Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Strange Things We Eat

In general, we don't eat all that oddly at this little place here.  Beef, chicken, pork.  Good stuff.  Corn, green beans, peas, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions.  Yum yum.  Most people would agree.

Then there's venison, which a large percentage of Americans have never tried, never want to try, and think is totally unnecessary to consume ("Poor Bambi").  And duck.  And goose.  Very popular in other cultures, not so common in the good old U.S. of A.

How about squirrel?  That's pretty tasty, although I've only tried it once, smoked.  In my opinion, you can make just about anything taste good by smoking it.

Rabbit?  Tastes like chicken.  Pretty scrawny chicken, but still like chicken.

Pheasant?  Pheasant breast makes a great Grilled 'Chicken' Caesar salad in the summer time.  I get so crazy excited over pheasant breast.

Lamb?  Oh my goodness.  Stuffed lamb chops.  So tiny, and so delicious.

Elk?  You haven't had sloppy joes until you've had elk sloppy joes on a December day in a cabin heated solely with wood and said sloppy joes were cooked over a wood stove.  Mmmm.

Even with beef and pork, if we are using home raised meat, we end up using some pretty unusual cuts.  Tongue.  Heart (awesome sliced thin and fried with onion and garlic).  Liver.  Beef shanks.  Ham hocks.  Short ribs.  Oxtail (very good for soup with winter veggies).

And then there are times like now, when we are gifted an occasional cut of something really rare.  If you were able to check my Googling history in the past couple of weeks, you'd see me using search words like  recipe for bear tenderloin and how to cook a goat arm steak.

Sounds pretty strange, yes?

I have to agree with you.  I grew up eating beef, pork, chicken.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find other animals tasty.  Heck, to be perfectly honest, I was a super picky eater and really didn't even like pork unless it was in the form of ham or bacon or smoked kielbasa (I repeat, smoking makes pretty much anything palatable).

I also never imagined I would love to eat spinach, asparagus, eggplant, chard, kale, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, more than ten varieties of squash, peppers galore, artichokes, and other veggies that aren't normally encountered in a diet that comes from a can or a bag of frozen vegetables purchased at the store.

Same with dried beans and peas.  Not to mention crazy grain-things like barley, bulgur, and quinoa.  Brown rice, basmati rice, wild rice.  I'm such a lover of strange things now.

Growing my own, hunting my own, and becoming acquainted with other people who also grow and hunt their own has really expanded my horizons.  Not to mention my gustatory pleasure, and my culinary repertoire.

(Not only do I eat strange, I talk strange.  LOL.)

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