Mystery Bug Berry Sludge Pie

IMG_0320I’m worried.  I know there are plenty of reasons to worry.  (1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”)  But IF I was going to worry, I think I would worry about my eldest granddaughter.  IF I was going to worry, I would worry that she inherited the “crazy gene” from her mom and my sweet wife, bless her heart.  (Hint: you can get away with saying lots of things if you add “sweet” and “bless her heart.”)

Back to my granddaughter…  many of us are finding the need to phone those we love.  So during the phone chat, I told my granddaughter, Pipes,  This is the granddaughter who helped me serve bugs to the  The Gateway Bug screening at ACFF (w/ special tasting) in 2017 at Shepherd University (Click here if you want to read more about that.)  One of Pipes’ aspirations was to become a baker.  So I thought I would share my newest baking adventure.

  • I began with the directions, “Start with a jar of mystery berry sludge…”  Now at this point normal people are supposed to exclaim something like, “That’s gross!”  But Pipes interrupted me with, “Wait a minute.  I need to write this down.”  So I continued with directions as follows:
  • (I am NOT a baker, so I pulled a double pie crust dough out of the freezer.)
  • Preheat the the oven to 425 F.
  • Bring 2 1/2 C. of the mystery berry sludge to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.  (I really don’t know what it was.  It looked like blackberry, but it had no seeds.  I probably ran berries through a Squeezo.  But they were more tart than I would expect of blackberries.)
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar.  (I found out it needs more sweetener.  You can add a dollop of ice cream when it is served.)
  • Make a thick paste with 2 Tbs. of corn starch.  Add that to boiling sludge.  (I REALLY think I need another term if this is to be socially acceptable, but synonyms don’t sound any better: muck, mire, ooze, silt, alluvium, slime, viscous mixture.)
  • Add 2 C. dried apples from an unknown archaeological era.
  • Add a couple pinches of salt.
  • I smear Crisco on a 9 ” pie pan.
  • Melt 2 Tbs. of butter.  Coat the top of the bottom pie crust (to prevent the sludge from soaking into the crust.)
  • Pour the mystery berry sludge and the dried apples into the pie crust.
  • Add another 2 Tbs. of butter.
  • Add the top crust.
  • Brush on an additional 2 Tbs. of butter and sprinkle sugar on top.
  • Bake at 425 F for 15 min.  Reduce the heat the 350 F and bake for an additional 30 min.

Finally!  I know this is what you were waiting for.  (This is a bug blog after all.)  Sprinkle your favorite bug garnish on top for a nice nutty kick. The photo shows Entomo Farms dried crickets and Livin Farms mealworms.  My web host migrated my website, and now my bug page is (temporarily?) unavailable.  Here is a site that listsento-companies.

As a bonus, I added photos of Terry Lynn’s muffin with bug toppings.

So, in conclusion, I will admit I am not really worried about Pipes or any of the other crazy ladies in my life.  They are indeed crazy, but I love them just the way they are.

Stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance– and try not to worry.  Bug appetit!

Steve

 

 

 

La Cucaracha Puff Pastry

IMG_0225I toyed with the idea of calling this ento treat Blattodea Puff Pastry, using the scientific name for the main ingredient, cockroaches. Then Terry Lynn suggested the Spanish name. I liked it.

A former student and his wife, Erik and Noel invited me to a party.  Then somebody asked if I was bringing bugs.  That’s almost a challenge, and Erik indicated it was OK for me to bring my ento treats.  His cute young daughter was not at all turned off by the Hotlix lollipop I gave her.  Hotlix is a lot like Tootsie Roll Pops, in that they have a surprise inside.  But their surprise is a mealworm, a cricket, or a scorpion.

Erik and Noel had a nice selection of beer, wine and spirits. Erik introduced me to a really nice sour PA beer- Victory’s Sour Monkey.  I have long noticed that people are much more open to enjoying ento treats after they have enjoyed some beer, wine and spirits.

So here is a recipe and description of the ento treat I took to Erik’s party. It was a really fun crowd which makes sharing bug teats much easier.

Thanks to Aaron Pauling, the Texas cockroach farmer, who provided the cockroach nymphs.

