Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cream of Weevil :)

First of all, I apologize for not posting for a bit. My energy is really low in January/February, so posts may be spotty for a bit.

Every once in a while, my husband will deign to tell the entire freaking world that we have bugs in our stored food, in the rice or beans, a few posts back in time. If it was left up to me, I could get along quite well without telling the entire freaking world much of anything.

I've even mentioned to him in my typical demure and calm way TO NOT TELL everyone every damn little thing. But he ups and does it anyway, and I have to swallow my middle-class upbringing and just wince my way through it. Oh well. One of the prices we pay for the benefits of marriage. And I know there are some. Really.

However, I've decided that with the world quickly going to rack and ruin to simply toss all my expectations and desire to have everything the way it was out the window. I think this is a very good idea because then my great expectations won't be crushed when life fails to deliver. As Jim Dakin of bisonblog said: "It's time to cozy up to the concept of better than nothing."

We've done what we can to avoid getting "weevils in the flour." (The link is to an old union song from Australia in the '30s.) There are some things you can do to avoid the dreaded bugs in your stored food goods. Or try here.

On the other hand, it may be time to rethink this whole middle-class upbringing thing. After all, people all over the world eat bugs. As a kid, I'm sure my brothers and I ate bugs and dirt and all kinds of weird stuff. We lived and are a fairly hardy bunch.

So why not cream of weevil? I remember a former boss of mine. He'd been having trouble with woodchucks in his yard, digging and making messes and eating his flowers and such. I managed to find a recipe for him for Cream of Woodchuck Soup, believe it or not. A neat solution to his problem, right? I can't find that recipe now, but I sure wish I'd kept it. If anyone out there has it, let me know and thanks!

Since I moved here some years ago, I'd become far more hillbilly-ish than I ever was before. And I like hillbilly life. It suits me well and makes me laugh. Do hillbillys piss and moan when they get a few weevils in the flour or rice? I kinda doubt it.

I read historical fiction and history for pleasure. Can't tell you how many times I've read of soldiers or sailors getting their ration of weevily hardtack. They'd complain, but they'd eat it. Complaining about the food is a sweetheart of a pasttime, anyway, right up there with complaining about the weather.

So, if the damn rice or beans have some bugs, I think what I'll do is merely think of it as extra protein and not worry about it. There is certainly precedent for eating bugs, whether we do it with pleasure or with a heartfelt wince. For those of you curious about bugs as a survival food, or even as a gourmet treat, you might check out this page for the pictures (urf) and this one for interesting information. Here's a couple of facts I might never have seen if I hadn't been thinking about this topic:

There are 1,462 recorded species of edible insects. Doubtless there are thousands more that simply have not been tasted yet.

100 grams of cricket contains: 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 g. of fat, 5.1 g. of carbohydrates, 75.8 mg. calcium, 185.3 mg. of phosphorous, 9.5 mg. of iron, 0.36 mg. of thiamin, 1.09 mg. of riboflavin, and 3.10 mg. of niacin.

Hmmmm. Now that's some good nutrition, isn't it? Protein and minerals. Not bad. Not that I have 100 grams of cricket in our rice and beans, but it is good to know. You'll even find some recipes at the Manataka page.

I have a feeling that in the new world coming our way, we might be hunting bugs to eat as well as picking them out of our rice. It is possible to change our viewpoints, learn some new skills, adapt to the world as it changes. Maybe we should all lighten up when it comes to former taboos such as eating insects.

If I get around to actually making cream of weevil, I'll post the recipe. Until then, do what you can to get rid of bugs, or say t'hell with it. If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em.


Chiot's Run said...

When I was young we found them in our outmeal, that we were eating at the time. Everyone else wanted to throw theirs away, but I ate mine.

I grew up in a country that prized fried ants though, so even though I'm American, I have a little 3rd world bug eating in me!

Patricia said...

Hey Chiot--I recall eating a worm a time or two to impress friends. And I've read of folks eating bugs the world around. I would definitely try fried ants. Or chocolate-covered ants. :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

When the Y2K was on the horizon I called my County Extention office to inquire about critters getting in food. They advised me to freeze any grain products for a couple of days before I secured the product. Also that the weevils were not harmfull to humans, if they were not just "loaded" within the product to sift them out. I could also used diaetemaous earth. 1/4 cup sprinkled in with of 5 gals of wheat/corn/rice will do the trick. It is harmless to people and certain death to insects. The d. earth has a jagged edge that works it way up under the skeleton of insects and lets them dry out. good in gardens also for protection of plants just go "lightly" as it will compact when wet, and make a sealer not letting water through.