It was a busy day at the therapy pool, today. All of the regulars were there, plus a small group of people none of us had seen before.
The pool is a pretty chatty place. One regular, Dianne, walks laps, and when she gets to the side of the pool where I'm working out, she and I will have a brief exchange of conversation, and then she'll walk away. Part of my workout involves jogging in place (I can only do this in water; without the added buoyancy, I'm unable to support my own weight on the balls of my feet.)
At one point, four of us were talking about vegan pie crusts, and the difficulty of vegan baking. This being Berkeley, the land of rich hippies and great food, there was a lot to say. All the people involved in this conversation were vegetarians. It turns out that I've been a vegetarian the shortest time among that group -- only twenty-four years.
I was asked if I had a copy of The Joy of Cooking, because it had a great cereal pie crust recipe. I said that we have several editions, including one that features illustrated instructions on how to skin a squirrel. As I mentioned this to Dianne, she winced. And it was in that moment that one of the new swimmers piped up and said, "Skin a squirrel? That's easy. You just slice them around the wrists and neck and pull the skin off like a sweater."
This grizzled gentleman had lots of advice on squirrel cookery. In case anyone is interested, pan frying is the way to go. If you try to stew a squirrel, they cook too quickly, and you end up with overcooked squirrel, and undercooked potatoes.
I'm guessing that he wasn't from around here.