The puff pastries are a derivation of the theme of baklava (bugluvAH).

Ingredients include:

6 Pepperidge Farm puff pastries. (I meant to pull fillo [φύλλο]  dough out of the the freezer the night before, then the next morning I realized you defrosted 6 puff pastries.)IMG_0217

1 cup frozen cockroach nymphs

½ cup pecans

2 Tablespoons orange zest. I had some orange peels in the freezer. It was super easy to shave the orange zest, the dark outside, with a carrot peeler.

2 Tablespoons honey  (Hampshire County has some great local apiaries)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 squares Dove dark chocolate

Preparation:

Bake the puff pastries as per directions. (400 degrees F in an ungreased pan)

Puree in blender 1 cup frozen cockroaches.

Fry the frozen cockroaches for 2 minutes. No oil necessary.IMG_0224

Puree ½ cup pecans with 2 Tablespoons orange zest. IMG_0223

Mix cockroaches, pecans with honey and cinnamon. I didn’t measure the orange zest, honey or cinnamon so don’t trust the measurements above.

Melt and drizzle dark chocolate on top.IMG_0226

Bug Appetit!

Tenebrio Molitor Falafel

Elisabeth Herndler came to Capon Bridge Middle School in 2002 to share her Austrian homeland at our International Festival.  ‘2002MultCultFestHendler

She recently made this post:

A slightly different falafel’ Project (or ‘Testing my friends’ tolerance’ Project – it’s all in the worm)

Main ingredients for the falafel…1ingredients

The special ingredient – mealworms…2mealworms

Half of the worms ground into flour…3MealormsGround

Tahini should not be missing in a good falafel4Tahini

Mix in some parsley and shallots, some spices, too…

The other half of the worms are added whole – so we can actually see what we are eating…8mealwormGarnish
into the frying pan they go until golden brown..9FalafelFry
and last but not least – it is all about the presentation!10FalafelWithSauce
(Steve takes over here.)
Dankeschön, Elisabeth.  I’m anxious to try this.
If anybody else wants to make this falafel dish, there are many sources for mealworms.  Rainbow Mealworm is one of the listed producers I list on my bug page.
Maybe you see the health benefits, and the benefits for our planet of using insects as food… but you just don’t want to SEE them.  You will find products like cricket powder.  You can mix the cricket powder with whatever flour you normally use.  NextMilleniumFarms (EntomoFarms) and  Aspire Food Group (Exo Protein bars) sell cricket powder.
If you want a substitute for butter, check out how Belgian Researchers Are Using Insect Fat in Baked Goods
If you’d like to try some other insect protein packed foods, everybody is welcome to join us Thurs. May 14, 2020, 4:30-7 pm, International Fiesta, Hope Christian Church Augusta, WV.  The emphasis is world cultures, not bugs.  But they let me bring my insect-as-food treats, savory and sweet.  Visit & experience cultures from all over the world– right here in Hampshire County. Open to anyone who would like to present a country. Stephanie Pryor started this great event many years ago.  If you would consider participating,  please contact the Hampshire County Public Library [302-822-3185], or Nancy Meade at the Capon Bridge Public Library (304 856 3777). Let them know if you need a table. Ethnic cuisine is welcome. Share a favorite piece of the world or just come.  This is a cooperative effort of Romney and Capon Bridge Libraries.
I hope to see you at the International Fiesta.
Until then, I wish you many wonderful taste experiences in the expanding world of Entomophagy.
2019May9IntlCultureFiestaFromCBLibBugSign

 

You Win Some…

DSC_0009
Bug LaVA (baklava) in preparation. (It really looked much better when it was finished.

Last week Terry Lynn and I attended a National Park Service C&O Canal Volunteer Appreciation event at Glen Echo.  (I am a volunteer with the Canal Classroom Corps.)  We enjoyed the delicious catered dinner.  Attendees were encouraged to bring a dessert.  Attendees could then vote for their favorite dinner.  Terry Lynn and I made desserts with insect ingredients.  More about that later.

