July 6, 2010

Alive and Croaking

One of the coolest things about living in Florida, if you're a nature girl like me, are the frogs and toads. The croakers thrive in my 'hood, and I hear them, en masse, every evening and early morning. Because the sound can get so overwhelming--like millions of crickets quacking--I thought this cute "little" guy pictured to the left HAD to be one of many singing out in the woods behind my house. But he's not; this Goliath is in Cameroon or something, worrying about things that go grrrrr in the night, including the two-legged African plaidypuss. Heh. No, my house is situated among entire colonies of small-fries. They hop along beside me when I venture outside. It's kinda cool.

Recently, Mom and I went to brunch at the Speckled Butterbean, a really cute spot with all manner of rooster decor. The place offers home cooking and an all-you-can-eat buffet with the usual fare of potatoes, veggies, and frog legs.

Er, what?!

Yeah, frog legs. Lots of them. Just look at their little bodies, severed in half, muscular legs intact, dusted in cornmeal and deep fried and tossed into a vat with their little cracks staring up at you. Appetizing?

I could only imagine the ones in my back yard, calling to each other in their nightly revelry, ignorant of the dangers and just happy to be alive and croaking. Kind of like teenagers, warts and all.

I told myself, Be adventurous. Be brave. For god's sake, you eat chicken legs, don't you? You've eaten rattler and buffalo balls before. Just try it! So, I picked up the tongs and helped myself to amphibious dark meat.

As I set it on my plate, I recalled the frog legs Dad served up when I was a very young, impressionable kid. Back then, I only took a nibble, because after watching Dad swing the little froggy by its webbed feet and smacking its head on a boulder, my big girl panties dissolved into diapers. Yeah, thanks Dad. I'm only traumatized for the rest of my life, but, er, yum.

So here's the little guy on my plate with the brisket and peas and sweet potatoes, surrounded by gingham. His little legs look like they're in mid-jump, don't they? And his itty bitty hiney is staring up at me. Like the lower half of a Ken doll I once knew.

Perhaps I'm a closet vegetarian.

Anyway, I felt bad for the little guy's demise and that his sacrifice had been in vain. But I could not eat him, could not be the indiscriminate carnivore I was raised to be. People, my flesh-eating proclivities had been swamped by a small-fry that croaked.
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49 comments:

foxy said...

Uh, yeah, I don't think I could do it either. That last photo made me laugh a LOT.

Kristina P. said...

Yeah, no thank you.

Jazz said...

I had frog legs once (despite my avatar and the fact that I think they are the cutest things evah!).

They were grilled and just so cute.

And I really liked 'em. Not something I'd eat every day though. T'ain't a drumstick. Nowhere near enough meat for the work you put into it. Sorta like chicken wings in that regard.

McGillicutty said...

uh yeah, have eaten them before once but not much meat. May not have done it again....
We have lots of froggies too, last night they sounded like little pigs grunting in the darkness.

bunny said...

OMG...I was traumatized by my brother growing up chasing me with a frog..and then later in life, while digging in dirt..one jumped out at me.
Needless to say, I LOATH frogs, no mater how they are served up...
I would of left screaming from the house...lol

bunny

mac said...

It seems like too much work for too little meat. I understand they are edible. If I was starving, perhaps... but I am not starving!

Buffalo Balls? Now there's an interesting meal. No, I won't join you in that dish either ;-)

TechnoBabe said...

Your photo says it all. You are so funny. When we lived in Virginia we went gigging for frogs and we did eat the frog legs. Since chicken wings are my favorite part of chicken, frog legs aren't much different to me. I had turkey balls in Kansas at a buffet place and that wasn't bad. But then again I am the kind of person who likes chicken gizards and chicken livers are one of my most favorite things.

Gaelyn said...

The "Goliath" has legs that far to human. Yet I enjoyed the frog legs I ate many years ago. That butt crack would be hard to get past. Maybe close your eyes next time.

Eva Gallant said...

I'm afraid I'd croak if I ever ate frog legs!

Breathe said...

Yeah. No.

I prefer my food to have no discernible resemblance to it's former self. I am a chicken... er, coward that way.

Snappy Di said...

I coudn't eat it... just the thought of biting into a frog would make me puke... seriously. I don't like them when they are alive and hopping on my porch either. ick

Di

Alix said...

Kimbo, you had me scared there for a minute, girl. But you did the right thing. By the way, those noisemakers in your back yard? Tree frogs. Those cute bright green numbers with the suction cup toes! Hard to believe they can create such a ruckus.

I also like to consider myself an adventurous eater, but I draw the line at things I don't like when they're alive!

Rattlesnakes: no

Spiders: no

Roaches: no

Frogs: no.

But I do like snails! The first time I ate an escargot, it rolled around in my mouth for about 15 minutes before I could actually bite down on it though. When I finally did, it was sooo good. Garlicky and buttery and strangely chewy, but in a good way.

They say frogs' legs are good, but I'd just as soon they stayed attached to the little slimeballs.

SE'LAH... said...

While I am a vegetarian, frog legs are a national dish on my island, Montserrat. I'm sure someone enjoys them.

one love.

SE'LAH... said...

While I am a vegetarian, frog legs are a national dish on my island, Montserrat. I'm sure someone enjoys them.

one love.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

That's why I can't handle the thought of eating them. Underneath that crust is what once used to be a green, slimy amphibian that said, "Ribbet". I don't think so!

