Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
"Did you have to eat wild game when you were a kid?" I asked Honey the other
day. A program on the radio about eating game had triggered a flash-back to my
He thought I was crazy. "We were Jewish. I grew up in the city. The only unusual
thing I remember eating is lamb."
"Lamb isn't wild game," I commented. "It's mutton." My mother fixed both lamb
and goat on occasion. It was considered a treat. It tasted something like a
cross between beef and pork and was always cooked with a dash of vinegar, I
supposed to tenderize it.
Growing up in the South, nearly all grown-up men that I knew were hunters. When
you hunted game, you were supposed to eat what you killed. First of all, it
would be wrong to kill simply for the sport of killing. Secondly, free food
helped to stretch the family budget.
Daddy owned a shotgun for hunting. Guns made mother nervous, but she had grown
up in an environment where guns and hunting were a way of life. Once when daddy
was cleaning his gun, it went off in the house and he shot a hole in the chest
of drawers. Needless to say, mother was not happy about that episode - not happy
Daddy's favorite wild game to hunt was rabbits. He and a friend or relative
would go out to hunt and come home with a sack of dead rabbits which were
skinned, gutted, and fried by mother in her big black iron skillet, like
chicken. They did not taste "just like chicken" however. They tasted just like
Another of daddy's game items was squirrel. Squirrels were more difficult to
shoot, and it was hard to kill a "mess" of squirrels. However, if a squirrel happened to scamper into sight during the rabbit hunt,
chances are that it too would end up in the bag and, later, the big iron
One of the oddest creatures Daddy hunted, though, was frogs. He and a friend
would decide to go frog "gigging". This was done with a flashlight at night when the frogs were out. The only parts of the frog that we
ate were the legs. Frog legs were also fried and tasted rather fishy. Probably
with enough breading and grease, anything wild could be fried.
One of our worst experiences with wild game, however, was with venison. Daddy never hunted big game, or at least never had any success if he
did. A deer hunting friend of his, however, gave us a big venison roast. Mother
dutifully tried to cook it, just like beef. I don't know if she knew about
soaking it in salt water, to get the game taste out.
The longer the deer meat cooked, the more like game it smelled. It became
stronger and stronger. By the time it was ready, we were all sick from the smell and no one could eat. That particular treat ended up in the
garbage, waste or no waste. It took days to air out the house and get rid of the
smell. After that, no more venison was ever cooked in our house - only squirrels
I know that some people eat wild things a whole lot stranger than rabbits, from
snakes to possums. Thank goodness daddy didn't know how to hunt for opossum. We
didn't have wild duck or quail either, probably for the same reason.
Nowadays, we are pretty far removed from the reality of hunting for food. As far as I'm concerned, meat comes from the supermarket, butchered
and wrapped in plastic wrap. Honey would not touch a piece of pork with a ten
foot pole, so it is mostly beef, chicken or fish around here.
That's okay with me. If I want anything that tastes just like chicken, I'll just
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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