Around 1956 my family went to Glen Echo.  It was the King’ Dominion or Six Flags of it’s Day.  I was terrified/traumatized by  the roller coaster, and don’t like them to this day.  I loved the bumper cars.  (I think that prepared me for riding with my sweet wife.)  Sadly, little is left of the amusement park.  The carousel is still there and many of the buildings.  It is now an artsy community.  The Park Service has a nice visitor center with stories and photos from the glory days.  You can see more photos of Glen Echo here.

I was surprised to read Glen Echo was the site of an early race riot– 1966.  The amusement park usually didn’t allow Blacks.  On the day it was open to Blacks, the rides “suspiciously” were not working, and a riot broke out.

Back to the desserts– Terry Lynn made brownies with EntomoFarms cricket flour.  I made Bug La VA (as in baklava, but with my own “farm raised” mealworms, originally from Rainbow Mealworm.)  Sadly, neither dessert won the contest, but I did hear positive reviews from folks who tried it.  And I got to tell some folks where they could purchase insect protein ingredients.  (Here’s a list.)

Some folks might recognize the health benefits and the benefits for our environment by moving toward insect protein.  But they just can’t yet “stomach” eating bugs.  Fear not!  Their are R&D folks pioneering in marketing black soldier fly larva, and feeding those larva to fish, chickens and pigs.  Here is a videoEnterra is a hatchery in Vancouver.  They posted this video.  Beef can produce less than 200 lbs. of protein on an acre. The larvae can produce 1 or 2 million lbs. Innovafeed claims 1 insect protein factory could keep 25,000 lbs of CO2 out of the atmosphere– that’s like taking 14,000 cars off the highway.  Read more here.  Be sure to check out the info graphic. 

DSC_0024
National Park Service C&O Canal Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
DSC_0011
Steve reliving his youth (60 years past). The bumper cars at Glen Echo were a favorite.
DSC_0010
Terry Lynn joined me for this trip down memory lane,

Chapulines South of the Border (or Leesburg)

 

2019July17CocinaOnMkt4I took Terry Lynn out to lunch at Cocina on Market (facebook) in Leesburg, VA.  We were greeted by Trevor Gregory Morgen-Westrick, the general manager.  I had emailed Rebecca Dudley, the proprietor, before our visit. They had me when I opened the menu and saw a quote from my hero, Shawnee chief Tecumseh.  “Give thanks for the food and the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks the fault lies in yourself.”

 

I think the restaurant is only two years old.  We really enjoyed the chapulines, grasshopper tacos.  Terry Lynn and I felt we were back in Samoa receiving an alofa gift.  In Samoa we were surprised to receive the “love” gift AFTER purchasing something.  We paid for our dinner and prepared to leave, but Trevor told us he had a couple fresh chirros.  Terry Lynn is not yet as excited about eating insects, but I knew she was very appreciative of the chirros drizzled with dark chocolate.2019July17CocinaOnMkt8

It was too early in the day for me, but I need to go back for another reason.  Trevor is apparently a tequila/mezcal guru.

Hope you can visit Cocina on Market.  Buen provecho!

I’m pretty sure Trevor became a fan of big ass ants in Oxaca.  Kent Moreno took this photo when he was back in Colombia.  Kent wrote: “This guy wanted 2000 pesos for me to take this picture.”BigAssAntsFromKent

James Rolin, of Cowboy Cricket Farms,   posted a new video, How to Farm Crickets Q & A #4.  He has quite a large selection of informative videos here.

Robert Roy Britt wrote a interesting article on, “The Benefits of Eating Bugs.”

If you are in Portland, OR, Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is serving scorpions, mealworms, and crickets on their famous ice cream sundae.  You can read more here.

National Public Radio, Fresh Air is interviewing an entomologist, Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson. She points our that insects were the 1st and only fliers for 140 million years. I will be buying her book.  You can read more about the interview here.
Yahoo Business posted, “Pet owners urged to put their cats and dogs on ‘healthier’ insect-based diet.”  We hope you are not keeping all the insect goodness just for yourself.
Apropos of nothing,  did you know “La Cucaracha” means the cockroach.  You can read more here. And you can get your cockroaches here: AaronPauling.com

Bugs for Dinner Around the World

 

I really want to praise our two public libraries.  Hampshire County Public Library in Romney and the Capon Bridge Public Library collaborated to host an International Culture Fiesta.  It was a huge success.  It was held May 9, 2019, 5 – 7:30 PM at the Hope Christian Church in , Augusta, WV.  It was great to see these two great libraries from the east and west ends of the county working together to bring such a great event to our area.  (Quite a few folks came from outside the county.)
Stephanie Prior, the Romney librarian and Nancy Meade and Emily Brill were hosts.  There were lots of volunteers to help with the set up and clean up afterward.

