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What is It? That is the Question.

Perhaps you have, as I do, grocery stores that have incorporated a section of the store that one can easily substitute for stepping into a deli or a salad shop. Mine also has a hot soups section including my favorite – chicken noodle. I divert there on many days, with no grocery item needs, just to get the soup. Sometimes I eat on the fly but on this day, I brought it home and enhanced it with fresh peas, oregano and red pepper flakes. I couldn’t wait to dig in!

Imagine my reaction when an unknown intruder – not chicken, noodle nor carrot – was staring up at me from my spoon. At first, it looked like a long thread of chicken but it refused to break apart when I tried pulling from both ends. I hoped it might just be kitchen string that I myself have used many times to tie up meats but kitchen string isn’t flat and doesn’t stretch when pulled. Now my imagination envisioned some sous chef cutting up chicken and flossing his or her teeth at the same time. My profound gag reflex kicked in. I folded the mystery item into a napkin. I was thinking out of sight-out of mind, but I just couldn’t put the spoon back in the bowl without the gagging commencing again. I gave up – on finishing the bowl AND on ever getting chicken noodle soup from there again.

On this occasion, I did not follow my own advice in WHY? to speak up and demand better. Why didn’t I race back to the store with the proof in my folded napkin, you may ask? Probably the apology offer would have included a refund or a new container of soup. Neither of which I wanted. Besides, if I had to open the napkin to show the store team the evidence, my gag reflex would surely have gone into automatic pilot. I couldn’t take a chance that I would be dry-heaving for the rest of the afternoon.

Is this an abominable food handling story or do you have one that takes the prize?

2 Comments on “What is It? That is the Question.”

  1. Martha- I love reading these pieces of your book! Reminds me of many pleasant & unpleasant memories!
    I have quite a few memories from the other side – as I was a server in a high end restaurant for a few good years.
    There are some good stories there too!! Congratulations on your fabulous book!!

  2. Like you, I have permanently removed all past adverse food related images from my brain to avoid an automated response! I’m so bummed when I am disappointed by a favorite of mine! Hope you found a new chicken soup place!!!! ?Lately, I have been pondering lately the DIY’s that I find myself doing because professionals don’t do their jobs!!! Let’s just say, I shouldn’t be the one telling a health professional the difference between a bladder and a uterus! ?

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Martha Humler

Martha Humler