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It takes a kingdom

Posted by on April 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

I have an aversion to old food. Most leftovers give me the willies after one day but my biggest aversion is tasting milk – I’m not really a milk drinker anyway – if there is any chance it might be old. In fact, my usually rock-solid (solid in that I’m not a puker; not solid like I have a six pack) stomach flips if I even get near the sell-by date.¬†Half-and-half for my coffee is easy to test because it curdles but skim milk would probably take WEEKS to curdle in a bowl of Cheerios. So what to do?

In Medieval and Elizabethan times, the royal family would have an official food taster. Usually a peasant, the taster would taste bits of all the food the king or queen was about to eat, to see if it had been poisoned. Of course, the obvious hiccup here is that many of the poisons used during the time were not instant but took a few hours for results. But the taster got a good (albeit stressful) meal and the big boss didn’t usually die.

Though I don’t fancy myself royal (but I am very interested in Kate and William’s nuptials), I have my own little staff of tasters. I only use them for milk, or maybe yogurt, and if I’m not sure if that milk is good? My staff of two saves the day. They have varying levels of proficiency: ¬†Jenn is the little one and she almost always says, “Yummy,” but the Jake, the big one, is VERY discerning. Some brands of milk we can’t even buy any more because he insists they taste bad. I pour him a taste, so we don’t waste the whole bowl of Cheerios, and he gives me the thumbs up or down.

It’s a perfect system. We don’t waste milk if it’s given the thumbs up; I don’t have to taste it, and my young tasters get a chance to help earn their keep. Fortunately I only eat sushi at restaurants — no risk I’ll try to expand the children’s duties there.




Filed under Lamer than ever
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  • On April 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm Jane Geller said

    is it lame for me to just comment “too funny.”?


  • On April 20, 2011 at 7:33 am jill said

    Do you really not do this, too?


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