6's & 7'S
and all things crazy
I asked: What's the craziest thing you've ever done? And I got responses. A lot of responses!
Lorca Damon is the only person she knows who’s been exposed to Mad Cow Disease. While there is currently no test for this disease that doesn’t involve removing the patient’s head and sending it off for testing, her husband is all for taking that risk as it would explain so much about her.
She’s the author of lots of books, and her mom thinks most of them are good enough for you to read them. Her next book, Speaking Autism, is currently in a crowdfunding campaign and she’d love you to check it out. There might be a first-born child in it for you if you support the campaign, although Lorca makes no promises that the child will be hers.
A Little Crazy, Lorca Style
This is such a hard post to write, not because I’ve never done anything risky or because I don’t take weird chances with my physical well-being, but it’s more because my whole life has been one giant cautionary tale so it’s hard to narrow it down. I mean, my parents left the hospital with me and returned home to our tent in the mountains of Kentucky. You know those people who are so poor they have to use an outhouse? Man, I wish we’d had an outhouse.
It seems like all of my craziest adventures have centered around food, or at least what people in some regions of the planet consider food. When my dad finally ditched the tent and got a job, it was one that sent us around the world without the benefit of these things called military bases. That means we got to live with the locals. I distinctly remember our downstairs neighbors when I was seven having twenty people and a goat in their apartment.
Here are my top crazy culinary escapades from which I’ve barely managed to come through unscathed.
1. That “eat this live octopus” dare
When your brother dares you to eat a bug, that’s amateur hour. I ate part of a live octopus once. And no, it wasn’t little. See, you’re thinking of calamari, those little fried squid rings. Honey, if you deep fry anything it becomes edible, so don’t talk to me about fearsome foodie adventures until some chef rolls a giant cart up to your table with a giant writhing octopus on it. He cuts you off a hunk, you swipe some of the blood away with your chopsticks, and you omnomnom your way to good foreign relations with an eastern Asian country.
2. Who doesn’t love rat on a stick?
See previous note about deep frying… except in this case, it was grilled. If it’s seasoned right, there’s really not much that you can’t eat off a hot barbeque grill, either.
3. Goat meat does not taste like chicken
The downstairs neighbors decided things were getting a little crowded in their apartment…we got an invitation to the party. The goat wasn’t dead when we arrived.
4. Kangaroo, the other bouncy meat
Yes, I ate kangaroo. I didn’t know it was kangaroo at the time, but that’s okay. Once it’s gone, there’s really no point in getting upset about it.
5. Here, Lassie!
Whenever people hear the list of countries I’ve lived in, they inevitably cringe and ask, “You didn’t have to eat… dog… did you?” Well, do you want the nice answer or the true answer? Let me tell you, dog has a very distinctive flavor. You don’t ever have to worry about your favorite Chinese restaurant serving you dog because you’ll know it as soon as it hits your mouth.
6. Does this horse look a little pink to you?
We had been in one country for only a matter of a couple of months when our neighbors threw a lovely welcome party in our honor. The first course was coming out, and the sweet host announced it was “cavallo.” My mom immediately started flipping through her dictionary, wondering how you spell that, when I slowly lowered my head to the table and closed my eyes, begging reprieve from what was about to happen. I finally looked at her and said, “You can stop looking…it means ‘horse’.”
We would have been okay if it hadn’t been raw. Not undercooked, not pink in the middle, but actually raw.
My mom smiled at everyone around the table while speaking through clenched teeth and insisting she couldn’t do it. I was a surly teenager at the time and I insisted that oh yes, she could, and to stop embarrassing our family. After all, I’d had to eat the live octopus as a kid and she managed to squeak by untentacled for that fiasco because she wasn’t there.
The yak meat was actually on purpose. Basically, my husband and I are hunters and we eat what we kill, and how do you eat deer, octopus, goat, dog, kangaroo, horse, antelope, and an Ark full of other animals and not try the yak? It’s a no brainer.
I would love to tell you that strange foods are the sum total of my crazy, but they’re really not. Face it, we’re just weird people. I’m proud to say we’re passing the weird on to our kids, but we really try to leave the family cookbook out of it.
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