Sometimes I want to write something but a thought gets stuck in my head and demands that I write about it first. My mind doesn't work the way that most people's do.
Today is a perfect example of my problem.
I was working on one of the challenges that was issued to me but my mind has a different idea. I can't dislodge it either.
So, instead of writing what I had promised, I'm forced to unleash one of my memories that my mind had brought to the fore.
My family consists of hillbillies and rednecks. I've told you about that before. Having families of that sort, I'm used to stories that differ from most people.
Mainly, my families enjoy different foods. That's what this is about.
Living in West Hollywood for thirty years, I was never more than a few hours from the nicest farms and ranches in California.
I would drive to the farm land, hoping to be able to locate local farmers willing to sell me some goodies.
Over the years, I developed a relationship with a number of farmers that would supply me with their locallly grown products: Vegetables, fruit and meat.
I enjoy having fully ripened fruits and veggies, rather than what is available at the grocer.
One time, I, a girlfriend and another couple decided to go in search of some fresh produce. We drove to one of my favorite farms and bought some wonderful fresh veggies.
Since we were there, I asked if they wanted to have a barbeque.
When they said yes, I headed to a farm that was known for having fresh meat. As it happened, the farmer was in the process of butchering a hog.
There is nothing better, in my mind, than fresh barbequed ribs. I had to buy some.
I bought some ribs, as well as tenderloin and pork chops. As I was beginning to leave, the farmer pulled me aside and asked if I was interested in a speciality cut.
This farmer was aware of my redneck and hillbilly tendencies.
This farmer had recently castrated his male pigs. Rednecks and hillbillies know that you can use every part of a pig, except the squeal. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
I've eaten every part of a pig before.
This kind farmer gave me two dozen pork testicles. I tried to pay but he insisted, and you never want to insult country people by forcing money on them for a gift they wish to bestow.
I thanked him heartily and drove back home.
I never told the others what the farmer gave me. I thought that I would surprise them at the barbeque.
On the way to my house, we stopped and picked up the other couple's son who was thirteen years old.
After we had unloaded the car, I went to work in the kitchen, as the other couple started the charcoal fired grill.
Propane was popular for grills in Hollywood, at that time, but I always enjoyed the smoky flavor that I got from charcoal.
My girlfriend started making a huge salad. I made some guacamole and then started on the meat. I wanted some ribs.
After rubbing the seasoning in the ribs, I pulled out the mystery container that held the testicles.
I sent my girlfriend to the patio to entertain our other guests as I prepared the testicles. I peeled off the outer membrane that covers them, then sliced them as thin as I could.
I pulled out my deep fryer.
I made a batter of corn flour, wheat flour, a touch of corn meal and various spices. I added a touch of cayenne pepper to give them a little bite and I waited until the proper time to cook them.
The extra batter had egg and milk added for hushpuppies.
As the ribs cooked, we all had drinks. The other man, Phil, and I had beer. The women had wine. When the ribs were about a half hour from being done, I brought out my deep fryer to the patio.
I heated the oil.
No one knew what I had prepared. I deep fried the small pieces of meat. I cooked hushpuppies at the same time. As my delicacies emerged from the fryer, I encouraged everyone to try them.
They really are tasty.
I could barely keep up with their eating. As soon as I emptied another basket of food, people dove in as if they were starving.
I finally gave in to their pleas, telling them that I had prepared oysters. They didn't really want to know.
The other couple's woman, Barbara, said she had eaten oysters before and this food tasted nothing like any oyster she had eaten before.
I told her that they were "Apilachicola Oysters" from Florida.
I explained that the aforesaid oysters were in high demand back in Georgia because of the different texture and taste.
Having never been to Florida, all the guests accepted my explanation as if it were true.
I had made a horseradish sauce for my friends to dip their "oysters" in and, before the ribs were done, all the "oysters" were gone.
Afterwards, we had a great meal of barbequed ribs and fresh, home made salad.
As the evening wore on, I received more and more questions about how Apilachicola oysters could be obtained. I finally decided to tell them the truth.
I told how the "oysters" weren't oysters, at all. They were pig testicles.
Needless to say, they were all shocked that they had eaten pig testicles. The strange thing was, they couldn't believe they had never had them before because they were so good.
I had started a trend.
For several years, my friends would bring new friends to my house if they knew that I had pig testicles. As the new people tried my "oysters," my friends couldn't suppress their knowing smiles.
I had a hit on my hands.
Testicles weren't available year round because farmers rely on certain "signs" to castrate their pigs.
The season had to be right, certain birds had to have hatched and begun flying and other such signs had to be right.
Yet, everytime I was called by my farmer friend to announce the crop of pig testicles. I contacted my friends and they rounded up new people that had never had "oysters" the way I fixed them.
Only one person ever got sick.
That was my friends' thirteen year old son that thought eating the testicles of a pig might make him gay. Until he found out what they were, he devoured them like the pig they had come from.
After that, he never ate them again.
That was fine with everyone else.
It left more for them.