Here were some of the presentations:

Italia- Rita Landtrachtinger-Hott & the Italian Exchange Club from the Hampshire High School. The Italian Students will actually be here, too. We are excited about this..
Peru- Milda Mullins Scout troop/pack
Spain- Josh and Kerri Haza and family
Czech Republic- Kelli Smith Allen an family
Ireland & Mexico- Kent Wagoner Awana & Scout Pack/troop
Morocco- Ethan Ferris
Burkina Faso- Amanda Elliott
Steve Bailes – Bugs around the world
Terry Bailes- fa’a Samoa
a Micronesian country- Keller Family
Paul and Sandy Binotto- Kenya
Henry Lorrie Krautwurst- of the the Wardensville Lions Club, West Virginia- foreign exchange program info.

There was so much good food.  Kelli Smith Allen wrote: “… the Czech Republic table will have samples of Chicken and Pork Schnitzel, Kolac, and Cherry tea. There will also be Czech eggs that have been hand decorated.”

OK, I do have one complaint.  The library displayed related books by each kiosk.  One of the books supposedly related to my topic (world entomophagy) was, Disgusting Foods.  The Italians helped to kick off the bug dining.  Students and a teacher from Genova, Italy who are being hosted by families in Hampshire County sought me out to try the bug dishes.  I had prepared a sushi-ish roll made with Bug Eater Foods brown cricket rice and meal worms from Rainbow Mealworm.  I also prepared “una dolce”– a sweet treat made with Bug Eater Foods black cricket rice.  The sweet balls also contained peanut butter, oats, finely chopped raisins and confectioners sugar.  Most people thought they were tasting chocolate, but there was none.  I gave away HOTLIX Candy Store lollipops with crickets and meal worms.  The Exo Protein bars were a h it, as were the Chirps chips.  For hard core bug snacking we had siracha roasted crickets from NextMilleniumFarms.  We dispensed pet treats from Jiminys and Chloe’s Treats.  Thank to the generous pioneer producers of these insect based foods.

If you would like to order your own bug teats you might check out this list of producers: http://stevebailes.org/blogs/entotreats/ .  You might coordinate with someone to purchase smaller amounts at large order prices here: at the Bug Co-op.

There were songs from Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and others.  The Capon Bridge library wrote: “…the Italian Exchange students were there with their host families. They [beautifully] sang Italian songs and ended the night by singing the “Star Spangled Banner”. Very touching. Looking forward to next year!”

Here are some links with photos from others.

www.facebook.com/nancy.meade.10/posts/2454359144796946  

www.facebook.com/CaponBridgePublicLibrary/posts/10156870019426210

www.facebook.com/CaponBridgePublicLibrary/posts/10156869061106210

www.facebook.com/nancy.meade.10/posts/2454370134795847

 

4-H Bugs and Autour du Monde

In February 2019, my daughter, Stephanie, invited  Terry Lynn and I to bring the Bug Show to W. M. Irvin Elementary in Concord, NC. 

On April 10, 2019, the Soaring Arrows 4-H club of Round Hill invited me to share my passion for eating insects.  The 4-H motto lists head, heart, hands, and health.  I do sincerely believe insects in our diet would lead to better health. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that Eating Bugs Could Combat Obesity.  You can check out the related Entonation podcast.

Check out the cool bug apparel.  Exo Protein bars, Chirps, Merci Mercado, Entomo Farms, Jiminys.  If you’d like a bug T-shirt or baseball cap, you can click their link and order your own.

Many companies donated their products generously to help present these and other educational programs. Exo Protein bars, Chirps, Merci Mercado, Entomo Farms, Jiminys, AaronPauling.com, Bug Eater Foods, Chloe’s Treats, Cricket Flours, Entomarket, HOTLIX Candy Store, Jurassic Snacks Inc. , Rainbow Mealworm.  If you want to order your own insect based foods, you can click the link, or check this page.  Or if you would like to try take advantage of cheaper prices and shipping you might join the Bug Co-op. 

