Monday, September 10, 2007

Octopus Anyone?

Our weather was spectacular today. It was about 75 degrees F with no humidity so we decided to spend our last full day on the beach. The wind still carried a small chill with her but like I said, the weather was spectacular. The water was clear and calm, just perfect for an octopus hunt!
Kosta is great at bringing in an octopus or two but he hasn't all summer. So today he went in the water with his spear gun and promised a catch. He was only in the water for about 45 minutes when he emerged like Poseidon with an octopus on his spear...only he was wearing a mask and snorkel.
Foti was so excited because he hasn't witnessed his Daddy's great skill until today nor has he touched a real octopus before. Izabella wanted to hold it so of course, the two of them were fighting over the thing. I took a lot of pictures today and I wish that I could share them. I promise that I'll post a picture or two as soon as I get the chance.
With a native emerging from the sea with an octopus on his spear comes the flurry of tourists running over with their cameras and kids. We laugh because it happens every time and although it's funny we love to share the experience with people who've never witnessed it before. Some men from Serbia were standing by in their Speedos checking out Kosta's spear gun. I noticed how their stance turned super macho when asking questions and looking at the spear. And then there was a young woman who literally ran over to where we were with her camera phone. She was snapping away and just all a flutter. I can only wonder who she'll send her photos to. As I mentioned, I was taking pictures too and I took pictures of our audience.
Kosta took the octopus back into the water to pull out the eyes and the tooth and when he showed the tooth to the Serbian men their chest elevated some more and started a discussion that I couldn't comprehend. I can only imagine. After that, Kosta told me that he was going to find another one and it was my job to tenderize the octopus.
Tenderizing the octopus means that it has to be slammed against a rock about 100 times. Actually the process goes like this...

Slam the octopus against the rock 10 times,
Take it back to the water to rinse it,
Bring it back to the rock to and rub it around until a foamy liquid appears,
Slam the octopus against the rock 10 times,
Take it back to the water to rinse it,
Bring it back to the rock to rub it around until a foamy liquid appears...
You get the picture.

The kids helped me with rinsing and rubbing but not the slamming. They were also counting out loud as I did the slamming. I think that I probably went way over 100 times because they were laughing along the way as they were so excited. Also, they were counting in English, Greek and Spanish. What happened to French? So there I was in my bathing suit with my designer sunglasses slamming an octopus against a rock in front of a crowd of tourists snapping pictures. Lovely. Oh and for those of you who know- me go ahead and piss your pants laughing...I know you will. But I really didn't mind doing it because I love to eat octopus and this one is about 1 1/2 lbs.
In the end Kosta didn't spear another octopus. I could see the disappointment on the faces of a few tourists that were sitting near by. I noticed that they would eagerly look in the water to see if Kosta was coming out with anything. That's ok, we have one great octopus to eat tomorrow. We just have to decide whether we will grill it or broil it.


  1. omg, cheryl, that is hilarious! calvin would love to come for supper at your house (but not me! ewww!!! ~G~) did kosta get pix of you and the kids 'tenderizing' the octopus?

  2. I really laughed while I was reading about the tenderizing process... :)

    Way to go Kosta! ! ! :)

    And about the Serbian guys... I get the picture, they are all pretty much the same! ;)

    Kiss the kids

  3. I just scolded my husband for not being adept at the octopus spear fishing. Of course, I'm not a fan of seafood (I know, I know) so I guess it isn't a big deal. But it sounds really, really cool.

  4. Linda- I know it does seem gross, but the thing with octopus is that there is no blood. Kosta didn't get a picture of me tenderizing the thing...thank God. But who knows where a picture of me might show up because of the tourists! Tell Calvin he can come eat with us anytime!

    Maya-It's always good to hear from you! I don't think that the way that the men were reacting had anything to do with them being Serbian though, it's a man thing and they just happened to be Serbian! :)Take care!

    Mel-The thing about Kosta and his spear fishing is that he spent every summer at his beach house since he was about 10 and the house is literally steps from the beach. And about seafood, I wasn't a big fan until I married Kosta. Now I love it.

  5. I've made notes in case I ever become an octopus-slapping wife. The most I've done is gut and scale fish, but then again I've been doing it since I was 5.

    I wish I could see some photos of you slapping the thing against the rock. :)

  6. Kat-you've got one on me. I can't imagine scaling fish. I will probably have to one day. About gutting anything, I can't. When I lived here years ago I remember my first visit to a butcher shop. I bought a chicken and when I brought it home to cook it I noticed that it still had all of it's insides. I was mortified and I almost vomited trying to get everthing out. The next time I went to the butcher I asked him to take the guts out for me and he just laughed.
    About the photos...I always complain that nobody ever takes pics of me -but in this case it turned out in my favor!

  7. Kosta is my hero!

    I love octopus--grilled or broiled. Tom, too. Promise some day when we come, Kosta will spear an octopus, you will slam it into the rock and Tom and I will enjoy eating it with the both of you!

    (So funny, when i saw the picture, the first thing I thought of was "who's in the speedos?!!!"

    I love reading your blog--I can so relate. So much like Italy--double parking, parking on sidewalks, guys spearing octopi on the beach...!) Love & miss you!--Lisa

  8. Lisa,
    Hey - and our new neighbors love to hunt octopus. They took Iza to the beach with them for about an hour and 1/2 one day and the husband came back with 6 octpus and gave us 4 to welcome us to the neighborhood! Awesome!! And-Kosta has a new pal!!
    Love you !