Balut Egg

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Martin Hash
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Balut Egg

Post by Martin Hash » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:08 pm

When I was a kid, I hated pumpkin pie & sweet potatoes, and mushy peas were a close second. My Old School parents used to use the refrain, “you have to eat everything on your plate before you can have anything more,” but that only meant there'd be a plate of peas in the refrigerator for a couple days before it disappeared. Never once that I can remember did that threat ever work on me, yet it remained part of the parenting strategy in my childhood house for years. My reticence was only partially because I was stubborn, but mostly it was because I would puke if I had to swallow creamed corn. That's another point that never got through to my parents until The Event...

We were at Grandma's house for Thanksgiving, and she had the big dining room table packed with food, and surrounded by visiting relatives. I ate most of what was served, and figured a couple extra helpings of cranberry sauce would cover for skipping the pumpkin pie, but no, my dad insisted I eat a piece. I whined, “pumpkin pie makes me throw up,” but my dad got madder and madder in front of all those people, and under such duress and with trepidation, I gagged down a bite. BARF, all over the table! Then my dad was really upset and made me stay in an empty room by myself for the rest of the visit. What I learned from that dramatic lesson was to never let anybody force me to eat anything again. (And my dad never made me eat pumpkin pie again.)

Fast forward decades and I eat almost anything but pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, mushy peas, and cream corn. Same for my grown kids; they pride themselves on eating grotesque foods, the grosser the better. In fact, for my son, Heath's, birthday, he wanted balut eggs, which means eggs that are fertilized, but what it really means is that there is an embryo in the shell, and it’s almost due to hatch. That's right up there in pumpkin pie territory in my book but I was game to at least give it a try.

My wife, Gwynne, had traveled all over town looking for someplace to buy balut eggs, and she got the preparation recipe off the Internet. “You’re supposed to open them from the bottom,” she instructed, as she handed a boiled fertilized duck egg to everyone at the table. My daughter's fiance, David, popped the top off his egg, pried out the little duckling embryo and popped it in his mouth. We all watched in horror and fascination as he merrily chewed that little baby up; we could hear the bones crunch. “Yum,” he announced, smiling.
David Eating Embryo.jpg
It was all I could do not to barf right then. Heath's wife, Jessica, ran into the other room. She came back wiping her eyes. “I’m crying,” she said. Heath was not dissuaded. He made sure his egg was ready and held it up for everyone to behold. “See if I can man up; see if my balls will finally drop,” he explained. Jessica was still heartbroken. “You can see the feathers and the little beak in there,” she said weepily. Heath looked closely at what he was going to eat then he took a big bite and started munching.

After just a bite or two, Heath's face twisted in disgust; it looked like he was going to throw up. “Give me that water,” he commanded. “Finish it! Finish it!” Everyone began chanting, and he did but I think it was a close call. Gwynne opted out. I ate mine, choking to prevent a pumpkin pie moment. No one had seconds. We capped off Heath's birthday party with homemade ice cream that Gwynne had prepared. It was Jessica’s first time eating that too, and she loved it; the two new tasting events canceled each other out and made the world balanced again.

Heath Gagging s.jpg
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