jiminy crickets! (with a side of giant spider)

Panha has been wanting us to try crickets and spiders here, and we’d put him off long enough. On Friday night, he found the perfect roadside stand with every variety of creepy, crawling thing you could ever wish for.

I started our family off by eating a cricket. Veasna told me not to eat the back legs because they’re too sharp, so I held onto it by the legs and bit off the rest. Wow. Crunchy. And yes, I was brushing little bits out of my teeth a couple hours later.

I was so proud of my girlies (and Gabe) who each ate a cricket too.

Whaddya think, Ava? Taste like chicken?

Nina was a little harder to convince, but she did it.

And then we moved on to the big dogs. When they first mentioned eating spiders, either Scot or Keri asked me what kind of spiders they were. I joked that they were probably tarantulas.

They were probably tarantulas.

Scot had already eaten cricket before, so he was the first to pop a 3+inch-long tarantula in his mouth. I went next.

Here goes nothing!

In all honesty, I prefer tarantula to cricket. It’s fried in some sort of teriyaki sauce and was pretty similar to beef jerky. Except for the mental hurdle of knowing you’re eating a TARANTULA.

I was so proud of Livi who also ate a tarantula (Garrett rounded out the Spider Club). Gabe and Nina said no way. And Ava cried the whole way back to the guesthouse in the tuk-tuk because she’d wanted so badly to be brave enough and wasn’t quite.

We promised Ava we’d head back before we leave so she can do the tarantula thing. Who knows? I may eat another one. Such good protein. Or maybe I’ll try snake on a stick, although even some of the locals told me it was pretty yucky.

Signing off. Our five children (Livi, Ava, Nina, Garrett, Nathan) have prepared a re-enactment of the Christmas story for us parents. It’s Christmas morning here in Cambodia. So happy to be celebrating Jesus with our beautiful new friends!!

Happy Merry Christmas to all of you!!

11 thoughts on “jiminy crickets! (with a side of giant spider)

  1. valerie (in TX)

    Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh! I canNOT believe you ate a tarantula!!! 🙂 I’m definitely in the NO WAY camp, but I’m so impressed that you did it!

  2. Ben

    Being the vegetarian I am, the concept of eating crickets & spiders really doesn’t appeal to me… I’d be in the ‘no way!’ camp for sure, yet the braveness and risk-taking characteristics you & your family possess is certainly commendable.
    If nothing else, those characteristics make it that much easier for God to use y’all, and you’re certainly a blessing because of it!

  3. Sharon K

    Marla, this really grosses me out… I have a funny story though! When my brother moved to Ohio his oldest son, Barney wanted to stay with me to finish high school in Colorado. I said yes, but Murray (his pet tarantula!!) was not welcome in my home. I would still stand strong on that decision. I felt a little bad that (well, not really) when my sister kept him in his cage in their car while they went shopping that he died of heat stroke… I thought he should have been able to handle heat being a tarantula and all. Barney staying with us was great. Jennie loved it… ask her about sneaking out and making pizza at night!
    I am proud of you for being brave, but I am still incredibly grossed out! I don’t have any intention of putting a spider in my mouth while I am alive… no matter how long I spend in Cambodia… Ava, I am on your side! Sorry Panha 😀

  4. Lee & Priscilla

    Merry Christmas !
    Sorry I didn’t get to talk to Gabe before you guys left but it is great to keep up with your trip.


    Lee & Priscilla

  5. Bethany Peters

    That is so scary. And gross. Tell Ava I would have responded the exact same way as her–said no way, then regretted my inability to be brave all the way home. Tell her Bethy loves her! I love all of you!!!! I’m so glad you’re having a blast in Cambodia!!! Happy Merry Christmas!

  6. Sharon

    Merry Christmas!! And oh my. I was hoping you were joking in your last post about eating tarantulas. I am very fearful of spiders and just cannot imagine eating one. Especially one as big as a tarantula. But, I love that you and your family are such risk takers.

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