Backyardiyums?

April 3rd, 2009

So I’m in midst of planting my new garden, and while I love cooking from things I grew myself, I worry about some backyard pals that plague the area. Now, there is one pair of particularly cheeky squirrels who I call Chip and Dale. Yes, I am aware that Chip ‘n Dale are chipmunks. But more important than their species is their love of mischief and hijinx. One of these backyard squirrels will sit right on my office window ledge and eat nuts in my face. He is a ballsy rodent. Would he be so brazen if he knew he is on my list of meat? Unfortunately, he is illiterate so my attemps to show him the list on my laptop have had no effect. If he digs up my vegetables, I’m going to go all Farmer McGregor on his ass.

Meanwhile, more disturbing is the appearance of this fat creature:

He has come by twice, and Mishka the cat is all for us taking a cue from this fellow and making a meal of him. Choices include “roast coon with sweet potato, sausage and corn bread stuffing; raccoon cobbler and roast marinated raccoon with liver and onion.” Um, cobbler? I don’t think so. I maintain my earlier position that Meat is not for dessert.

For the Love of Rocky Raccoon!

January 15th, 2009

First Squirrels, now Raccoon? I just read on Slashfood that Raccoon is “gaining popularity these days as a main course, despite the fact that in order to become edible, it must be brined, soaked overnight, parboiled for a couple of hours and then braised, roasted or smoked.” Seriously, is rabies the new truffle oil? In the original article from Kansas one reliable fan gushes, “During grad school, my roommate and I ate 32 coons one winter. It was all free, and it was really good. If you think about being green and eating organically, raccoon meat is the ultimate organic food.” Yes, indeed, nothing like free-range, trash-fed Coons to say “organic.”

To prepare for the inevitable next food news item: How many Chucks can a woodchuck feed if a woodchuck doesn’t make Chucks upchuck?  Here is the answer and how to prepare all sorts of ‘Varmints‘, courtesy of Gourmet, no less.

nuts My feeling on squirrels, growing up in New York City, can be aptly summed up by Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City: “You can’t be friends with a squirrel! A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.” Now squirrel, though I know it is eaten in the U.S., has not made my “meat checklist” — it brings to mind poor families with no other choices.  And Mike Huckabee.  *shudder*

But now I hear via the New York Times that “a new meat is gracing the British table: squirrel … many feel that eating squirrel is a way to do something good for the environment while enjoying a unique gastronomical experience. ” Not only are people eating it up, there is a “war raging in Squirreltown!” Squirrel Nutkins!  It seems the vicious gray squirrels are like the Wal-Mart of the animal kingdom, and where ever they put up shop, they crowd out and kill the lovable local red squirrels. So now British people everywhere are adding rodent to their list of meats to eat.

I’m not sure if I’ll really get to ordering and cooking a squirrel, but I am going to add it to the meat checklist. Has anyone ever eaten squirrel? If so, how was it?

Bonus trivia for this post: Etymology of ‘Squirrelly’ comes from a squirrel’s diet of nuts!

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