I remembered a discussion from my first safari in Africa; an old Cape buffalo bull with just one horn hung around our camp. The camp manager, Swifty Swift, a former Rhodesian government official before the war there, explained this was just the kind of trophy his German clients would want. They wanted unusual trophies, old with broken or deformed horns.
During the Fall 2012 semester at Chesapeake College in Maryland, Professor Eleanor Welsh asked her students to reflect on and recall some of their strongest food memories. Then she asked them to take it a bit further with a journal assignment to think about their food heritage and to consider what dishes and spices taste and smell like their respective childhoods.
These strapped-together rake contraptions were used by oystermen until recently, as fragile and depleted coastal areas have been blocked to oystermen. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, unregulated overharvesting led to a decline in the natural population. The millions of bushels harvesting annually, coupled with oyster diseases introduced in the 1980s, quickly decimated the population, and state and federal efforts were made to restore the ecologically and commercially important creatures.
Oysters were used in a variety of recipes – oyster stew, fried oysters, oysters on the half shell, scalloped oysters. I did not learn to appreciate oysters until I was an adult… I did eat them in oyster stew, but I did not like the texture. The oyster stew was made with a crust over an oven safe bowl – with milk, celery and potatoes. We also enjoyed baked rockfish, fried fish, and fish hash. Crabs were prepared steamed, stewed, as crab imperial, crab cakes, fried soft crabs, and crab soup.
Spring is well underway here in East Texas. On a walk yesterday, I noticed the blackberry bushes are in full bloom. Soon berries will replace the blooms. In the 1950s, when I was young -like grammar school young – this was a really big deal. I would head for the “bottoms” along the creek on our place in South Carolina to gather the berries. I’m not sure bug repellant had been invented back then, but I am sure we didn’t have any. One knew one would be in misery from chigger bites.