Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Squid Incident

As I have mentioned before, I grew up in a pretty messed up family. And by messed up, I don't necessarily mean dysfunctional (we were that too), but just plain strange. My parents had the weirdest palette, enjoying things that should have never been yanked out of nature and slapped onto a plate. I have no problem with hunters, even though I never felt it was my calling. But seriously, when your mother sets a plate of skunk in front of you at the dinner table, something isn't normal. My mother used to cook all kinds of strange creatures, and when we moved from the US to Cape Town, South Africa, things just got worse. I'm not saying that my mom couldn't cook, in fact she was a wonderful cook. But when it comes to pickled field mice, I don't think there is any possible way to make it taste anything but plain nasty.
In Africa, people eat a lot of things that most Americans would run screaming from. For instance, horse milk, and camel meat. My parents, however, seemed to take the strange food as a challenge. My mother seemed determined to cook and eat every single creature that roamed the Motherland. Including every creature that swam the seas.
I'm serious. You haven't experience life until you've had to gag down a whale tongue steak. I've had to eat everything from rat meat to horse milk. But nothing compared to the time my mother cooked squid. My mother was a wonderful cook, but her methods of making food were a little lacking. In summary, she cooked everything in a cast iron skillet. Steak, pizza, antelope, you name it.
My older brother was the only one who actually enjoyed trying all the unusual foods, and one day down at a local Green Market near Somerset Beach in Cape Town, he found a tank filled with live squid, and begged my mom to make it for us. Of course she accepted the challenge.
And so she heated up her cast iron frying pan, slapped the still squirming squid inside, and proceeded to heat it into a slimy gelatinous mess of tentacles and suckers. I won't even begin to describe the smell that filled the kitchen. It tasted like burned watermelon, with a hint of vomit. It was then that I decided that I needed to learn to cook, because I was sure that I was going to shrivel up and turn into something horrible if I continued to consume the strange food my mother created.
I can say, that I can not stand most seafood now.
I will spare you all the image of the squid.
I can guarantee you do not want to see it.

C'est La Vie.
Viva La Vida.
And Fuck the System.
Signed, hot_tunes♪♫