Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hey Grandpa, What's For Supper?

A couple years ago when I went to Ciudad Valles, the family I stayed with cooked an entire pig in a big metal pot on an open fire outside. Just like on the farm in Iowa.  "Everything but the squeal," my mom used to say.  Even the head was cooked up in the pot. I may be from Iowa but I weren't no farm gal, thank God.  I don't think I would last 2 minutes on a farm.  Head cheese is a Czech delicacy made from part of the pig's head that I just never could get into eating.  Same goes for pig's feet that was sold at our local store in Iowa. Blchhh!  And chicharrones AKA pork cracklings in Iowa.  Double blchhh!

Here is a list of some vittles straight out of a Beverly Hillbilly's menu that I have tried and my reactions:

1. Snapping turtle out of the Mississippi River. My step-grandfather Butch was a butcher. His real name was Emmett, but you can guess how he got his nickname.  I was with him when he found this turtle. It took hours to prepare in a slow cooker, but, gosh darn, it was good.
Butch butchering the turtle

2. Crawdad.  They're OK, but a lot of effort for very little meat. And sucking juice out of the head is kind of gross.

3. Pheasant that my dad shot for Thanksgiving. Tastes like chicken.  We had more fun making head bands with the feathers.

4. Rabbit that my dad also hunted. I guess it tastes like rabbit.

5. Mushrooms from the forest across the road from our house next to Coralville Lake.  Morels in the spring and the goat's beard in the fall.  The true Czechs love mushrooms so much that we even have a festival called Houby Days.

6. Venison.  Duh, I'm from Iowa. Everyone from Iowa has eaten deer at least once. We got too many deer even in the middle of the city. They thought my tulips were their personal smorgasbord planted just for their eating pleasure.

7. Alligator.  It was fried up like chicken nuggets.  It was pretty good but a little tougher than chicken.

8.  Rattlesnake meat... just a couple weeks ago. I went to a party and this guy pulls a frozen skinned serpent out of the freezer and commenced to chopping it up for grilling.  He caught it on his ranch in South Texas.  It had a bit of a game flavor.  I couldn't choke down any more than one eensy, teensy,  itty-bitty bite because my brain rejected it based on the fact that it was RATTLESNAKE meat.
Rattlesnake meat
Freddy eating rattlesnake meat

Me, choking down a sliver of rattlesnake meat

You can imagine what I thought when this same guy pulls another bag out of the freezer containing a skinned and gutted ARMADILLO.   Do people really eat them things?  Seriously?  I gotta draw the line somewhere. Armadillo is that line.
skinned and frozen armadillo

What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?


  1. Damn you're braver than I am! Rattlesnake? My Grandpa used to sneak venison into anything and then tell you half way in that you were eating Bambi. And then we'd cry our eyes out.

  2. Have to say cow brains. My dad would bring them in after butchering a mom would have to clean them up, then fry them with onions and bread crumbs. Yummy when you're too young to think about it. Decades passed, then found myself having a classy brunch with my new father-in-law, where they served...quesedillas de sesos. I passed.

  3. I must say that I have never tried anything on your list. But my hubby has brought home an armadillo. I couldn't kill it or cook it so we gave it away.