battle 29–radishes

In the spirit of trying new things, I ate an eyeball.

A few weeks ago Tom was so keen to avoid being my date to the Inman Park Festival that he bought many, many pounds of live crawfish and went through the hours-long, arduous process of preparing them for a low country boil…just to get out of walking around outside on a pretty day getting drunk on overpriced beer with me.  I hate you, Tom. Instead, my new BFF Marc met me there and we not only stumbled along lovely tree-lined streets with our high gravity beers, we spent the afternoon talking about shoes. I heart you, Marc. And we still made it to Tom’s in time for the crawfish boil and the only effort we had to expend was covering our ears so we didn’t hear the tiny screams when that jerk Tom scorched the poor baby crawfishes.

Some minutes later, when we had recovered from the trauma of watching live things die, we all sat around the table and taught me how to eat crawfish. Tom, a guy from Santa Claus, Indiana, taught me, a girl from too far South not to know how to eat crawfish, how to eat crawfish. After a few minutes of desperately trying not to get my hands dirty and spitting bits of silt and dirt out of my mouth, I finally gave up and went for it. While I was digging the incredibly paltry bits of meat out with my hands and discovering with each new crawfish parts I hadn’t seen in the previous one, Marc was commenting on the grossness of the little crustacean’s poop cord that ran the length of the part we eat and the weirdness of its eyeballs, which were thankfully attached to a part we don’t.  As soon as he brought the poop cord to my attention I felt my stomach lurch; I dropped the half-eaten crawfish in my hand, let what was in my mouth fall gingerly to the ground and moved on to my poop-less potatoes. Marc kept at it. Crawfish after crawfish he would pull the stringy poop bit off the little guy and say, huh, this one was full when he was caught, or gee, looks like this guy wasn’t getting much to eat. My head was spinning. He knew it. He delighted in it. So he kept going. No really, look! he would say. No really, I’m going to poop string my guts up on your face, I would say. Then he abandoned the poop and moved on to the eyeballs and my stomach settled down slightly. Poke, poke, poke. Wow, those are really in there good, he said. And then I got an idea. A fantastically terrible idea, but I was a little delirious from the mass murder and then having to save myself from potentially contracting a crawfish-borne diarrheal disease, so I wasn’t in my right mind.

“I’ll eat an eyeball if you will.”

That cut our conversation short, which was absolutely my intention, but I was not at all prepared for the follow-through. Marc agreed, probably because he knew I was for sure going to eat an eyeball whether he did or not, so obviously he let that happen. As soon as he tried to remove an eye from the crawfish on his plate, it popped and squirted poor baby crawfish blood on him and he said, nope, I’m out. But not me, no, I can’t just be like, oh no? OK, well we’re done with that nutball activity then. Noooo. I have to eat an eyeball.

And that’s how I came to eat an eyeball.

While I was in Los Angeles last week I introduced my colleagues there to the project and got them up to speed on the no-onion rule and what vegetables we’re on this week: radishes. Thursday night dinner was my choice so we went to a fancy pants little sushi joint in Venice. When the roll I picked came out, it was displayed all pretty in the shape of a fish and its eyes were made of radishes. I popped those suckers in my mouth without a thought and my colleague David said, ew, you ate the eyes!

And that’s how I came to beat radishes.

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9 thoughts on “battle 29–radishes

  1. Poop cord.. damn you I used to like crawdads.. now not sure I’ll ever eat one again. Poop cord.. solid.

    BTW radishes.. serve them in bars in Germany to eat while your drinking beer. Must be left over from after the war the country was out of EVERYTHING ELSE TO EAT.

  2. You are a braver woman than I am….and I’ll eat pretty much any vegetable out there. Something about the fact I had to dissect such creatures in college zoology classes and the dang “poop cord” – very vivid description. I can’t eat them! You get LOTS of points!

  3. If the crawfish are purged right first, most of the gross stuff comes out and the “vein” is fairly clean. The faces bother me more! I’ve learned to eat crawfish thanks to my cajun husband, but the first time he took me to a boil I couldn’t stand to see the faces.

  4. Radishes are pointless little vegetables, but congrats on beating them. I learned how to boil crawfish last weekend as the thing I’ve never done before. I’m so behind, it’ll probably be September before I write about it, but boiling crawfish is pretty easy, just throw them in boiling water. Done.

  5. BP and our oil addiction have made sure that millions of crawfish won’t have to suffer being boiled alive, they can just get smothered in bed. Okay, not in the jaunty spirit of JVV, but Julie is a risk-taking crusader.

  6. You used to eat crawfish tails at Highland Pub, but they were like ONLY the tails and didn’t have eyes…and they were fried. This story also reminds me of when were were at the funeral after party (yeah, Zoolander, I said it), and my sister, after we all consumed copious amounts of beer, was telling us about the EYYYYYYYYEBAWL some kid brought to school because his family lived in a house that was also a funeral parlor…like My Girl. Sorry. Carry on…

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