It is my great and humble pleasure to host this August, 2010 edition of Circus of the Spineless! August is certainly a time when invertebrates, especially insects and arachnids, take center-stage. Largely undaunted by summertime heat, these numerous and variable species are out and about, in all of their spineless splendor. These creatures play a major role in the food chain for other animal species, so it should come as no surprise that summertime is a veritable smorgasbord for insectivores. Though we all love our spineless brethren (why else would we be here?), we usually don’t think of them as food for ourselves. At least I don’t. Eeewwww.
Ok, if you HAD to look at insects and their spineless ilk as food, what would your menu look like? Would it resemble the menus of birds, herps, mammals – even other insects?
While you ponder your own personal spineless “specials,” I’ll go ahead and play hostess to this playful presentation of this month’s contributions to Circus of the Spineless!
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ENTERTAINMENT & AMBIANCE
No meal is consumed in a vacuum, so it seems fitting to set the mood with a little entertainment. Today’s performers are brought to us by Mike Bok of Arthropoda. His jumping spiders will have you laughing and smiling – you simply must follow his link to the videos set to music.
- Fried Ants» Lightly seasoned with a blend of dried southwestern herbs, fried to perfection. Chef: Roberta Gibson of Wild About Ants. From Roberta’s personal recipe, “Do Ants Drink Water?“
- Roasted Dragonflies» Oven-roasted dragonflies served with honey-mustard dipping sauce. Chef: Joan Knapp of Anybody Seen My Focus?. Recipe from Joan’s life list, “Dragonfly: Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina).”
- Worm Soup» A light broth soup featuring delicate horsetail worms and diced hosts from which they emerged. Chef: Joy K of The Little House in the Not-So-Big-Woods. Recipe is Joy’s own creation, “Squirm.”
- Spineless Surprise» Bowl of mixed smoked arthropods including insects and arachnids. This Icelandic recipe, “Other Icelandic Animals,” is brought to you by Chef Matthew Wills of Backyard and Beyond.
- Hover-fly Hummus» Chick-pea hummus blended with these delightfully deceitful bee-mimics. Served with your choice of white or wheat pita bread, hot and fresh from our ovens. Chef : David Winter of The Atavism. Recipe, “Sunday Spineless – Love and deception in Vancouver.“
- Nematode Soup» Fresh from the Gulf Coast, steeped in natural petroleum crude. Served with a healthy side of social commentary. Chef: Dr. Holly Bik, from her visit to Deep Sea News. Recipe, “Invisible But Not Forgotten.”
- Honeybee Croquets» Baked mixture of whole honey bees, flower petals, sunflower seeds, honey, and pollen. Served with a wedge of dried honeycomb. Chef: Melliferax of Melliferax. Recipe, a Swedish favorite, “Honeybee Trivia: Queens.”
- Pasta & Click Beetles» Wheat pasta tossed with sauteed Click Beetles, blanketed in our white wine asiago cheese sauce. Garnished with a Really Pretty Click Beetle. Chef: Dragonflywoman of The Dragonfly Woman. Recipe, “Click! Click! Click!” from Arizona’s historical archives.
- Spider Spring Rolls» Small green spiders and roasted red bell peppers with sticky rice , rolled in Agapanthus leaves. Chef: David Winter of The Atavism. Recipe, “Sunday Spineless – A Missed Opportunity,” from his home town in New Zealand.
- Amphipod Jambalaya» Classic Cajun jambalaya featuring Amphipods, sometimes mistaken for shrimp, prawns, or other crustaceans. Stock is rich with media sensationalism. Chef: Zen Faulkes of NeuroDojo. Recipe, “Drugs in the water affecting crustaceans’ precious bodily fluids?“
- Ambush Bug and Butterfly Salad Sandwich» On toasted rye bread, served with a dill pickle. Another favorite receipe, “It’s a trap!“, from Chef Mike Bok, of Arthropoda.
- Boxelder Bug and Venus Flytrap Enchiladas» Venus Flytrap heads, complete with captured insects and attendant Boxelder Bugs. Mixed with rice and three cheeses, topped with tomatillo sauce. Chef: Mike Bezner of Slugyard. Recipe made with ingredients from his own backyard, “Venus Flytrap Helping a Boxelder Bug.”
- Bell Pepper stuffed with Aged Scarab Beetle» Yellow bell pepper, stuffed with aged Scarab Beetles and polenta. Chef: Susanah of Wanderin’ Weeta. Recipe, “Ancient Mystery Beetle,” from an antique cookbook.
- Cicada Shishkabobs» Annual and periodic cicadas skewered with cherry tomatoes, onion, and pineapple. Grilled over an open flame and served with a baked potato. Chef: Matthew Wills of Backyard and Beyond. Recipe, “Cicadas, Part I,” from his new cookbook, Grillin’ It, Cicada-style!
- Praying Mantis Quesadillas» Two home-made flour tortillas loaded with Praying Mantises, onion, and cheese. Pan-fried in olive oil until slightly crisp. Served with pico de gallo and guacamole. Another masterpiece by Chef Zen Faulkes of NeuroDojo. Recipe “Life and death and sex choices in mantids.“
- Glazed Dragonflies» Honey-glazed dragonflies dusted in our special blend of powdered sugar and local pollen. Chef: Jill Wussow of Count Your Chicken! We’re Taking Over! Her own secret recipe, “Early Morning Ode.”
- Fresh Honeycomb» Flown in direct from Berlin. This Beekeepers’ Special, “Hooked on Bees – 1,” is brought to you by Kerstin, a filmmaker at More than Honey.
For those of you who have something a little racy in mind, Chef Hectocotyli of hectocotyli has something for you. Must be 18 or older to imbibe!
- Take a Shot» “A deep sea squid’s parting money shot to the world“
I hope you have enjoyed browsing the menu!
Next month’s Circus of the Spineless will be hosted by Hectocotyli, so be sure to get your submissions to him by the end of August!