Tis the season for receiving cookies and candies and cakes and breads.....I am guilty of giving these myself, but I know that my hands and kitchen are clean!! So, as people hand me trays of homemade goodies, I smile and then...well let's just say some of it ends up in the trash. I know this is wasteful, but I blame my mother for my food receiving neurosis.
My mother is the world's Queen of neat freaks. If you saw the movie Mommie Dearest, then you know what I'm talking about. After each meal in my childhood home, my mother would break out the Comet and proceed to scour the entire kitchen. She scoured so much, that our stove top and sink looked like Dalmatians. The white enamel on both had been rubbed through to the black metal below. She would also get down on her hands and knees with the Comet and a sponge and go at the linoleum like Joan Crawford. We were actually required to call our mother "Mommie Dearest" and that was before the movie!! (Actually she did not require we call her that until after we all saw the movie. To this day, she has a memorial to Joan in her kitchen)
I was raised in a Lutheran church. Once a month they would have Potluck Dinners. These were big affairs, where all the women would try to outdo the others with some new Jello concoction or Man Pleasing meat creation. (This was the 60's, so that last statement is PC). Mommie Dearest would station her 4 children at the church doors, so we could report back what certain women brought in. We had to describe the dish color and wrap and scent , so that we could then make sure we stayed far away from it. One must always assume that a woman with messy hair or bad shoes has roaches in her home.
Needless to say, this has haunted me my entire life. I have politely taken tiny bites of food, just to spit into a napkin that I then place into my socks. This is especially hard at dinner parties, but that is why knee high socks were created. Now that I work at a retirement community, you can just imagine the plethora of goodies I receive. Some I eat, but others freak me out so much that I put on rubber gloves to dispose of the tin. I watch aghast, as co-workers cram cookies and candies into their mouths that were given by someone with questionable hygiene.
Just remember to always be polite and very thankful. These people have gone to a lot of trouble to put these trays together. If you are forced into a situation that requires you to eat in front of them, just take big bites and swallow it whole. If you do it quick enough, you won't even taste it.