I guess to some folks we might have ate some strange things when we were growing up but they were just everyday food to us. Never seemed to hurt us in anyway and besides, most of the time we thought we were pretty special cause we didn't have to just eat the same thing as all the other kids. Most of the non store-bought stuff came to the house for two simple reasons,
The number one thing (at least to me) was squirrel. I don't remember having it fixed it a lot of different ways and I'm sure the "Foodies" of today would turn their noses up at it but if you've never tried it, don't knock it. I turn my nose up when it comes to oysters, but I know a lot of folk like them slimy things and I figure, more power to them! Anyhow, the way I liked squirrel the best was to dredge it in seasoned flour and fry it. Dorris (my wife) had never even thought of eating a squirrel before we got married but it was a great surprise to me to find out that not only was she willing to go squirrel hunting with me and help me clean all of them, she was a natural cook when it came to frying them. From the first pan full she was always able to get them crispy golden brown on the outside and nice and moist on the inside! I've seen a hell of a lot of southern girls that had trouble cooking a good squirrel so imagine my surprise when I got this little ole Yankee girl that could do it so well! Course that wasn't the only thing that she took to like peas and carrots when it came to cooking, more later.
Of course we ate a lot of fish. The eating was good but the catching was a whole lot better! We did have a definite hierarchy in the kind of fish. Number one was catfish and at the top of that list was flatheads followed by blue cats and last but not least, channel cats. I know that's not the same order for everyone but it was for us. We also liked bass and number one of that group was white bass, better known to us as sand bass. Truthfully the main reason they were number one was because we could catch so many of them when they made their annual run up the river and creeks down home. Large and small mouth bass were really good but they were a lot harder to catch. Some of the best eating we had was from perch and the reason they were so god was because we cooked and ate more of them in the woods than any other fish. They were so easy to just scale and roast over a campfire and a couple of Bluegills about the size or your hand made a good meal for the two of us.
We ate a lot of ducks, doves and quail but not to many geese. There was really only two spots to find geese and they both involved in wading through real swampy areas to get to the decent hunting areas. Since duck and goose hunting was the last of November and the first of December and we never owned a pair of waders, we weren't to excited about the idea of wading through knee deep water, breaking the ice as we went. We also like little pigeons. Get them right when they were ready to leave the nest and you gots a bird that's as big as a quail and a lot easier to catch. We thought, at the time, that we had found something new, it was till years later that We found out what Squab really was and then couldn't believe how much some places charged for feeding people baby pigeons!
So far most of this stuff hasn't been anything special and I'm sure they're are thousands of people who have grown up eating the same things. Most of the nuts and berries that grew around home are also common place and even a lot of the wild greens can be found in any local grocery store. However, there are a few things that we ate, some of which we liked a lot and some of which we didn't like quite so much, that you won't find in many, if any, grocery stores.