Despite the warmth of this winter, we at last passed through the frost-bearded days of our wintery spring, the dark, chilly nights pinpricked by the undying stars, when i wake up before light to sprinkle the frozen, rattling garden; crunching bucket-laden to the honking geese in the white dawn through the field of bright glass-green frost-dripped rye that shatters at each footfall like emerald crystals in the palace of the snow queen.
Numb-fingered, i still stop to admire the delicate little tracings of frost that adorn so beautifully each arch and deadly needle of the thistles, and crusts the water troughs with long-fingered, jagged patterns; and i pause, billowing foggy breath, to look out on the fragile, magical, frost-wondered scene.
These too are the days of red-stained hands, of red blood on the dark earth, as in the old days of Blót and the drinking of memories, the harvests of beef and pork made easier by the cold weather and lack of flies.
There are so many odd bits I want to share here, the unglorified culinary wonders, the essence of the cow and the pig, that have become in our ungrateful times, merely waste. The bones, the joints, the feet, the heads, the organs and marrow and fat – all once staples of the Blood Moon, now forgotten.
The stock pot always simmers on my stove these days, tall and soot-stained, ready to recieve mushroom stalks, trimmings of vegetables, the bones of leftovers and the brothy odd bits.
The bull we harvested a month ago was really difficult. He was plowing through fences, big, aggressive, wild and unfriendly. He was impossible to approach.
The Teenager, undaunted, patiently waited until he got a good shot, stunning the bull instantly. It made my heart so proud to see how he approached this difficult task, requiring so much skill and bravery, and how thoughtfully he handled a deadly weapon, careful for everyone’s safety and the quick death of the bull.
Once you kill an animal, there is instantly so much food, although not the meaty cuts everyone is used to. In honor of the lives sacrificed to the hearth, I will be doing a blogging series for the next few weeks to share some great things to do with the ODD BITS.
I thought it would be good to begin with the most exciting – testicles! Do you know how hard it is to write a recipe about the handling of testicles in the kitchen?!
Despite the unfortunate unpopularity, they are actually quite delicious. I prefer to fry them like fish, but there are other great ways to prepare them. Please believe me when my kids actually said, “Oooh, yummy! Testicles for dinner!” When i was making this to photograph. (They know so much about anatomy just from helping with processing animals).
1 pair of good sized testicles, beef or pork
1 cup finely ground corn meal
A dash each of salt and pepper
Butter for frying
Lime, lemon or sour citrus juice to serve
1. The testicles must first be skinned, and then the outer membrane peeled off. Slice them in 1/4 inch slices, or smaller:
2. Mix cornmeal with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a pan and melt a generous amount of butter.
4.Dredge the testicle slices in the cornmeal and fry in butter until golden and crispy.
5. Sprinkle with lime, lemon or sour citrus juice to serve.