My grandfather, F.G. Yates, was born and raised in the Philipines until about the age of eight. In the forest, outside his village roamed a tiger. This gave tremendous power to his mother’s threat, “don’t wander into the jungle, it is dangerous.” Hunters killed and displayed the tiger, and the village breathed a collective sigh of relief. Someone took a snapshot of my grandfather posed over the lifeless tiger he once feared. My grandfather recalls this event vividly and I believe it contributed to his life of peace and non-violence activism.
But the story his children, (and thus his grandkids), remember circles around food. Specifically the unique variety of foods my grandfather would happily eat. While bugs were a delicacy in Manila, they provided giggle gross out factor to the power of 10 to the United States neighborhood where his family now lived. Children would bring him insects: cicadas, grasshoppers, june bugs- so they could squirm and laugh and watch him actually EAT them. One day he was presented with an exceptionally large green moth. “That is two big to simply eat,” he told the children. He raised a hand to their groans of disappointment, “I will need two slices of bread.”
Here is a vegan version of that infamous sandwich, it is best served open-faced so that the true beauty of the faux insect can be appreciated.
Two slices of whole wheat bread.
4-6 spinach leaves
1/2 an avocado, sliced
1-2 Tablespoons Kalamata olive spread
2-3 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1-2 Tablespoons Hummus
a few sprigs of parsley or dill
Spread Hummus on the bread, place avocado slices in the middle of the bread to form the “body.” Layer spinach leaves to either side of the avocado to look like wings. Dot with Kalamata olive spread, and decorate with small tomatoes, sprigs of parsley or dill make lovely antennae.