Kim or Ethan Ferris provided the photos.

On Thursday May 9, 5 – 7:30 pm, The Hampshire County Public Library in Romney and the Capon Bridge Public Library will host International Culture Fiesta  at the Hope Christian Church15338 NORTHWESTERN Pike , Augusta WV 26704. Here is the Facebook event page).  The emphasis of this yearly event is to present cultures from around the world.  I will be presenting the roll insects play in many cultures around the world.  And I will have samples of insect products and insect based dishes.  I hope you will join us– and invite others,

Here are photos from the 2017 event and photos from the 2016 event.

(Bug) Farms for Orphans, Podcasts and Losers.

Bug Banquet to Benefit Farms for Orphans  Sun., Feb. 24, 2019 at 5-8 PM MST.  The Welsh Rabbit Bistro & Cheese Shop, 200B Walnut St / 216 Pine St, Fort Collins, CO. Hosted by The Welsh Rabbit Bistro & Cheese ShopFarms for Orphans, Inc and Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch

Farms for Orphans wrote”Our mission is to ensure orphaned and underprivileged children in developing countries have a sustainable source of nourishment and access to education by building the agricultural infrastructure needed to produce food and provide training in environmentally sound agricultural practices.”  Image result for Farms for Orphans

Here is a great podcast: Entomophagy Anthropology (EATING BUGS) with Dr. Julie Lesnik (1 1/2 hr. )  Check it out.  If it’s too long for you, you know how to X out.

Males who have been branded “losers” can take heart from recent cricket research described in this article: “Cricket females choose male losers“.

 

 

Love Bug

UglyBugBall

Happy Valentines Day!  Think of how many insects terms are used as terms of endearment.  I can think of many nicknames (usually girls)– that are insect references (e.g. Judy Bug, or just bug.)

Sadly, when we receive unwanted attention, we say someone is bugging us.  And an unpleasant or angry person can be described as waspish.

Like all living things, insects could use some love.  Many entomologists (insect scientists have been raising concern about a drastic decline in insect populations.  Here is one related article from Germany.  I’m aware none of us enjoy ants getting into our picnic food, or mosquito bites, or insects damaging our garden crops.  But when you think about how foundational insects are in our world’s food chain, it’s a little spooky to think what our world would look like if insect populations were indeed diminishing.  Is that one of the reasons bird watchers have been raising concern about decreasing bird populations (because their insect food source has decreased)?  I try not to overact and be alarmist, but doesn’t this issue bare serious investigation?

OK, enough gloom and doom.  Has anybody enjoyed (or not) eating bees or wasps.  I would really like to try the Japanese rice cookie with wasps, jibachi senbei.  I have enjoyed wax worm larvae.  These were the bane of my existence, wreaking havoc in weak hives when I was an apiarist.  I didn’t realize at the time, the larvae are really very tasty and nutritious.  I would like to find a hymenoptera nest (yellow jackets, wasps, hornets) and confiscate the nest (without getting stung, hopefully).  Reverting to the gloom and doom above, I would like to discuss hymenoptera population health before I start eating them.  I am aware that my eating yellow jackets does nothing good for THAT particular nest.

I just came across another “insect farmer” or “bug factory,”  Best Bait.  Here is their Facebook page.  In the “bad old days”, some of the early entomophogists depended on pet food or bait suppliers for their insect dining pleasure.  I have found such suppliers are candid about whether or not their insects of human food grade or not.

I am pleased to find there are more entomophagy resources all the time.  My daughter, Stephanie gave me, “Eat Grub: the Ultimate Insect Cookbook, by Shami Radia and Neil Whippey, with recipes by Sebastian Holmes.  The authors were the founders of Eat Grub in the UK.

EatGrubCookbk

I hope this isn’t too racey.  I know my readers (reader?  there is at least somebody out there reading this?) are mature and responsible individuals so I will share this BUGS IN LOVE: LOVEBUGS, KISSING BUGS, AND OTHER INSECTS ENGAGED IN INTIMATE ACTIVITIES.

