by Lori Lynn Turner
When I was a young girl in Alaska I ate shoes. Come spring the snow began to melt in our backyard. Things that had been missing since October when it first snowed suddenly reappeared. We found all kinds of footwear: slippers, tennis shoes, going out shoes and boots. My father believed that almost anything could and should be eaten. The boots were both a necessity and a delicacy. My father soaked the boots in the bathtub, and then scrubbed the soles with a wire brush. In a big pot on the stove he boiled them until they softened, and then he cut the leather with an extra sharp pair of scissors, used only for this purpose. Next he sautéed the strips in oil, garlic and onions, and then salted and peppered them. The plate of boot strips was the centerpiece to our dining room table. It was the sign that spring had finally arrived. I would have rather eaten flowers, but I knew I had to eat at least one piece of boot. It tasted just like moose meat.
Lori Lynn Turner received her MFA from The New School. She is a student advisor for The Feminist Writers Organization, and an administrator/program planner at the School of Writing, The New School. She is working on a non-fiction book titled It’s In the House.