Yesterday morning, we noticed an abnormal amount of hawks and kites in the sky. “White ants,” someone casually observed.
On my way to lunch, I was hailed by Maria and Josh Tricarico: “Rachel! Want to help us?!?!”
They were catching the many white ants that thickened the air around our mission. Naturally, I ran over and, seizing a kaveera (plastic bag), I joined their frantic attempts at catching the termites. We dashed about, arms and legs flapping, as we tried to snatch, net, and slap the elusive insects. Kipsy joined us after a while, and we each staked out a different termite hole to wait for the ants to fly out.
By the end, we had about 50 or so bugs. We all trooped into the main kitchen, sweaty and dusty, carrying our rustling kaveeras with pride.
Then came the question of how to prepare them. We’d all eaten and cooked white ants before, but couldn’t remember how. We settled on frying them – preheating the pan for a quick, painless death. We dumped them into the pan with a little oil and watched them writhe for a split second, then lie still.
“What should we put in them?” someone asked.
We looked at eachother, then I suggested, “Indian termites?”
A little garam masala, some turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander and cumin. Kipsy “accidentally” dumped in a bunch of thai seasoning as well. The kitchen was filled with the spicy smell, and we all started grinning in anticipation.
I turned off the stove and we lined up at the counter to get our rice and beans. We topped it off with our newfound delicacy and carried our heaped plates into the main room, showing them off to the fairly disgusted members of our mission. The four of us sat down at the table together and raised a spoonful of lunch.
“1….2…3…” We put them into our mouths and began chewing. At first, it was great – salty, spicy, mixing well with the rice and beans. Then I voiced what we were all thinking:
“Oh man….we forgot about the sand…we didn’t wash them…”
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.