In case you are NOT feeling the love, be aware that bugs can help you express YOUR feelings too.  Click this link to DC Zoo and other zoos have a similar program.

cockroachMeeerkat

If you are interested in entomophagy, in addition to this blog, you might check out this page, which lists insects-as-food suppliers, events, resources such as informational videos, and cookbooks.

And we have formed a Bug co-op, for someone who wants to give entomophagy a try and likes the big order prices, but isn’t ready to fill their pantry with a big order.

So on this Valentines Day, I think the world would be a better place if we just let our bug love light shine.

“Sing for Your Dinner”, or “Your Singing Dinner”

I would encourage you to read this thoughtful article (featured in Entomofago) by cricket farmer, Adam Brody, of Cricket Farm New York.  He apparently hosted a cricket  concert  at the Dixon Place theater.  You might go to dinner theater and enjoy a steak, fish, chicken, etc. , but I bet you won’t hear your dinner (cows, fish, chickens, etc.) sing for you.  As you have herd, schools, flocks a group of crickets are called an orchestra.

Here is a cricket song slowed down.  Snopes says this video‘s claim to be crickets slowed down is unproven– but the possibility is fascinating.

Friends often tease me about eating bugs, facetiously saying I can have all the stink bugs I want.  I was surprised to find people actually do eat stink bugs.  I have not tried them yet, but here’s a related video (also in Entomofago).  And you might notice what many of the insects-as-food pioneers have realized.  Names are important.  Ask me if I want to eat a stink bug, I am turned off.  Ask me if I’d be willing to try a jumile (a stink bug), and I am less resistant.

Stars continue give support to entomophagy. Dawn O’Porter  tried some ants and gave a positive review.  You can read about it here.

There’s not a lot new information, but Crickstart posted a concise list of benefits of entomophagy.  One of the seldom mentioned benefits is the frass (cricket poop).  It apparently is in high demand.

Laura Shine (Twitter @shineonlaura) wrote a cautionary article: “Opinion: Edible insects are one hop closer to our plates“.

Here’s one more excellent article, What Happens to Your Body if You Start Eating Bugs. It explores how insects potentially could help people keep their blood pressure down, fight anemia, and supply b12, and other vitamins and minerals.

Bug Co-op

If anybody is interested in giving insect-as-food a try, check this out:  A friend was ordering cricket flour, and she was disappointed that so much of the cost was shipping rather than the product. She knew free shipping was an option if you ordered a sufficient quantity, but she didn’t want that much. I jokingly said we should form a co-op. Then I thought (I do that occasionally), “Why not?” A co-op would allow folks to order larger quantities and reduce shipping charges. So that is the 1st purpose of the Bug Co-op group.

James Rolin wrote on the Bug Co-op page, “Okay folks.. Cowboy Cricket Farms here ready to make a chirp! Let me know if we can be of any assistance to anyone.”  Maybe you want to check out the products on their website.

And you can find lots of other insect-as-food products here.

,

 

 

Buggy Braninfood

Thank you to Chirps, Entomo Farms – The Future of Food, Exo, Hotlix Candy, and Merci Mercado. Insect based snacks they provided were served at the Hampshire County Homeschool’s National Geography Bee at the Capon Bridge Public Library. Jiminy’s even provided snacks for “man’s best friend. “Runners and bikers have sung the praise of insect protein, claiming it helps them take seconds off their race time. But how do we explore the effect on our brain power of insects in our diet.

With or without bugs in their diet, these young folks did very well at the competition. Congratulations to Bryson (3rd place) and JD Loughry, Mason (2nd place) and Conner Wolford (champion), and Lilli Loughry. We appreciated the attendance of the Hampshire Review (thankyou, Ed Maurer for the photo.), Ed Morgan and Debra Ann Champ — Board of Education members, the library for hosting, and all the other folks who attended to cheer on our young geographers.  (www.facebook.com/steve.bailes2/posts/2268706313141869)

USA Today featured this article: From crickets to scorpions, why people are eating insects for fun.

Ento Nation posted a new audio program: Cooking with Critters: Silkworm Pupae Fudge Mallows