Of Mice and Dogs and Brown Sugar

This morning when I got up I discovered that THE MOUSE (and his 86,279 relatives) had discovered a taste for brown sugar and had eaten two opposing sides of the plastic bag containing it, so when I picked up the bag it dumped brown sugar all over the contents of my “baking center”/plastic bag/aluminum foil/plastic wrap repository cupboard (including IN all the open boxes of wrapping stuff) as well as the floor outside the cupboard. This was of course at 4 AM. I knew I got up early for a reason.

I had a cup of coffee and chased the dogs away from the brown sugar.

Dogs love brown sugar. I never knew that. I think they also love mouse turds, but maybe just the mouse turds from mice that have been eating brown sugar. It was too early in the morning so I didn’t do an analysis. I chased the dogs away.

I’d been meaning to clean out that cupboard (like all the little places in my home, it’s easy to ignore until disaster strikes). I love having my decisions guided by mice. I feel so empowered.

I have to admit that I was sort of waiting for a reason to clean out that cupboard, beyond the fact that there was an unknown number of boxes of small plastic bags scattered around in there. Of course I never bake but want to, so there was quite a collection of flours and sugars and other assorted “powders” (baking powder and soda, cornstarch, salt, wheat germ probably dating to the Jurassic Age – when they didn’t put dates on containers. They had no idea what a date was, unless it grew on a tree).

Among the treasures I found TWO full bottles of “corn syrup” containing light corn syrup and (perish the thought!) high fructose corn syrup, which a recipe must have called for at some time in the past, before HFCS was poison. I recall buying them and then never made whatever it was. I don’t recall buying “them” twice.  I did also add the stuff to puppy formula – no wonder my puppies grew up insane. I’ll be donating the corn syrup to a food bank, whose clients (the “lucky” recipients of my generosity) will swill the stuff down with Kool-Ade and take over the world. We’ll all be so grateful.

The mice didn’t touch the Splenda (smart critters). They also ignored the little packets of white sugar. Do you think it’s the food coloring that’s added to brown sugar that attracts them? Could it be that there’s actually real molasses in the stuff? Hard to imagine. My theory is that, unlike humans, mice aren’t stupid enough to eat just plain empty calories. I could of course be wrong – are they like us – appearance is everything and the brown sugar looks good to them? Things to ponder over the coming winter.

That bag of brown sugar has been there for at least a year. Could it possibly be that the mice just haven’t visited us until now? Nah.

Everything is now in mouse-proof containers. Well, the 342 boxes of foil, plastic bags and wrap and wax paper are still on the countertop waiting for me to decide what to do with them. The 37 measuring cups are still in the dish drainer. The cupboard is full. I’m looking forward to frustrated mice packing their little mouse-sized bags and moving south for the winter – or north, I don’t really care which way they go. Will they leave?

I can now relax, since I’ve completed my fall cleaning. It might be a little rough negotiating around all those boxes of bags and wrap, but by spring we may have used them all and will again be able to use the counter for… um, what does anyone use counters for? Oh yes, to knead the bread. And to provide the mouse a playground.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *