management. We kill them whenever we can. They fly fairly slowly and we are adept at clapping them dead in midair. We try to keep everything sealed (although they can get even into screw-top jars. I'm convinced the moths lay eggs at the edge of the lid and the tiniest of the larvae can crawl up the threads.) We keep a strip of flypaper hanging in the kitchen. I know it looks gross, but these buggers do a lot of damage to food, and I need to keep trying to get rid of them. I put anything in the freezer if I think it's got eggs laid in it.
So far, I have found exactly two things that keep them out. I bought a small tub with a really tight rubber seal that I keep my everyday flours in.
And, what I verified today. Here's what doesn't work. Regular weight store packaging, like the inner liners of cereal boxes, plastic bags that specialty flours come in, etc. Even if I seal them with my heat sealer, the worms are able to eat through the plastic to get to the grains. For example: Note the horrible larval mess inside this bag that was heat sealed.
So, that one went in the trash.
And here's a Ziplock vacuum bag. Do they even sell these any more? These don't seal well enough. Again- see larvae on the inside. Trash.
Now for the success story. So far, I've never found one of the real vacuum sealer bags that they could penetrate. Every package that I had closed up in a vacuum sealer bag was OK on the inside. Had to clean off the outsides, which I did with the vacuum cleaner and then a wash with hot soapy Clorox water, but the contents are fine.
New rule for self: Nothing goes in that tub unless it's in a vacuum sealer bag.
Here's the kind of sealer I'm talking about, and the heavy bags on a roll that come with it, or you can buy separately. Mine is Food Saver brand, but there are others.
So, the bread is made, the tub is cleaned, the vacuum is emptied and the trash is gone to the curb- get those moth generations out of here! This job was not originally on today's list.
In other news: the next chapter will be a long one. Long hike, journal hadn't yet been transferred to digital. That is now done. That was my big writing accomplishment for the day. And I'm working on my program that I give tomorrow night about self-publishing.
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