It’s no secret that I hate hot weather, and no secret that one of my most grievous complaints about “NorCal” is its lack of—or at least its severely delayed—fall. What is perhaps a secret is that part of my utter hatred for all of this heat and unpleasantness is the fact that everything—everything—gets moldy. Put a new loaf of bread on the counter and it’ll be moldy within a week. Put a bag of tomatoes there on the counter and they will be fuzzed with mold overnight. Put a pot of rice by the sink and not get around to washing it for twelve hours and it will have transformed into a pot o’ mold. The point is not that we should be more careful about putting things in the fridge and doing our dishes expediently. The point is that mold is disgusting and has made far too many appearances in our overheated kitchen.
I remember, as a kid, doing a “mold experiment” by tacking to the wall plastic baggies of various food items, then tracking the onset of mold for each item. In a controlled situation, I can see how mold might be an interesting phenomenon to witness. In an uncontrolled situation, where any innocent lifting of a bread loaf or vegetable bag might send one shrieking and gagging into the next room, not so much.
The worst part? Our lovely carved pumpkins are now moldy and bug-infested thanks to California’s pathetic version of fall weather. I would give anything for a sweater and a cup of hot cider right now. Alas, it is 87 degrees. I know I’ve been here for over a year now, but this strangely unseasonable season still disorients me—a kind of jet-lag all its own.