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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

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Daddy's Gone-a-Hunting...
 


Daddy's Gone-a-Hunting

"Did you have to eat wild game when you were a kid?" I asked Honey the other day. A program on the radio about eating game had triggered a flash-back to my childhood.

He thought I was crazy. "We were Jewish. I grew up in the city. The only unusual thing I remember eating is lamb."

"Lamb isn't wild game," I commented. "It's mutton." My mother fixed both lamb and goat on occasion. It was considered a treat. It tasted something like a cross between beef and pork and was always cooked with a dash of vinegar, I supposed to tenderize it.

Growing up in the South, nearly all grown-up men that I knew were hunters. When you hunted game, you were supposed to eat what you killed. First of all, it would be wrong to kill simply for the sport of killing. Secondly, free food helped to stretch the family budget.

Daddy owned a shotgun for hunting. Guns made mother nervous, but she had grown up in an environment where guns and hunting were a way of life. Once when daddy was cleaning his gun, it went off in the house and he shot a hole in the chest of drawers. Needless to say, mother was not happy about that episode - not happy at all.

Daddy's favorite wild game to hunt was rabbits. He and a friend or relative would go out to hunt and come home with a sack of dead rabbits which were skinned, gutted, and fried by mother in her big black iron skillet, like chicken. They did not taste "just like chicken" however. They tasted just like rabbit.

Another of daddy's game items was squirrel. Squirrels were more difficult to shoot, and it was hard to kill a "mess" of squirrels. However, if a squirrel happened to scamper into sight during the rabbit hunt, chances are that it too would end up in the bag and, later, the big iron skillet.

One of the oddest creatures Daddy hunted, though, was frogs. He and a friend would decide to go frog "gigging". This was done with a flashlight at night when the frogs were out. The only parts of the frog that we ate were the legs. Frog legs were also fried and tasted rather fishy. Probably with enough breading and grease, anything wild could be fried.

One of our worst experiences with wild game, however, was with venison. Daddy never hunted big game, or at least never had any success if he did. A deer hunting friend of his, however, gave us a big venison roast. Mother dutifully tried to cook it, just like beef. I don't know if she knew about soaking it in salt water, to get the game taste out.

The longer the deer meat cooked, the more like game it smelled. It became stronger and stronger. By the time it was ready, we were all sick from the smell and no one could eat. That particular treat ended up in the garbage, waste or no waste. It took days to air out the house and get rid of the smell. After that, no more venison was ever cooked in our house - only squirrels and rabbits.

I know that some people eat wild things a whole lot stranger than rabbits, from snakes to possums. Thank goodness daddy didn't know how to hunt for opossum. We didn't have wild duck or quail either, probably for the same reason.

Nowadays, we are pretty far removed from the reality of hunting for food. As far as I'm concerned, meat comes from the supermarket, butchered and wrapped in plastic wrap. Honey would not touch a piece of pork with a ten foot pole, so it is mostly beef, chicken or fish around here.

That's okay with me. If I want anything that tastes just like chicken, I'll just eat chicken.




Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss
 
 



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