It is whenever I bake chocolate chip cookies I have childhood memories of trying to steal a taste of the dough from my Mother’s mixing bowl. The whole process was a very pain-staking because you had to watch for her to get distracted and leave the bowl alone for a minute in order to get a gooey taste of deliciousness. If she came back and you were caught with the hand in the bowl then you knew you were in for the story about the tapeworm.
My Mom would glance over “Get your hand out of there! Do I have to remind you of what happened to your Aunt when she was a child?”
“No. I know”
“I don’t think you do. It was one day we were all going for a walk and your Aunt was hit by a drunk driving down the road. Do you know what flew out of her mouth?”
“Yes. A tapeworm and the reason your Aunt had the tapeworm in her stomach was because your grandmother would always let her eat the raw cookie dough.”
“I know. But a little won’t hurt.”
“Fine. Have a smidgen. But don’t blame me if you get a tapeworm.”
It was with slumped shoulders defeated I would think of the drunk neighbor that hit my aunt on the side of the road. I would do anything to give him a piece of my mind for ruining the perfect treat which should be eaten by the breakfast bowl.
“Did anything happen to the neighbor?”
“No. He just got back in his car and drove off.”
The lessons my mother taught me from this story was I was always to stand in a ditch when a car passed us on a country road because you never knew who had too much to drink after church on Sunday afternoon. And second the household ban on cookie dough taught me how to bake my own cookies so I could enjoy a taste of dough without my Mother’s watchful eye.
The other day I caught my son trying to put his hand in the mixing bowl trying to sample the dough. I looked him straight in the eye ” If you eat that you will get tapeworm. Do you want to know why?”
And that is how legends like “The Cookie Dough Tapeworm” carry on from generation to generation.