Saturday, March 28, 2009

Real Country Cooking

I am in the process of moving stuff from my old blog to this one. I have posted most of them in history close to when I originally wrote them. Then I came across this one and thought I would put it up this morning. Because it makes me smile everytime I think about it.

Hand to God! When I was in college I went to visit a room-mates grandmother who lived in the Piney Woods of Texas. Now Mamaw, my friend’s grandmother, lived in an old wood cabin way back in the woods. Yes Texas has woods and they are thick and dark. We drove up the long winding road to a little opening in the woods. Then we drove up and another dirt road cut through the pines until we got to a little opening. In the opening of the trees stood Mamaw’s house. She lived in a little house made of raw cut wood with a little smoke stack that popped up out of the top like a weird rusted metal growth. There were chickens in the yard pecking at the moss and dirt and a couple of old dogs sleeping on the porch that barely raised their heads when we parked.

We go into this little house were Mamaw lived and there was this wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen. I was starving and being handy in the kitchen offered to help. Mamaw said "Chil, steer the soup fer me" which I did and asked if I could taste it. She handed me a spoon the size of a snow shovel and I sipped the broth. Oh it was delicious. My mouth was watering as I put the corn bread in the oven for her. When I "steered the soup again” I noticed something kind of ivory colored floating. Thinking it was a potato I scooped it up to test it's done-ness only it wasn't a potato it was a little head. I almost fell over and died. I must have turned ghost white and then green because Mamaw started laughing and asked me "Whatza madder? You nevah had no squirrel's head soup afore?"

Now being mostly a city kid I had never had squirrel anything. Heck the most exotic thing I had ever eaten was quail. I mean my daddy was a hunter, still is, but he never brought home squirrel or rabbit. My sister wouldn't even eat lamb because it was too "wild" tasting for her. The thought of those little squirrels in the soup really had me in a tither. I was torn between my good breeding and the fact I wanted to scream everytime one of those little skulls would float to the top.

Mamaw was really a wonderful cook and a sweet woman who sat a wonderful table. The corn bread was done and we mixed up a salad using some fresh radishes mixed with some greens that my friend later told me was polk salad (Yes like in the song). We sat down at the old rickety table underneath the canopy of pine and cottonwood trees. Mamaw said Grace and thanked the good Lord for the bountiful supply of squirrels, rabbits and the fresh vegetables that were ripe for the pickin said her amens and started serving. I was determined that this sweet woman had made this soup with love and lots of hard work and I was going to be polite and at least act like I was eating it, besides I love cornbread and can make a meal on just that. We all had our blue splatter enamel ware bowls full to the brim; luckily mine didn’t have a head in it. Then Mamaw scoops one of those little squirrel skulls out of the soup bowl and picks it up puts the snout to her mouth and sucks the brains out. My good raising and manners went right out the window. I was done. My appetite was gone. I did however enjoy some really good homemade wine and some lively conversation from Mamaw.


Girly Stuff said...

I will say...I am glad I have an empty stomach right now...or I KNOW I would have thrown up a little in my mouth.

How do you stay polite in those situations?

But you know...I have a friend that came over for dinner and I made Baked Spaghetti Casserole and she acted like it was squirrel head soup. All she would eat was the lettuce in the salad I made.

Cher said...

I don't suck the heads of crawfish either! YUCK! But I have been known to fry squirrel. To this day my daughter doesn't like chicken because it reminds her of homefried squirrels.

The Texas Woman

Suzanne said...

Before I was married the first time... my then boyfriend brought me fresh skinned squirrel to make for dinner that night. I couldn't do it! It finally went out to the garbage can.

Thanks for your comments on Nolli... he's doing a little better today. We had a tough night with pain. I ended up sleeping with him in the guest room and literally rocking him to sleep in my arms. He is too precious to not want to baby him and spoil him rotten with love and attention... and he knows and appreciates it!

Suzanne @

Toad said...

ALMOST better than the stories are the comments. this is one great world we lie in, but I too agree, ya gotta draw the line at squirrel heads, and most road kill.

terri said...

Eeew, my stomach is churning now! Thank God I only had a few beers last night or something would be coming back to haunt me this morning.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Mawmaw would probably rule on Fear Factor.

Anonymous said...

I am really glad that I haven't witnessed a brain sucking except in one of my nightmares..

Jaime said...

ewww! i don't know how i'm going to get that image out of my head but i will probably dream of people sucking brains out of squirrel heads tonight!