I was walking through the market doing a little grocery shopping when this tasty dish caught my eye.
Oh yum. A chicken and mole dinner!
Yes, I know about mole sauce, but it was amusing for me to imagine the food containing genuine rodent meat along with the chicken. It made me laugh out loud right there in aisle 5, but in truth the last laugh may be on me.
My ten-year old son has been trying to build snares that will catch small game in our backyard. A while ago, I got him a Nook since he’s an avid reader. Unbeknownst to me he downloaded the British SAS survival manual and began learning from it. I found this out one night at the dinner table when he announced proudly to the rest of us that he knew how to perform a tracheotomy if anyone should choke during their meal. I asked him how he’d learned such a thing and he cited the SAS manual. Then he stood up, leaned across the table toward his brother, squinted his eyes in concentration and said, Now where exactly is your Adam’s apple?”
I was the one who nearly choked, then went on to tell him firmly that he wasn’t to touch his brother’s Adam’s apple unless, of course, the situation was extremely dire (by my standards not his) in which case he might get to try his new skill. It was a rather funny mother moment.
The SAS manual did more than explain how to save someone from a fatal choking scenario, it also described how to get meat when out and about without much in way of equipment. This resulted in a backyard full of ropes and sticks which were constructed and laid out just so in the hopes of trapping a little animal: a squirrel, bird, rabbit, chipmunk…or maybe a mole.
How amusing, you may think, but here’s the rub. Having been brought up with many hunters in our family, the standing rule is that you eat whatever you harvest. Nature is to be respected and animals are to be taken for food, not simply for fun. My son has already researched how to salt the tiny pelt of whatever he snares so he has a memento of his first catch and he frequently peppers me with questions like, “Did you find any recipes for squirrel? If I catch a sparrow are you going to fry it? Is one rabbit enough to feed the family?”
There are days I’m afraid to look in the backyard just in case one of his snares actually works (the SAS are no dummies and neither is my son). I suppose I should look on the bright side. I’m pretty sure whatever he catches will be a lean source of protein. On the other hand, someday soon, I may have to eat a real chicken and mole meal!