Mom it is not eel!!

Christmas eve, an italian tradition is to eat fish, in fact, the norm is 7 different kinds of which one was always eel. As a child I enjoyed them all, even though experiencing them in their live state. One experience carved in my memory at the age of 8, is when mom cleaned an eel and wrapped in newspaper the inedible parts for me to throw in the trash. Which I did. I panicked when seeing the trash can cover wiggle like a fish trapped in a fishermen’s net. Screaming into kitchen mom calmly explained that it was dead, just the heart about to die. As a wife and mother I continue to serve eel but it is one fish I refuse to clean.
While making breakfast one day, the dogs were going crazy barking that I sent out Francesco to quiet them down, so as not to wake up the late nighters still in bed. As the dogs became silent, I questioned Francesco, only to ascertained that they managed to kill a snake in the yard. I never experienced snakes in 25 years at the farm which if I did, might not have remained here. Francesco asked jokingly, I hope, if I wish to cook it or should he discard it? Memories of past Christmases, I now wonder, looking at the elongated, legless creature if it was really eel that mom served us. Remember she is italian, nothing goes to waste and if it doesn’t kill you, one should eat it. Thank God mom was not there. She would try to convince me as she always did, one should eat fresh, locally and healthy. Guess at age 100 it did her no harm.Snake

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