November 16, 2019

Think I'll Go Eat Worms

I am a great cook, in my dreams, but not what you’d refer to as a good cook in reality. I take license to create a variety of interesting recipes: crock pot liver stew, Tiger’s Milk smoothie with lecithin, brewer’s yeast, powdered milk, and ice cubes. I was especially creative with my specialty food – which I would feed my nephews and nieces when we’d camp. Bran cereal with orange juice poured over the top was a “favorite” for them. Cowboy coffee, for me, thick with grounds, a random leaf or twig in the mix … amazing flavor, a wake-me-up concoction.

One camping trip ended differently than others as it had been raining all night. Can you imagine, rain, three kids and me in a small pup tent? One of the boys woke up having to go, unzipped the tent, and used the side of it to relieve himself. Granted, he was not completely awake, but still… Fastest time ever in packing our wet bags and tent, climbing in my Volkswagen “Thing” and going to a restaurant for a dry and warm meal. I often wondered if the kids were in agreement that bran cereal for breakfast was deplorable and they set up the peeing on the side of the tent as a distraction.

Marriage and children required a variety of meals that would appeal to them and become a staple in a memory-stacked life. One evening, I prepared a delicious, aromatic squash soup for supper but I could not locate my brood. Calling and wandering the house I finally discovered all the kids huddled together on the bedroom floor eating a Taco Bell meal as my homemade soup sounded “too weird” to eat. 

The soup is often a topic of conversation among my children as they warmly remember the memories of their attempts to be polite while occasionally not eating what was prepared. Come on, squash soup is warm, tasty, and filling. I'm all about creating memories and believe that when my children reflect on this particular meal, they have to accept that the soup was actually not that bad.

I was an exemplary cook - if my family could forget the time I made couscous. It offered a lovely presentation and a sweet-ish taste. Not too bad, even from the kid’s reporting. Packing away the leftovers after supper I noticed that the grain was filled with worm bodies, lots of them, throughout the pot. Of course, I shared my discovery with them to moans of disgust and threats that they would never trust me again.  

I tried to defend myself reporting that worms supply so much by keeping the food chain nutrient-rich, are tasty to the early bird, aerate the soil making it rich for crops, among other things. I shared with them that I ate oatmeal cookies made from “clean” worms full of healthy protein – tasted oat-mealy, were soft and sweet … but they didn’t want to hear this, remaining in the kitchen rinsing their mouths out. It was NOT human food.

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms,
Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.
Down goes the first one, down goes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.
Up comes the first one, up comes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.
(author unknown)

So, I ask that you remember me (and my family) during the upcoming holidays as I have a couple recipes in mind to try.

What will you be serving?

Bon appétit! 

The Hardwood Walking Stick

All through my 30s onward, I’ve walked woods from the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, along with the mountains, hills and valleys of Michig...