Turtle Soup

Grandma Kc wrote this on November 22nd, 2013 15 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

I must have been seven years old and I remember that my sister and I were in the bathtub together when my Dad brought home this huge snapping turtle that he had caught while he was out fishing. He brought it in to show us and I remember being terrified that the turtle would somehow slip out of his hands and end up with us in the tub and I would be the one the turtle would bite — more like latch onto and never let go!

Since Daddy had caught the turtle he brought it home so that my mom could make turtle soup. WHY he thought this was a good idea I will never know. She was not renowned for her cooking! I’m not sure what went wrong but I remember coming home from school and she said we couldn’t go in the house. She had met us at the end of the driveway and even from there I could tell why we couldn’t go in – it smelled. I mean it really smelled terrible! In fact, the smell was so bad we went and stayed with relatives for a few days while the house aired out.

Snapping Turtle photo by Stefan Giuliani

Photo by Stefan Giuliani

Daddy took the turtle soup, pot and all, to the dump outside of town.
Luckily, it was next to the sauerkraut factory so you couldn’t smell it!

15 thoughts on “Turtle Soup

  1. Launna

    Oh my gosh…. how icky…:-) … my father used to bring home some really strange food when we were younger … I’m pretty picky because of it now 😉

  2. Maggie

    Very funny! Even if the soup HAD turned out well, I’m not sure I’d enjoy soup made from a creature I’d been introduced to…

    I’m enjoying your stories – what a good idea to write these memories down.

  3. Susan Adcox

    This is a sad story! My grandchildren and I rescue turtles when we see them too near the road. (Only if we can do it without putting ourselves in danger, of course.) And I love to see turtles all lined up on a log in a pond. It might not surprise you to know that I also have a turtle collection — turtles of china, wood, shell, porcelain, pottery, marble, jade, etc.

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I do think Dad’s intentions were good; he was trying to feed the family which was part of why he had gone fishing. I think it is wonderful that you and the grandchildren rescue them — or any other creature. I grew up to love turtles. We had a big box turtle in the backyard when I was a teenager and I used to love to lie on the grass and watch him eat. Just like they show the dinosaurs eating and it used to just fascinate me. His name was Harold!

      1. Susan Adcox

        Oh, Grandma Kc, I wasn’t casting aspersions on your dad! People ate closer to the land in those days. I’ve known lots of people who hunt and eat squirrel and rabbit, and we love crawfish, crabs, fish and shrimp. My own dad used to kill a goose for Thanksgiving dinner. But I’m not sure I’ve ever known anyone who has tried turtle!

        1. Grandma Kc Post author

          No worries Susan. I did not take it that way. Times were different and he did hunt a lot, it was one of the ways he kept the freezer stocked.

  4. Joyce

    I remember my own dad going fishing and bringing home a snapping turtle for us to see. After we admired it close up – but not too close! – dad brought it back and let it go. No turtle soup for us!
    We’re all more like Susan – rescuers!

  5. debra@ HOMESPUN

    I cannot even IMAGINE sitting naked in a bathtub when some crazy person comes in holding a huge SNAPPING turtle. OMG ! LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! It’s a wonder you didn’t have nightmares for a long time.

    And then, turtle soup sounds disgusting anyway….your poor MOM!

    Oh this was too funny!!

  6. Judy@grandparentsplus2

    LOL thinking about that turtle dangling over the tub and because my in-laws cooked turtle. My husband says his Mom use to put it in a pressure cooker. Makes me almost sick to even think about it. I know they use to have it at family gatherings along with the head cheese – I avoided them both. 🙂 And, like Susan, I can remember stopping the car so my daughter could jump out and move a turtle off the road. I like that role better.

  7. Vicki Valenta

    I love this story. It’s the same kind of thing my father-in-law would do. If they caught it, they would eat it … or at least try. There were some similar disasters at their house too.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *