Poke Your Eyes Out

In the Kitchen Dictionary (Riga: Rundas, 2012) compiled by the Latvian linguist and member of Parliament Janīna Kursīte various useful methods mentioned in Latvian cookbooks are compiled in a chapter called “Cruelty and Com­passion”.

Cut open the belly of a well cleaned piglet, cut its head off and take out all its bones, so that the meat remains attached only to the skin.
Wash a piglet, poke its eyes out and rub it with salt and pepper.
Skin the hare, chop its head and tail off and cut its belly lengthwise.

With a sharp knife, cut the necks off the birds.
Pluck the snipe, poke their eyes out, take the gullet out and wash it.
Skin the kid, chop off its head and feet as well as the belly part, lard it nicely and bake in the oven.
Killing and cleaning of fish. Big fish should be hit on the head with a piece of wood or a butcher's knife, and their belly should be cut open from head to tail.
It is easiest to kill fish by hitting them on the head with a hammer or piercing them at the back of the head with a sharp, pointed knife and cutting the bone in half. Eels are the most difficult to kill.

From Spring 2016 issue