I had a fun evening the other night! It was a good ending to a not so great day. The place where Dallas was drilling. The guy that Dallas was drilling for had a pig that was dying. He was more than happy to sell it to Dallas for a good price. After work, Dallas and Dad butchered it and put it in the freezer. It ended up being a lot cheaper than buying it at the market. So it was a bargain on both sides.
Then I went with Dallas and took the innards and Hocks over to Sen’s to give them. In Khmer culture, if someone helps kill or butcher it, you cook up the innards, skin etc, and get together to eat it. So after they were finished butchering it, I went over to Sen’s with Dallas to give it to them to cook. When we got there, it looked like they were already preparing a feast!
The night before, a deer had gotten trapped in Davie’s Dads’trap. It’s a rare occurrence that they ever catch a deer, so Chhum’s family went out to Davie’s homeland late in the evening. And were helping them butcher and eat it into the early morning hours. They barely got any sleep that night, but they did get a small cut of the meat to bring home and let the others taste. The majority of the Khmer people hadn’t had it before.
The ladies were sitting on the tables, busy with preparation. We chatted for a bit, then they set us to work cleaning the intestines for them.
While I picked and cut herbs and vegetables for her, Pan sliced the deer meat super thin. She then squeezed lime juice all over the meat and thoroughly coated the meat with it. Then she added chilies, lemongrass, basil, and a couple other ingredients, gave it a good toss and seasoned it with salt. The result was an AMAZING “Ceviche” of sorts. The sourness of the lime balanced on the spicy chili perfectly. Don’t worry, the lime cured the meat. It still looked raw, but it was Oh SO tender! The dish is definitely something you have to get used to. But it has become one of my favorites!
For the pork, we parboiled it. Then slathered it with a mixture of chili salt and oyster sauce. And finished it off on the grill. It was delicious! It had a hint of sweetness that balanced out the chili and salt. Honestly I think it’s a shame that most Americans are grossed out at the thought of eating the majority of animals’ internal organs! If you know how to prepare them, they are so good! And it cuts down on a lot of waste!
After we were finished eating, We sat around and laughed and talked until the children started complaining of being sleepy. Then we all went back to our homes and slept till the break of dawn.
So that was our fun evening of the week.
( On a side note… If anyone would like to see easy Khmer recipes let me know. I’ve thought about sharing some before, but didn’t know if anyone would want them!)
Heather for the Helmuths