The Cicada and The Tortoise: A Curious Tale

Admittedly, I’m a technological immigrant.  Further, I’m technologically challenged.  I belong in a special class with any 10-year-old teacher.  Even five-year-olds today, know more than me.  My daughters and the school board folk have drug me into this new arena, and I know just enough to be dangerous.  While I enjoy that the world is now just one arrow key away and adore my cell phone convenience, I abhor “auto correct”  and the feature of speaking rather than typing. Lord knows, I sent far too many incoherent messages and emails.  A heinous crime, when the author is an English major!

On the other hand, I laugh uproariously when I receive one of these messages.  This week I received the following:

Scan 2017-9-30 18.21.01

Hmm.  A large cicada, which looks like a desert tortoise.  I was engulfed in laughter.  A family pet?  Even funnier.  Did they clip its wings so it wouldn’t fly off?

Really?  I see no likeness in the least.  Yet, I was sad I have no artistic talent.  Can you imagine the joy of creating such a creature?  I bet Dr. Seuss would have drawn and made millions on this hybrid character.

My neighbor and I had several hilarious conversations discussing the email.  We concluded the sender must be whacked.   Twas, not the case.  Damnable auto correct was at fault.  Behold the sulcata tortoise.

Geochelone_sulcata_-Oakland_Zoo_-feeding-8a

Bon Vivant…Not

I’ve never been a gourmet cook, perhaps because of my upbringing.  Both of my grandmothers were simple, country girls who prepared simple, country meals.  Each had their strengths.  My maternal, Tennessee, grandmother’s fried chicken and green beans were delicious.  My paternal grandmother’s homemade cinnamon rolls,  blueberry muffins, and fruit pies were spectacular.  Beef, pork, or chicken with various potato dishes were my staple.  On rare occasions, fish was served.  My mom never mastered the art of anything that tasted like spaghetti sauce, but to this day, her banana cakes light up my palate!

As a mom, I tried to introduce my kids to different foods.  As toddlers, they abhorred baby food carrots and peas.  Who wouldn’t?  For years, my youngest ate only chicken fingers or a hot dog smothered with ketchup.  The thought of ingesting a piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, or a green bean gagged her.  In contrast, my eldest was more daring.  She loved spaghetti, stuffed peppers, prime rib, and baked potatoes and sour cream.  Today, she’s a sushi addict.

However, when we’re together and want to venture out for dinner, we frequent Mexican or Chinese restaurants.  I accepted long ago I’d never be able to duplicate their culinary expertise.  When we’re in NYC, we eat cheese cake.  Yes, we have compiled a list of best to so-so.)

Admittedly, I’ve never prepared veal, lamb, elk, javelins, deer, nor pheasant.  Further my thought of preparing brains, liver, or mountain oysters gags me.  So you can imagine my reaction to a high-end magazine’s feature story: Welcome to the New World of Eating Insects.

Dragonflies, ants, grasshoppers, cicada, water bugs, and…freaking scorpions and tarantulas!  According to one source, “over 2 billion people regularly rely on one of the 1,900 edible species of insects as a source of protein.”  Cricket-flour chips are the new rage. Frankly, I can’t think of anything more revolting than a fly whose just sat on one of my dogs’ poop ending up in a casserole.

And to those of you who’ve been invited to my dinner party next week, the evite read: BYOB.  I’m well-stocked with booze.  Bring Your Own Bugs!

November Moth (Epirrita dilutata)

November Moth (Epirrita dilutata)