Dad had ‘won’ blocks of land through a returned veterans “lottery” but never believed in borrowing money. So we would be building over seven years as money became available. It was a four drive from home so we would camp there and my job as a new teen was to cook on the open fire. Breakfast was always cereal so there were two meals each day to be cooked.

I’d gather the wood, light the fire with kindling and newspaper then pile on pieces of broken branches. There was plenty around but as I collected it I was finding quite a lot of witchetty grubs. Big fat white ones. So I asked my friends a few miles away on the reserve how to cook them and wow! Just lightly heated in the ashes they tasted succulent and delicious. Slightly overcooked it tasted like trying to eat wood.

feeding family

over the open spring fire

protein delicious

d’Verse, Memory, Lillian
internet photo from bush foods


  1. Thank you for the interesting story. I don’t know what a grubs is, because no translator has translated, please, what does this plant or animal look like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • our red ants here pack a real sting, can’t imagine making chutney of them! It’s what we call bush tucker, part of our First Nation peoples regular diet, so blessed I found them

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  2. I’ve eaten chocolate covered bugs… but being that I’m not really a camper, there are some foods I have yet to try.
    I do remember watching a movie where raw grubs where eaten. Protein however you can get it will keep you alive! Kind of like folks who collect ‘road kill’. Or raise small mammals to eat. It is all what you are used to and are willing to try. 😀

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  3. Ah, I see you are from Australia? I enjoyed this memory very much…..connected with your father, the land, and your family. I must say, I never even slept in a sleeping bag or in a tent until I met my husband in college. I have never been able to eat a pheasant, rabbit or squirrel. When we lived in rural Iowa, I had a wonderful high school student who hunted for his family. He supplied their dinner table. Several times he brought us pheasant…my husband is an excellent cook and he made good use of the bird. I could not take a bite. The student even brought a rabbit, skinned, in a covered “casserole dish” pan, seasoned and ready to pop in the oven thinking that might help me if I didn’t have to watch any of the preparation. Nope. My husband enjoyed every morsel. So to be very honest….good source of protein or not, I doubt I could eat this. BUT this is such an interesting memory and shows the differences in people, their tastes and their customs.
    I should also add, lest you think I am too squeamish or unwilling to try things (which I was back in those very early days of marriage), I was for the last 6 years of my career, the dean of a Global MBA and I traveled the world (China, India, Morocco, UK, Germany, etc) by myself, meeting with corporate folks to obtain global internships for our students. I was honored to be the guest of parents and grandparents of my students, and by educators etc. I learned to eat all kinds of food as it would be impolite and offend my hosts not to do so.
    Ah….you see all the memories your memory brought up for me? 🙂
    So glad you posted!
    PS: We were in both Australia and New Zealand some three years ago….what amazingly beautiful land. And we enjoyed Sydney for a week.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your life at this time, Kate, makes me think of the hard times lived by my parents and grandparents .
    But I am amazed you ate grubs ! But why not. They look fat and it was the use in your area to eat them.
    Do you know the insect coming from this grub ?
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do they have a nutty flavor?
    I’d give ’em a whirl!
    Here people eat roasted crickets, grasshoppers, etc.!
    Wonderful memory-story and haiku, SweetKate! I can relate to the team efforts in my growing up years, too. We often ate out over a campfire.
    (((HUGS))) with bugs if you like! 😉
    🐛 🐜 🦗 🐛 🐜 🦗 🐛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Learning from you. I have never been this adventurous nor have my forefathers been. I guess they never touched insects and having them is another level.
    Whereas I always wish to have such a life where in the woods I am wild. 😀
    You are fantabulous. Inspired by you always.

    Liked by 1 person

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