Been readin' about all the once every 17-year invasion of Cicadas all my Yankee buddies are gettin' plagued with. Well, since I hate to hear you have all these little pests around for a few weeks while they generate their next 17 year invasion; an' since most Yanks will eat anything just to show they have the 'guts' for whatever anything is; an' since there is some sort of protein value to such things; an since all you Yanks vie fer TV shows and will do anything for a million bucks, includin' rippin' each other off on desert islands and all sort of outlandish places; an' since ya'll ain't never learned to be neighborly no how; I just thought I might put in my nickel's worth of inspiration, whatever.
So beside my regular column of recipes for the food lovers of the world and other riff raff, I just thought I might be of help in eliminating the pest problems of those places what got such problems. Thus, I will provide those places of the world plagued by little bugs what show up once every 17 years or so with something to do with them beside squishing them under foot; running over them on the roadways; an' pollutin' the earth with bug spray.
Herewith is my solution, whichever:
First of all, go out an' gather yourself a bunch of the little critters. Take 'em live, don't want no dead ones or stomped on ones. After all, if you Yanks are brave enough to eat live fish, chocolate ants an' honeyed bees then you shouldn't be afraid of a few live little Cicadas.
Next get yourself a cup or two of honey, depends on how many live Cicadas ya'll gathered. Now gently coat each one in the honey. This will immobilize the little critters by sorta' gluein' their legs to their body so they cain't crawl away. Now have prepared some crushed graham crackers, a dash of cinnamon and sugar, and roll the honey-coated little critters around in that. (Don't be brutal with the coatin'--you still want them alive, so be careful not to crush them in the process of coatin' them.)Now you can lay them out on a buttered cookie sheet, don't crowd them too close together, an' pop them into a oven preheated to 400°. Bake them for about 10 to 12 minutes, which should be ample time to bake their guts into a little ball, which you will never detect in the process of swallowing them. An' they are as good as any chocolate ants, bees, whatever, a'course I really don't know, I was only told that by one of my northern buddies, what partakes of such delicacies (well I cain't hep it 'cause I got friends of all persuasions).
An' now that all you plagued Yanks have something to do while plagued with problems, then this little tidbit of advice should carry you over for another 17 years. An' in case you missed the once-every-17-year invasion, then you can put this bit of information in your wall safe or wherever an' wait for the next invasion, whenever. Ya'll better hope I ain't around to give no more good advice in 17 years from now.
An' if ya'll don't want to eat the little critters,
They do make great fish bait.
Comment: Leo, my friend, I have a recipe like what my Mama used to make with ersters when I was a cute little girl in pigtails. She never gave me the recipe, but several years ago I saw Oyster Stew offered in a little seafood restaurant down in Rockport, Texas. I ordered a bowl and the stuff was so good, it made me blush! I've done a little experimenting to get the recipe right, and I'll send you a copy. It is really good, simple, and does not require a couple Buds to get it down. I also like ersters fried, but that's another matter and takes a really careful hand. Few things (except maybe a really expensive steak) are easier to ruin than fried oysters. Fresh or even canned go good dropped into seafood gumbo or jambalaya at the last minute. My husband doesn't approve, but I've also been known to down a few raw oysters from time to time, and the trick with them is to BITE them so you get the flavor and not just the slick feelin'. . .
Comment: Well now Clara and Mary Ann, you may not like my treatment of pests, whatever. However I don't treat little pests in the mannere in which I write about them. I just hear the solution from some pals of mine and then put it into my own version. And, since this is an untested solution to problems. I refused to put it into my regular column of recipes. All my recipes are tested and eaten by me before I commit mayhem on the rest of society, whatever. I consider myself the best tester of tempting tidbits, and then I pass along my responsible reporting in a relentless repetoire, however. Thus I have been acclaimed the restauranteur of the redneck, whoever.
And now, about them 'ersters' as the Brooklyn bunch refers to oysters. I don't eat them either, so have opused no obtrusive opinion on how such critters should be prepared or consumed.
Early in life, as a young sailor in New Orleans, I visited an Oyster Bar off Canal St. Being young and impressionable I watched as big burley mariners gulped down platters of raw oysters on the half shell. Of course I too thought that if they could do it so could I, at least if I had ballasted myself with enough gin to drown the critters. So I ordered a dozen of the tidbits and a jar of hot sauce to sort of drown them in and began the process of elimination. However, no matter how well fortified I was for such an undertaking I was not quite the gastronomic gormand. And of course I was sicker than a landlubber on a seagoing tugboat in a monsoon. Thus, I have never given out a recipe that calls for 'ersters' to this day. And probably never will, however if you Brooklynites have such a recipe and wish me to post it for the world to see I will let you be a guest columnist and give the recipe to the hungry masses, however I shall refrain from admitting I even know you or where such recipes even come from.
Comment: Heck fire, Leo! I'm from Brooklyn, and even back there we wouldn't eat them little darlin's. Your Yankee buddies must be from New Jersey or maybe even Michigan. Ever since I was a cute little girl with pigtails, I've loved to hear the cicadas singin' in the big ol' trees in the summertime. (Yup, we had big ol' oaks and elms and sycamores and chestnuts in Brooklyn back then -- even outside the parks!) Up close, cicadas're beautiful critters, with their bright green bodies and lacy black wings (at least that's the kind we get here in the Metroplex). Please, oh please, don't anybody cook and eat those purdy thangs! Now ersters, that's somethin' else altogether . . .