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.