No More Bugs in the Pasta, Please

August 20, 2013

There are so many differences between my new life here in Mazatlán and my old life in Washington State.  One of the main differences is the weather, of course.  I will never get tired of living where our windows and doors are open all the time.

It’s summertime, though, and all that openness means the kitchen is between 84 and 88 degrees most of the time.  We’re used to it, and as you can see in the picture of our sala fresca above – we have doors open on each side of the room, two ceiling fans, and two floor fans.  With all of that, we’re mostly comfortable.

But one big problem with the heat is that it’s hard to keep from having your flour, pasta, spices, etc. get buggy.  When I bring (for example) a bag of flour home from the store I put it in the freezer for two days, then store it in the cupboard.  Same with pasta, oatmeal, rice, spices, and other things I’m probably forgetting.  Pretty soon my freezer is so packed I can’t even cram in an ice cube tray!

I also like to make things for the freezer,  like packages of cooked rice, cooked beans, pesto, sourdough bread, waffles, etc.  I make smoothies every day and always have lots of frozen fruit, of course.  Our fridge isn’t that big and the freezer was soon filled to the brim.

I would put everything in zipper bags and plastic tubs doing my best to foil those stupid bugs.  But I was never successful for long.  I can’t even count the number of times I’d be cooking pasta for dinner only to have lots of little black bugs in the water with the penne.  Bleah.

So why did it take me so long to decide we HAD to get a freezer?  Above is a picture of my new love, a little 2 by 3 foot freezer that’s just right for us.

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. love the trompe l’oeil in the sala …..freezer’s not bad either 😉

      1. Linda, Thanks so much, we love our mural 🙂

        Wendy, No, we aren’t plagued with the tiny ants very often unless I drip that hummingbird water in the sink and then they come out of nowhere. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar on hand, it seems to keep them at bay for a while. Good luck. And I’m sorry to say the freezer is nearly full but if you want to bring over your tequila I could make a bit of room. (devilishly rubs hands together)

    1. Nancy thanks for this, a good read (as well as a great photo), tho I could not help but notice that you don’t seem to have those bastard tiny ants. Grrr. Now I know where I can attempt to negotiate to put my freezer overflow. If only the tequila wasn’t so good in the freezer things would be easier!

    1. Hey Wendy,
      Bring your tequila on over, we will take good care of it. Don Julio anejo would be good.

    1. Congratulations, I miss having a freezer. I would love a little freezer, actually I would like a bigger refrigerator. It’s amazing the things that are in my fridge that I would never have put in it NOB. I laugh when recipes say to melt coconut oil. Our coconut oil is only solid mid-winter.


    1. I’ve never heard of such a thing – even living 34 years in Humid Houston never brought bugs. YUCK and Eeew………

    1. The resort Torres Mazatlan is pretty much bug-free, thanks to their diligence, but those tiny sugar ants do not go away! I don’t know if Walmart there carries Terro, but that will kill ants in a hurry. It’s sugar syrup with borax, really safe. The ants are attracted to the sugar and take some back to the queen. The borax tears up their insides and pretty soon no more ants! I agree, your sala is beautiful!

    1. We just bought a 5.2 cubic foot freezer 2 weeks ago. Don’t know why we waited so long. Love it. We have plans to make lots of soups and comfort meals this winter to survive all that nasty weather. Cheers

    1. Like you, I constantly fight the onslaught of the bugs that get imported into my house in packaged flour products. The freezer seems to kill most of the eggs. But I have tried not to store as much as I did in my Oregon pantry. For some reason, eating the bug eggs seems to be far more acceptable to me than cooking them up as adults.

      I like your elegant solution freezer.

    1. I broke down and bought a chest freezer last winter, and it’s been a life-changing experience. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed having one. Now I can juice up those Seville oranges, lemons and even pomegranates, so I can have fresh juice at my fingertips all year round. And take advantage of great sales.

    1. I also got sick of trying to fit everything into my tiny frig. freezer and we bought a deep freeze last fall. It looks the same size as yours.
      I love it. I kept it filled with baked goods all last winter and we are still eating some of it lol.
      It is nice to be able to take advantage of sales on veggies, fruits, etc. now. I also keep all my flour,rice, bulk spices and baking goods in there and only take them out to use them. It saves space in my tiny kitchen area and keeps the bugs away also.
      I wish we would have gotten one sooner.
      I am sure you will enjoy it a lot.

      1. Theresa, I am already loving having a freezer – it’s so little I hope I don’t lose things in it!

        Babs, I believe the eggs are in most flour and pasta we all have in our pantries. But in this hot weather in an un-air conditioned house, they hatch. 🙁

        Marty, These bugs are already in our food (bleah) they just hatch with the warm weather. (yes, ugh)

        Shelagh, Yes, I don’t know why I waited so long, either.

        Steve, You said it!

        Jennifer, Wow, I didn’t think about juice! How great. How do you juice pomegranates? Cut in half and using an orange squeezer?

        Brenda, Isn’t it funny how great minds run alike? I am already enjoying it and I can use the one on my fridge way more effectively too.

    1. First, seed the pomegranates while they are submerged in a large bowl of water. This way, the juice doesn’t squirt all over, and the membranes float to the top. Then use an Oster juice extractor to juice them.

      There are a zillion things you can do with pomegranate juice. My favorite is to freeze the juice in ice cube trays, and then plop a few in a tall glass of agua mineral con gas.

      Oh! And the chest freezer is also great to keep the ice cream maker canister frozen at all times so homemade granita is never more than a 15-minute task.

      Best of all, there’s no avalanche when the freezer portion of the side-by-side is opened.

    1. Nancy I am loving all the comments: useful, amusing – your blog followers are an intelligent and thoughtful bunch, aren’t they?

    1. I guess because it stays so cool in San Miguel in the summer, high today 77, that we don’t have that issue. Our only HOT months are May and 1/2 of June but with the humidity hardly over 25%, that might help also.

      Thankfully I don’t have that issue. NOW the cutter ants in the garden eating the oleander bushes is a different story! ha………

      1. Today I cleaned four small pomegranates – it made several cups of seeds. I juiced them in my Turmix juicer and got two cups of juice. Enough for one ice cube tray plus a fresh drink for me. I think I’ll buy a whole bunch this week – and a pair of gloves so my hands don’t prune up. Thanks for the great idea, Jennifer!

    1. It’s a lot of work, but you’ll never buy commercial pomegranate juice again.

    1. Good deal with the freezer. We just had a hatching in the penne and cleaned out the entire pantry. We just picked up a 2nd mini fridge for the Isla but no freezer.

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