Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Memories – That’s My Valentine

Twenty-four years ago Calvin and I were asked to be in charge of our first stake handcart trek.  Some of the boys that were on that handcart trek were survivalists.  They had worked in the Anasazi wilderness program and knew what plants were safe to eat and didn’t squirm at killing chickens and frying them for supper.  (They even saved the shell-less eggs they found in the hens for their breakfast the next morning.)  They were a fun group of boys to trek with.

A year or two later our community had a grasshopper infestation  – chemicals and insecticides kept them from rivaling the Mormon cricket situation or the great grasshopper plague that Ma and Pa Ingalls endured – but they were numerous, troublesome, and caused crop-loss just the same.  The local newspaper had a big article about a family that cooked and ate the grasshoppers.  First they herded them into a trench by banging on garbage can lids and then roasted them.  It was the family of some of the boys on that handcart trek.  Calvin has wanted to deep fry grasshoppers ever since.  He said whereas they don't eat carrion they would be good.

He finally got his chance.  He teaches Sunday school to sixteen years olds and they were studying about John the Baptist this week.  They discussed John's mission to prepare the way for the Savior, his humble personality, his commitment to truth.  They talked of his miraculous birth and his mother raising him in the wilderness on “locusts and wild honey.”  That scripture, and Calvin’s interpretation, was the only encouragement he needed to finally deep fry grasshoppers.  He even battered a few.  He graciously shared them with me . . . and his class.  And we ate them.

Calvin pulling the legs off the crickets.  He didn't think the kids should have to eat the legs.  I told him I thought that was the least of his worries, but admitted it was a thoughtful gesture.

I know this isn't a cooking blog and so step by step pictures are unnecessary;
nevertheless, here are the crickets floating in the batter.

Calvin insisted they be seasoned before we eat them.  I don't think that pepper made a lick of difference.   (Thank heavens he didn't garnish them.  I'm not sure I could have eaten them if they'd been lying in a bed of parsley.)

That’s my Valentine.  He brings me flowers and writes me love notes and shares his crickets.  I love him intensely and appreciate him immensely.    


Cassidy said...

One in a million, that one. ;)

Deidra said...

We ate crickets in my Food and Culture class in college (barbecue and sour cream and onion flavored ones). The legs were definitely the worst part. The barbed little bits got caught on the way down. Blah! Though with as much flavoring as ours had, they weren't too bad.

What a Valentine! :)

michelle said...

Oh my. I don't think I could have eaten the grasshoppers. At least they are super tiny ones, though.

I can totally picture the two of you heading up Trek.

Susan said...

ew. That's all I've got.

Lucy said...

I am shuddering. I'm sure I could eat one, if I was starving, but I'm awfully glad I'm not starving.

Still...what a sweet Valentine.

Cali said...

I knew I was missing out on something yesterday... no one returned my calls. I'm so glad he's your Valentine because that makes him my dad.


Marie said...

I taught a lesson on John the Baptist to my class of 10 year olds a couple of Sundays ago. I too thought it would be a good lesson to bring in a sampling of the fare John ate. But I went the honey route and brought biscuits to go with it.

I don't think I could have gotten my kids to try Calvin's!

Becky said...

Oh my goodness.

If you knew how much I hate crickets you would know how awful this was for me.

I am still shuddering...

Nikki said...

I almost hurled when I saw them in the batter.

You are a good woman Jane. I ate fried ants once. That was enough.

Ande Payne said...

National treasure!

mommar said...

Love that Valnetine too! Couldn't ask for a better big brother!

You two are just too good together... hugs and love to you all!


Whidget said...

That may be one of the most disgusting blogs I've read in a long time.