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More notes from a country kitchen - 1/16/12

Fri, Jan 13th, 2012
Posted in Columnists

Some of you may remember my article on liver and beef. Many of you told me how much you enjoyed my article but not the liver!! Just didn't find too many liver eaters out there! How about cow tongue? I remember my dad getting a big cow tongue and pickling it. He kept it in a glass gallon jar on the floor next to the back door where it was cool. At night he would plop that jar on the table, pull out that big ole tongue and saw off a big piece of tongue and then proceed to eat it with soda crackers. He said it tasted like and also had the texture of Spam. I didn't believe him!

He would always offer us kids a piece but we never accepted! It looked too gross to eat!

Dad always got a kidney too. He would cook it on top of the stove till all the "pee" was cooked out of it. He would slice it too and eat it with soda crackers. I never bothered to try that either!! I also remember a part of the cow that they called "oxtail." Never could figure out how a part of a cow was called oxtail. But I was told that oxtail was the best soup bone ever! There couldn't be any part of the cow left to throw away!!

Mom fixed a lot of pork - think it was cheap meat back in the '60s. We had fried pork steak with milk gravy or pork roast and mashed potatoes or side pork that was fried hard and crisp! That was one of dad's favorites. Another item that we ate a lot of and never knew what it really was - pork cutlets. I found out many years later that cutlet was just a fancy name for the male part of the pig! Haven't eaten a cutlet since!! Guess if you don't know what you are eating it tastes just fine!

We also ate rabbit and squirrel. Mom really knew how to fry both of them so that we didn't know what we were, once again, eating! Chicken was another inexpensive meat. Mom always fried it cause that was how dad liked it. Dad told us about a friend of his who liked every part of the chicken - even the feet!! He would cook the feet and then proceed to suck them dry!! Can't imagine what fun that was!! I know chicken gizzards and livers are considered top notch. I use to work in a restaurant where they were considered the "expensive" appetizers. With leftover pieces of chicken mom would make chicken and dumplings. She would make great big balls and then drop them into the chicken broth to cook. Dumplings weren't one of my favorites either! Everyone else in the family loved them - especially with butter smeared all over them!

Here's a new way to use ramen noodles.

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