Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kids love Burned Cricket Paste--the Story, not the Food.

I love to do Primary Sharing Time and Activity Days. This is one of the stories the kids love to hear. 

The first winter the Saints were in the Salt Lake Valley, food was precious and scarce. The Indians brought John Taylor a sweet meal. The dark paste crunched when he ate it and tasted like honey.

John asked the Indians how to make it. He knew his children would enjoy the extra sweet delicacy. The braves led John to a field where the wheat had been harvested. Only the dried stocks were left.  Crickets were feeding on the wheat kernels that had fallen to the ground.

The Indians took dead pine branches, broke off several sticks, and started them on fire. They lit the wheat stubble into a blaze all around the edges field. As the plants burned toward the center, hundreds of crickets jumped up out of the fire and fell back into it, burning to a crisp.

When the fire died out, the Indians took their baskets and scooped up the dead insects.

“Why are you gathering dead crickets?” asked John.

“Good food,” said an Indian.

The Indian women ground the charred remains into a fine power and mixed it with honey.

By the time I've told this much of the story and girls are gagging and the boys are shuddering. They love the grossness of this tale. However, they are willing to think about how hungry they would have to be to eat this paste.

It’s a great lesson to help all of us remember the sacrifice the pioneers made to settle in the valleys of the mountains and make it a beautiful place for us to live.