Things I won’t eat and the Zombie Foreskin
“Yeah, I know I'm ugly... I said to a bartender, 'Make me a zombie.' He said 'God beat me to it.” ~Rodney Dangerfield
I had done a few posts on how I got into cooking and then got distracted now redirected; I should mention I used to write a food blog and probably still would except I got kind of tired of talking food all the time. You really do run into some limitations and eventually when you never write any recipes down, like me I just sort of wing it, it gets to be a problem. Either way Blue Jean Foodie Queen is worth a look if you want some fun recipes now and then. I know that cooking and baking are such a part of my life that I may eventually give you my recipe to my Pecan Pie… but for now we are talking more about the reasons I learned to be a better cook. Besides my beloved Grandmother who taught me most of what I know and used to tell me “Sugar, there is nothing a kitchen cannot fix!” meaning of course that all your problems could be solved by a good southern meal, and I believe that.
Turkey Nipples never working properly aside, I love to cook. Like making people laugh, there is something about warming a person’s belly with good food that makes you feel like you have given them a gift, this intangible gift. You have given them love in a warm and physical way the way a mother’s touch spreads through you like warm sunshine; laughter is the same way. If you can feed someone or make them laugh, both if you are very lucky, then you have given them something you cannot take back, nor can they give it back well perhaps they could give you the food back but most people do not. I would not have blamed my family at all if they gave back, however unwillingly, their lunches after seeing poor old Gobble’s nipple, neck penis, and gut bag all splattered with purplish barbeque sauce.
There is rarely a food I won’t at least try. There are a handful of foods I have tried and now do not eat because I tried it. There are some foods I won’t try simply on principle and still a few more I won’t go near because I fear what if could do to your body. (like those freaky people on the Raw Diet)
First, I will not try oysters. My father has always, always, as long as I can remember tried like Satan tempting Christ to get me to eat them. He enjoys them raw, on the half shell, with some lemon or hot sauce sometimes… though usually just straight. He swears to me it tastes just like what fresh cut grass smells like. Which I read somewhere recently is actually the grass screaming in pain via pheromones… so yeah if you want to eat things that taste of grass essentially farting messages of pain to their friends be my guest… I will not be joining. Besides if I wanted to taste grass I would eat it… further still who (in their right mind) in the whole damn world pried open a shellfish and decided to eat the giant snot booger lying inside it…? How freaking hungry were they? I can only assume they saw some other animal eating oysters and knew it would be okay; that is assuming they were perfectly sane and not just completely off their nut. I have nibbled at a fried oyster before; but even cooked oysters are unappealing.
My mother used to make this Oyster Stew, glorious looking creamy stuff; she made it for me once when daddy was out of town. I was around 10 or 11. She was so proud of it (which shames me a bit to tell you this part)…and I admit the creamy bit was okay and I love soup with crackers and she said this had to be eaten with crackers. Suddenly, out of nowhere, like a Nazi U Boat lurking in the bottom of a waterway, surfaced this shriveled gray wrinkly bit of squishiness. I asked her just what the hell she had put in my soup. Really at this point we were at the cursing stage of our relationship, at least in private, ever since the sweat hog incident… so I literally did say…
“What the hell did you put in my soup?”
She said it was an oyster… as in oyster stew. I told her it looked like a zombie foreskin.
Three things happened then, that have rarely happened in my life.
1. I grossed out my nurse of a mother, and put her off her beloved oyster stew for quite a while
2. She sent me to my room without the rest of the foreskin soup or even another handful of oyster crackers
3. We both made some silent vow between us, never to question or ask me how at the tender age of whatever it was… I knew about foreskin.
This aversion to certain shellfish applies to the great migration of my family to the Pacific Northwest and the first time I saw a Geoduck; for you southern people (pronounced Gooey Duck)… just picture an erect horse penis with a clam shell chomping on it, like a one of those clamp bracelets. I am sure I will find a lovely image to display for you. Needless to say after foreskin soup… I was sure as hell not going to eat horse penis even if it had jewelry on it. My father who is a true Southeastern Texan “iron belly” will eat anything. And I am sure tried Geoduck more than once. You name it he has probably eaten it.
His iron stomach has eaten things I will not even think about. His philosophy is that you have to try everything at once before you can say you do not like it. I grew up with that bull malarkey. I do appreciate him making me try crawfish, I love them… I just don’t want to do the work on the little cockroaches so I usually order crawfish bisque when available. Imagine my surprise when after trying mushrooms I explained to my parents that I did not like them… asked to try them a second time I still did not like them, they taste of dirt to me and I hate the consistency… for those counting I tried the damn things TWICE and was still forced to eat them until I was old enough to actually have some say in what I ate and what I did not.
Seafood is sometimes an issue with me. I think it is because here in the south most everything we catch in a lake or river or ocean… we fry. Usually heavily battered, my Crohn’s stomach can no longer handle that. After the family’s great migration back to the south in the early summer of 1997, *ahem* when I was sev-ish, there is a local “seafood” restaurant that is much loved by the locals here in my little hamlet. After spending time in the Northwest where most things are not fried at least like we do it… and eating luscious salmon broiled or grilled with just a bit of lemon or dill… or just smoked! This heavily battered shrimp, trout, catfish, and other fishes were gross to me. I cannot go into this establishment any longer because it makes me feel like I am literally covered in grease when I leave. I will grant them though, that they have the best sweet tea in town. I love my family’s recipe for fried catfish but we do not batter like others it is just a roll in some cornmeal… and we have some good “comeback sauce” to go with it. My Seattle area friends will die laughing to know that until I moved to the Northwest I had no idea that salmon could be bought outside of a can… it was like tuna to me. I had only ever eaten Salmon (for me until then pronounced SAL-MAN) in a salmon patty…. Uh… think crab cake.
Lastly, something I will never try based on principle, my Scot ancestors are about to heave over in their graves… wait for it. I am never in my life going to try Haggis. Mostly because I see it in my mind, much as I saw old Gobble’s gut sack…. Eating a sheep’s stomach stuffed with it’s other organs… is not food to me. It is like Gobble’s gut sack, meant to be removed and tossed away. I can see though how my hardy Scottish ancestry had to work with what they had, waste not want not, right? Well I am not in want yet; when I am I will get back to you as my perspectives on what is edible. It could change vastly if there is a Zombie Apocalypse.
xoxo ~ a