I have not eaten meat for over twenty years... if you don't count the half a sausage I had at a barbecue last month in the absence of any alternative. I don't really have any moral objection, hence the sausage, I just stopped eating it as a result of taking one of my children to a town farm where there was a chicken shed. These were meant to be humanely kept chickens but the smell was so disgusting I stopped eating chicken from that day onwards. I gradually stopped eating other meats and I find I generally prefer vegetarian food. But I cook meat and I've always eaten fish and sea food so I have never called myself vegetarian. But until recently I have never eaten octopus... ever.
When we were in Greece my daughter-in-law's mother asked did I like octopus. There may have been something lost in translation in that Maria's English, although good, was a bit rusty and my Greek is... well, non existent shall we say. So I ended up trying some delicious little white cubes of fish... yes, I like octopus. So when we were out with friends last week and one of the starters was octopus on a bed of smoked aubergine puree and everyone else was waxing lyrical about it I decided 'Yes, why not, after all I like octopus'.
However, I wasn't prepared for the creature from the deep that was dished up on my plate... it was a dirty great tentacle for heavens sake. It looked like it might crawl off the plate and wrap itself around my neck! Not wanting to look like a complete Muppet by screaming "I can't possibly eat this"as I ran from the room, I gave myself a good talking to... I could do this... just don't think about those little round suckers... I cut off a small piece and with my eyes shut popped it into my mouth.
And I have to say... it was absolutely delicious! I cleared my plate without looking at what I was eating but I can now definitely say I have eaten properly eaten octopus for the first time. I may never do it again but I've done it. Another sixty by sixty bites the dust... only three more to go.
When we were at the Festival of Quilts, Gill thought I could add 'teaching at the FOQ' and 'staying in an AirBnB' to my list as these were also firsts for me but neither really seemed too much of a challenge... not like eating an octopus! So my total still stands at 57. As always suggestions are most welcome.