Thursday, September 28, 2006

Squirrel for Dinner

Hunting game is a part of our heritage that remains strong1. Deer and squirrel are two popular prey. I'd think wild turkey would be, too, but I haven't heard that it is.

Bill Beckner likes that squirrel hunting comes before deer hunting in the fall. In addition to the chance to be out in the wild and the good food squirrel hunting provides, it's good target practice for deer hunting.

This photo from the internet illustrates how the squirrel is fried.

Here is Bill Beckner's recipe for squirrel. Bill cuts the critter into chicken-like pieces and par-boils it to make it tender. Then he goes ahead just like fried chicken. He coats it with four and browns it in a medium high skillet and seasons it with salt and pepper. When it's all crispy brown, he puts a lid on, turns down the heat and lets it cook till it's almost falling off the bone.
Bill makes gravy by thickening the liquid the squirrel was parboiled in.

Just a quick word about "the best part:" a great delicacy for Bill's grandma, Josie Beckner, were the brains. She loved breaded, sauted squirrel brains. This put an extra but welcomed burden on grandson Bill. The standard way to kill a squirrel was to blow its brains out: quick and painless a death as can be. But if he was going to bring home brains for his grandma, Bill had to shoot the squirrels in their body, squarely enough so they didn't suffer. Fortunately, Bill is a very good shot.

Now here is a quite different approach to squirrel, which shows just how versatile squirrel can be. This is not from and Orlando hunter but a hunter from the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants (Don't have his name, but his e-mail "handle" is "Steel78") He offered the following recipe: "The only way we fixed rabbit and squirrel was to drop them off to a neighbor lady, and the next day or so, she sent a cherry pie over. I recommend it."

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