Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The other day, my younger son was shoulder surfing while I was scrolling through feeds of food blogs.  One picture of an hotel pan filled with cow eyeballs being prepared for an extreme eating competition caught his attention.  He asked enthusiastically about them.  I thought, "Here we go again".

One of the rules of food in our house is that one bite of something has to be tried before stating that you don't like it.  An extended corollary appears to be to try something that will gross out mommy because that means she will have to eat it too. This rule boils down to "Don't laugh at someone else's lunch".  A friend of mine who toured with a band had that as one of the van rules.  It is a good rule to have in life.

The idea of the eyeball eating isn't so terrible when you think about headcheese, blood sausage, cheeks and belly.  My issue is that I would be afraid to cook it.  How do you know when it is done?  It isn't exactly a straightforward meat like heart.  So, I mentioned it to one of my meat purveyors - Mary at Close to the Bone and she had a brilliant suggestion.  If my youngest persists, (he hasn't mentioned it again), then why not try a sheep's head.  You can boil it and their are recipes available.

We discussed the pig's head as an option but had to dismiss it as a pig's head has too much gelatin.   I still remember the pig's head on the cover of the edition of the Lord of the Flies that we read in high school.  I also remember the smell of cooking pig's head, as my aunt boiled it for head cheese.

After discussing and dismissing pig's head, we discussed the many practical reasons for choosing sheep over cow.  The size of the eye is smaller, the amount of meat is less and you can dispose of the carcass in a small bag for the compost bin without attracting undue neighbourhood attention.  A cow's head is a little more of a disposal chore if your bairns suggest after seeing the head in a serving bowl that they will not eat it. Neigh, they cannot eat it.  I am not sure that I could enforce the try it rule for the eyeball but I couldn't through the whole thing out.  I don't care for sheep or lamb but I would probably be left with it on my plate.

But what to do about the leftover bones.  I could fantasize about putting a cooked head into some arch rival's bed.  It would serve as a warning.  A warning to not let your children view extreme food blogs.

I am thinking that my kid will have forgotten it and I will not have to live up to my fear of not being able to cook an eye properly...and having to eat leftover sheep for a week.

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