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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A nice touch for wild berry pies

Chrysodeixis sp., one of many little green caterpillars suitable for berry pies. 
Photo by Dave Rentz

As a postscript to the previous blackberry post, I should mention the little green caterpillar. 

"Be sure to find that little green caterpillar when you wash them", I reminded the redhead.

The pie was cooling the next day when I asked if she found it.

She hadn't, and she didn't bat an eye. 

Oh, my. . . we had shared the pie with guests on Sunday.

Her composure reminded me of my first crush, a willowy blond 15-year-old named Jonika.

She was the daughter of a writer, 15 going on 17.

I was the skinny kid next door, 14 going on 12.

I was also the oldest boy in the neighborhood. 

She used to invite me over and would play "Drink to me only with thine eyes" on the cello. 

I think you get the picture.

One afternoon she boldly quaffed the gnats floating in her lemonade and didn't bat an eye. 

"Hey! You just drank gnats . . . ha ha ha etc.", I carried on.

"So what?", and she took another sip looking at me the whole time. 

It was a dare. I started to feel a little uncomfortable. 

So, when it comes to berry pies, why not make the dining experience a little more interesting?

Add one smallish green caterpillar to the top of the berry filling. Then roll the crust over it. 

The caterpillar certifies that the contents are wild and organic, like the pink larva in tequila signifies it's the real thing.

When you dish up, just announce, "whoever gets the slice with the green caterpillar, gets a second serving".

Your guests won't know whether to believe you, but it won't stop them from eating the pie.

They'll just take a little more time.

If your pie is exceptional they may even argue about who ate the little green caterpillar. 


Mr. Smiley said...

The only thing worse is finding half of that little green caterpillar!

Mr Smiley

Bpaul said...

Every insect in North America is edible once cooked.

No harm no foul, I say.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Good advice. We used to get a late summer gift jar of wild fruit jam from a friend, and always found at least one large ant cooked into it. It got so that it would have been a disappointment NOT to find one.

Owlman said...

It's all good protein and very tasty I might add. Frankly I prefer the larvae of the large Prionus beetle with olive oil and garlic. MMMM good!

Jayla said...

But is it okay to eat something live ants walked over?

Bpaul said...

Owlman, I wish I had the stomach for that. So far, I've always wimped out.

Those look like BIG larvae.



Jace Stansbury said...


Tell the redhead I've got a recipe for starling pie if she's interested :-)


Bpaul said...

I'm interested :-)