Irish Gumbo said...

Oh, jeez, you ate PEAS?! Kee-rist, now I'm off my feed!

(frog legs taste like chicken)(hee)

Did your buffalo balls come with the toothpick stuck in them?

Udder Hysteria said...

I have one word for this: ew.

slommler said...

I couldn't eat them either. Look too much like frogs!! Ewwwwwwwwww!! No thank you!!
Hugs
SueAnn

daisyfae said...

i kinda like they way they are posed all "Burt Reynolds in Playgirl"-like.... but i still wouldn't eat them.

i like my meat processed beyond all recognition, thankyouverymuch!

Pastor Sharon said...

Good choice! That is really kinda sad!

Que said...

I probably could eat them. I just don't think I would have the courage to ORDER them!

otin said...

I am with you! People say they taste just like chicken, well then, eat friggin' chicken!! lmao!

ellen abbott said...

there's a mexican seafood place we go to once in a while that has them in their cold case. Explain that one to me.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"Like the lower half of a Ken doll I once knew."

Hahahahahahaha!

I've never had them before either. Although, I probably would have tried Ken.

secret agent woman said...

Instead of a teddy bear as a kid, I had a frog. In fact, I had a room that was frog-themed. My mother once, when we lived in Mississippi tried to trick me into eating them, knowing how I felt about frogs. I still shudder when I think about it.

Casey Freeland said...

Hold on... you ate the sperm producing contents of a bull's sack, but you won't touch frogs legs? Oh, lady you are an enigma. I can't put this all together in my head.

I don't think I could eat insects, but amphibs, oh yea.

Casey

Liberality said...

You did the right thing. I am proud of you.

Lisa said...

It's the shape, don't you think? I mean, if that brisket looked like a little steer sitting there on your plate, might you think twice? I probably would.

But then that brisket looks so dang good....

drollgirl said...

EW! i couldn't eat it either! bleh. BLEH! all those muscles. ack. ACK!

Pat said...

I, too, might have been tempted, but I don't know if I could have actually taken a bite. Maybe if their ass wasn't connected like that. I don't know.

Loved the post, though!!

beth said...

After viewing those frog food photos, I am tempted not to eat again today! Ick...

Nancy said...

I'm with you. I'm starting to eat less and less meat. I keep picturing them alive...

I also remember my Dad going out hunting frogs. I never indulged then, either. I love my little frogs in the pond too much.

bernthis said...

I couldn't do it. I eat meat but frog? I know it's meat but for me it'd be like eating my dog. Have no idea why. Weird huh?

Joker_SATX said...

Have you ever wondered, in places like that where they serve Frogs Legs, what do they do with the rest of the frog?

Captain Dumbass said...

I'm never going to Cameroon. If the frogs are that big just imagine how big the bugs are.

Shrinky said...

We did the obligatory frog leg experience when we were in France, and I have to confess, they remind me of a particularly stinky version of a stringy chicken, didn't really float my boat..

Snails, now - mmmmmmmn, baste 'em in garlic and serve it right up - delish!!

Gaston Studio said...

Ohhh, I love frog's legs, but the way the French do them... sorry about that girl, but that's just my preference. Now, chocolate covered ants, Southern style, are delicious!

Jane

Brian Miller said...

they really are not bad...had them a few times in my travels...

Jason, as himself said...

Every day I become just that much closer to being a vegetarian. This post pushed me that much closer. Not that I have ever eating frog legs.

But it just seems to wrong to eat another living creature.

I had a hamburger for lunch yesterday.

Jeanie said...

One of my favorite cartoons ever is a restaurant with a sign in the window saying "Todays Special-Frog Legs", with frogs coming around from the back on crutches and in wheel chairs. Well, maybe you had to be there.

injaynesworld said...

I'm right with ya, sistah. I guess I'm just very conventional in the creatures I will and will not eat. Frog legs...? Not on the menu, thank you.

Glad your big move to Florida is working out well though.

WebSavvyMom said...

-->Do they taste like chicken?

MiMi said...

No, I could NOT eat frogs. And, seriously, was that a real frog in the first picture??? That is freakin enormous!!!

yogurt said...

I think I've had a nibble of frog legs, maybe, a long time ago. But to look at that plate, I'd like to give it another try. The Speckled Butterbean looks like THE place to do it.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I haven't had frog legs since I was a kid. I would probably try them if they were put in front of me but I don't think I would ask for them. My sense of culinary adventure would insist that I try them if the opportunity arose tho. :-)

BTW....Welcome to Florida. We'll have to get together next time I'm up that way.....which could be soon.

Madame DeFarge said...

Oh, I couldn't do it at all. I'm not a huge fan of frogs, but just think there's something gross about their legs. Yuck.

Jennifer said...

I couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself to do it!! We ate at a buffet once that had them and my husband ate a giant plateful and I just turned my head away and wept quietly. Ok, I didn't really weep, but I did feel like barfing.

Bella said...

ick! that's as bad as eating Bambi, who does that? I've lived in Appalachia my whole life and never ate 'wild' stuff like deer, rabbit, frogs, flying game (except chicken which was store bought) and never, ever have I eaten strange pig parts like pickled feet,gizzards, none of that funky stuff! Just say no to strange little eatables. Frankly they don't look that appetizing either! ick!

Johnny Virgil said...

Oh yuck! But I guess it's probably no different than a chicken leg....I probably couldn't eat one.