OK, I'm a pretty open person, perhaps even gastronomically adventurous. I don't have a formal Gut Bucket list, but when I get the opportunity to eat something new, particularly something that has historical significance ("hey, my grandpa use to eat this crap") or the weight of daring upon it ("you ate WHAT?!"), I'll generally jump in, if for no other reason than to get the T-shirt.

So it was when I happened upon some clearance priced Souse at our local Kroger. Immediately, I recognized the rarity of the moment: clearance souse is nothing to be casual about. And as it met both of my other prerequisites, having a sense of risk as well as being grandfathered in (or "in" grandfather), I jumped. At home, my wife listened as I shared my tale of shopping domination, but she did so from the far side of the kitchen.

Mid-report, as I reviewed the receipt, I noticed that I had not been charged the clearance souse price, but the full regular price! Dismay! The next day, I stood in line at Kroger's Customer Service desk, pork product and receipt in hand. It was then I noticed that I was wearing overalls. Dude... was I turning into a souse eater that quickly? I could see stares from the yuppie shoppers walking by that seemed to say, "Look there, honey, I'll bet he eats souse." Nearby, children were drawn close.

So this morning before church I decided to utilize my souse for the first time. I slapped two slices into a skillet and went for the eggs. Almost anything made of pork can be whipped into a passable breakfast when paired with eggs. "Honey," I proclaimed, "I'm throwing a souse breakfast together for us!" That was when I looked into the skillet. Apparently, whatever molecular ties bind the unmentionables that are souse (in order of importance, pork skin, pork hearts, pork tongues, pork. What bits are so foul as to not be specified after the word 'pork', I need not know)together are temperature sensitive, for the heating process had rapidly devolved two thick slices into a soupy goo. To put it delicately, it looked like someone's retriever had jumped up onto the stove, found out I was cooking souse, and then hurled into the skillet.

"What?" my wife asked. I cleverly responded, "Don't look! Er... it's a surprise!" 29 years in, she no longer tempts fate, and so she stayed clear.

A good bit of cooking later, and stirring in a few extra eggs, I managed to heat the mess into something that would stay on a fork. There was just something about slopping something off a plate with a spoon that seemed a little too much like the episode where the Waltons invite the poor neighbor children over to eat dinner with them. And I don't mean the role of the Waltons. I scooped two heaping tablespoons onto a saucer and thrust it in front of my wife. She took a tentative bite, assuming that of the two cooks in the house, this had not come from the normal person. "Nmmnn. Nintenesting. Nut nis it?"

"It's just like hash!" I stated encouragingly. Last I saw, there was a semi-full saucer of breakfast on the sink in the bathroom, but what do I care? I'll bet the hogs'll eat it.

Now I just need to find some hogs.
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Some hunt for racks, some hunt for roasts. I hunt for sheer joy; the aforementioned items are merely fringe benefits.