|Proof of my redneck childhood. (1980s Southern Gothic)|
Sporting his Davy Crockett coon skin hat, Daddy used to roam the woods near where the Mall of Georgia is today, hunting for squirrels, rabbits, quail and other small game. He brought it home, skinned it and they ate it. Yes, my daddy ate squirrel. Grandmama usually fried it or made it into dumplings. When he was in 8th grade and learned in his biology class that squirrels were part of the rodent family (a.k.a. rats), he came home and broke the news to Grandmama. “Don’t you ever bring another one of those things in this house!” she scolded. And he didn’t. I guess he didn’t learn that rabbits were rodents, because they kept eating those. Funny how they are not met with such great disgust as the lowly squirrel!
|Aren't I cute? - Gray Squirrel (image from NCpedia.org)|
We still laugh about the squirrel eating episode, though I still do feel a little sorry for that squirrel. I would not make a very good hunter. But, if people are going to hunt for sport, I’d prefer they actually do something useful with the animal. If there ever is a major food shortage or a zombie apocalypse, people like my dad will be in pretty good shape. Like Anthony Bourdain later tweeted, “Anyone who can skin, gut and cook squirrel should be proud. That's called useful in a pinch.”
While I’m not going cook a squirrel or share pictures from my latest squirrel creation, I looked through my cookbook collection and actually found a couple of recipes for squirrel to share with you (just in case you feel so inspired).
2 squirrels, cut into pieces
1 large onion sliced
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. stewed tomatoes
Pepper to Taste
Melt butter in saucepan over medium flame. Add onion and cook until transparent. Add tomatoes, simmer 5 minutes with the onion. Add squirrel and enough boiling water to cover. Season with salt and pepper, continue to cook until the meat is tender (at least one hour). Thicken with flour. This is also very good with rabbit.
From Family Favorites: Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, Meridian, Mississippi. Recipe by Eula Maude Britt. (This cookbook actually belongs to my friend Niki whose recent post about cooking without electricity pairs nicely with this post!)
Fried Squirrel and Gravy
2-3 dressed squirrels
2-3 cups flour (set 1-2 tbsp. aside for gravy)
2-3 cups milk
So, there you go. Would you eat squirrel? Maybe you have some squirrel eating memories (or confessions) yourself. Or, perhaps you’re so disgusted by this post that you haven’t even read this far. I’d love to hear from you!