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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

No licking the spoon? Yes, Dear Readers, the evil verdict from the FDA is that no one should EVER eat raw dough, under any circumstances. You know, eggs not being cooked could have salmonella. But flour could contain e-coli from animal feces. So that wonderful glob of cookie dough that you want to taste or that spoon filled with heavenly brownie batter cannot be licked. Ever again. Another tragedy as far as I am concerned.

With knowledge comes responsibility. And restrictions. Hey, why do we have to hear about it! Give me a spoonful of chocolate chip cookie dough and let me live my life in bliss! Do not tell me a slight taste of raw pie dough will kill me! Can we not have the simple and true pleasures that all cooks hold dear – enjoying a lick of raw batter every now and then? Lordy, help us. The enemy is not some foreign terrorist – it is in cookie dough!

My girlfriend says I am over-reacting. Then again, the last time she turned on her oven was in 1996. My mother is 93 years old and laughed that she has eaten plenty of raw dough, “enough to sink a battleship” in her lifetime so it must be “nonsense.” My grandson said he does remember feeling a bit ill after licking a spoon filled with cake batter. My neighbor said she has to “taste test” everything so she might have to “die licking.” Maybe our new motto should be, “I keep licking and I’m still kicking!”

Naturally, science helps us grasp concepts and take precautions so we can live a long and healthy life. Fifty years ago, people thought cigarettes were “cool” and not too dangerous. We used to paint our houses with lead-based paint. We thought cholesterol and fatty foods were pretty good for us. Diet sodas were harmless and then margarine was supposed to be healthy. Until it became bad and now we are to use real butter again. Unless you want to clog your arteries with sludge, so we should all switch to olive oil. In other words, our understanding of what is “healthy” keeps evolving.

My colleague believes that unless your fruits and veggies are organic you will die a miserable death from chemical poisoning. She claims organic food is the only “clear choice” that intelligent people can make if they want to be healthy. When I told her that research shows there is no advantage to buying organic fruits if they are thick-skinned (like watermelons), she called me an “idiot.” Yikes, some folks are really too “thin-skinned!”

How much risk are you willing to take? I have a girlfriend who is an attorney and she says that the FDA must warn the public in order to “mitigate risk.” She then goes on to say that “everything has a risk” like driving, walking across the street, or riding a horse. So just because something is risky doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it!  Hey, I feel better already!

Good news! Did you know that eating spaghetti is good for you? I did read this week that pasta has been deemed “very healthy” and not as fattening as we had been led to believe. Of course, this research came out of Italy, so I am very suspect just how a bowl of spaghetti with thick alfredo sauce can possibly be better for me than a spoonful of cookie dough! However, it is a known fact that Sophia Loren eats a plate of spaghetti every day for dinner and sometimes for breakfast. And since she looks amazing at age 81, I might have to re-think my entire diet.
Butter? Yes. Pasta? Delizioso! Organic? Of course. Raw dough? Not so fast. More research is required. I suppose in order to mitigate my risks, I vow never to eat raw dough while I am riding my horse and crossing a busy street.  Be safe, my friends and choose your risks wisely. Bon appétit!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at