The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg on Not Poisoning Your Guests
In the most recent issue of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg solves some problems:
We recently hosted a brunch for a friend, who kindly brought a strawberry shortcake. But as I put the cake out on the table, I noticed mold nestled between the strawberries and the cake. The conundrum: Point out the mold, at risk of humiliating the guest of honor? Or say nothing, and risk poisoning everyone?
Joy Pueschel, Chevy Chase, Md.
You should not poison your guests, unless this is your actual goal, in which case I would suggest a truly malevolent mold like aflatoxin. Whether or not murder is the goal, it is unacceptable to humiliate your guest by noting the parlous state of the strawberry shortcake. Might I suggest getting a dog? A dog would have served you quite usefully in this moment. Imagine the shortcake positioned at the edge of a counter; a quick swipe of an overenthusiastic dog's tail would solve your problem. And no harm comes to the dog because dogs are unembarrassable. Have you ever tried to embarrass a dog?
Sage words, indeed. Everyone should have a dog on hand, just in case. It has long been one of my most indispensable kitchen tools, up there with a microplane grater and a good, heavy chef's knife.