Remember the farm couple who gave me the massive hunk of pork liver the other day? Yesterday I pulled in to their farmyard, as I do every day. The night before I had washed out the bloody Ziploc bags which had contained the liver and bound them into a bundle with a rubber band.
The shamelessly racist farmer was nowhere to be seen, but his wife came out to get her paper. I suspect she was waiting for me to arrive, perhaps a welcome break for her in a long autumn afternoon.
I told her about my experiences with the hog liver and she was impressed that I had actually bagged and frozen what I hadn’t consumed. I tend to get along well with elderly farm wives. Often they are the gardener and cook of the family or couple, two of my interests, so there is common ground to cultivate.
We talked of the gardening year, the difficulties involved in raising a crippled fawn to adulthood, the pickiness many people have concerning okra and liver, cooking and preserving techniques — what’s that phrase from Lewis Carroll’s epic poem The Hunting of the Snark?
Of ships and shoes and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings…
She said, “Do you want some squash? We have a big pile of them over there by the pump!”
“What kind are they?”
“We call ’em cushaws. Come over here and take a look!”
I got out of the car and we walked over to the squash array. I ended up taking home a twenty-pound cushaw and a small nameless orange squash. A photo of the harvest:
Such a scene! I was particularly intrigued by the set of iron wheels on a post, right next to the green pump. I’ll have to ask about that on a future visit. Notice the leaning martin house in the background.
I’ll conclude this illustrated screed with the enigmatic last line of The Hunting of the Snark:
“For the Snark was a Boojum, you see!”