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Bullfrog-Whacking and Lip Smacking Good?

Updated on August 29, 2009

Now for all of you that have never ate frog-legs, Oh! how you have missed a real treat.  When I first open a menu in a cafe or restaurant and there are frog-legs listed they just seem to jump  right out at me.

There are some that would immediately say, "Oh I would never eat a frog."  I am here to tell you, that person has never been with out food.  In America today with all the bad economy and yes this depression that we are in, a person has places that he or she can go and yes they will fed you.  That was not available in the Great Depression.  If you didn't have it, then you just simply did without.  Yet, in many ways that built a generation of proud and strong individuals that are now our parents and grandparents.

My early childhood was growing up in Arizona and we lived at times in a tent along a canal or ditch bank.  I did not know that we were poor and as they say, (down and out)  At that time they irrigated their fields.  Along those banks in the wet mud, tall grass was abundant.  In the dark arid night with the stars shining bright above, you could hear the big bullfrogs calling out to attract some female that was hiding near by.

 

Our southern states are abundant with this source of food. Keep in mind different terrain types require different methods and gear. In areas where there are water snakes and such, most hunters will us a gig. This is a four-tine spear and preferred for they are normally wider giving the frog hunter less room for error. The meat that resides in their hind legs contain as much meat as the legs of a medium-sized chicken. Traditionally they are breaded with a mixture of egg and bread or cracker crumbs and deep fired.

My Cajun father who had learned the art of bullfrog whacking in Louisiana as just a daily necessity and to others it was a sport. I being his only child he let me join in and learn this way of survival.

The method he used was---he would slip down into the canal as quietly as possible and I would shine a light slowly along the bank until we spotted one. The trick is not to let the frog turn and go back into the water and disappear. The bullfrog is like a lot of other animals. At night if a light is aimed straight at them they are blinded and will stay still. I also carried a burlap sack. My father would grab them and whack it in the head and if it doesn't kill them; it just knocks them out for a minute or two and a few a little longer, God rest their souls. If one would jump up on the bank my sack would quickly drop over it and then it would be placed into the sack when I got a firm grip on it.

We also only took the amount that we could eat or share with other like our selves. The luxury of a ice box or a refrigerator was only for the wealthy. Our tent house only had a bed and a kerosene two burner stove and then most of the time their was no money for kerosene so the frog-legs were prepared outside on an open fire in a big iron skillet.

There are many food sources around all of us. Yet I hear people swear that they would "Never eat That." I say again NEVER SAY NEVER

Dove:

American Mourning Dove
American Mourning Dove

Another food source that got us through hard times was the American Mourning Dove.  It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds.  It is also the leading game bird, with up to 70 million birds shot annually in the U.S. both for sport and for meat.

I was given a BB-gun at an early age for the sole purpose of contributing to the dinner table.  Although there is very little meat on them.  A small amount on the breast about the size of a half-dollar. 

Jack-rabbit

 

Black-tailed jackrabbit
Black-tailed jackrabbit

When my father was lucky enough to shoot a Jackrabbit we had a great feast. There are five species of jackrabbits, all found in central western North America. They are very fast and capable of reaching 40 miles hr and their powerful hind legs can propel them on leaps of more than ten feet. They use these leaps and zigzags to evade their enemies.

Rabbit stew was also cooked out on an open fire and my mother made flour tortillas to accompany this treat. Yes, this was indeed a special treat in hard times.

Folks maybe it is time to stop and look back at where we came from to guide us through these rough times. There are many ways to better provide for yourself and family.

If you have a yard---Plant A Garden:

What should you grow? Start with what you love to eat. A Few packets of seed will be much cheaper than the price of the chemically based vegetables that you will get from the store and you will still have seed left over for next year. Most seeds are good for three years if carefully stored.

Start seeds in doors in the spring and move them into the garden when they are large enough to handle.

Yes folks, don't wait for the economy or the government to fix all these problems soon, because if you do you too will be WACKING BULLFROGS AND EATING JACKRABBIT STEW.

"Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man's starving"---O. Henry

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    • Ginn Navarre profile image
      Author

      Ginn Navarre 9 years ago

      Thanks G-Ma, it was a time when we didn't have anything to eat and maybe that made it taste much better.

      Proud MOM, thanks and I will write more on these two era's for they were totally different for the average family. Now they call it progress????

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 9 years ago from USA

      Alligator is as "exotic" as I've ever gotten.

      You've written a great hub. I'd love to hear more stories about life during the depression!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Never had dove..but snake and rabbit and frog legs...my my what a meal...the snake we bbq'd and when we took the top off it was in a "strike position" wish I could find the photo to show you...The frogs I gigged myself but was hard to eat actually, though the way my friend fixed them they were good...and rabbit...well I just couldn't bring myself to eat it, I tasted it, just to say I did...Nice story my dear Thanks...G-Ma :O) hugs & Peace

    • Ginn Navarre profile image
      Author

      Ginn Navarre 9 years ago

      Cris, it was a time when there was no other food. Now I feed the doves and watch the rabbits hop along and wonder where the frogs are.

      goldentoad, yes I too have had snake but didn't put into the hub and agree it was all yummy especially when you have no other food. Thanks

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 9 years ago from Free and running....

      I've had dove, rabbit, snake, and frog, its all yummy. But I've never been the one to kill it and cook it.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I have never eaten a dove, a frog and a rabbit ever but they do sound rather "exotic" - at least from my cultural perspective. Thanks for sharing :D

    • Ginn Navarre profile image
      Author

      Ginn Navarre 9 years ago

      Jer, same here now I fed them and love the sounds they give with my morning cup of coffee.

      Thanks Christa, watch for them on a menu if you dine out. They taste a lot like chicken--um um!

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Love the article! I have always wanted to try frog legs, but have never lived in an area where bullfrogs lived.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 9 years ago from United States

      Another great hub! Well, between the frogs, rabbits, and doves we wouldn't starve here in Florida as they are everyday lawn ornaments. I'm not sure I could kill the doves, they mourn for their mates.

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