Friday, March 06, 2009

there's more than one way to skin a ...

...

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.


7 comments:

Kristin aka kjnohr aka Trekkie Gal said...

You learn something new every day, huh? Usually, though, that something isn't so disturbing....
:)

Kay/The Little Foxes said...

You need to come visit Asheville, NC, where neither conversation (vegan pie crusts, and how-to-skin-a-squirrel) would not be looked upon as strange. Or maybe that's just a reflection of my circle of friends ;-)) However, our motto is: If you are too weird for Asheville, you are too weird.

Anonymous said...

I know there is a particular tyoe of illness you can get from eating infected squirrel brains- its an illness that plagues a particular group of people that live in Kentucky-

Besides the fact that some one eats squirrel brains ON PURPOSE, its a safe call your guy is from that part of the south, or he watches WAY to much survival TV-

Besides squirrels, we found a small burrow where a mama bunny is probably going to have her little ones soon here in the backyard, and the snow has melted and we found many, many little mouse trails out in the snow. I am currently doing a shout out for a pregnant mama cat to live in our barn and raise her many ravenous, future mouse eating kittens.

Sorry mouse lovers, but they gotta go-

By the way/Kay- I used to teach at Penland, close to Ashville- I love that place! Down south is where it takes about 2 or 3 syllables to pronounce the word "shit". It's a long drawn out accented operatic pronunciation, apparently.

Annalisa

Anonymous said...

ROTFLMAO! Yes I remember reading my mother's late 50's or early 1960's Joy of Cooking and being fascinated by concepts such as cooking beaver tail (cross hatch score it first) and all the odd game recipies. I don't remember the squirrel-skining chapter though; maybe my mom tore those pages out so wee ones wouldn't be traumatized!
SuziLivvi

Pica said...

I tossed my 70s edition of JoC when we got the new one. But the new one doesn't have the squirrel skinning directions, which is a sad thing. Not that I'd ever use them, but still.

Zorket said...

HA! I loved this post - it brought back some happy childhood memories. Not only did my mother panfry squirrel for us kids (that my brothers had "hunted"), but I was generously given the squirrel skins by my brothers to use a Barbie doll coats... they never lasted very long - too stinky - or the cats would steal them...
zorket

scraphappy said...

My sister has skinned a squirrel. The kids accidently killed one with their BB gun (I know, I know...but they live in Alaska!) and so rather than waste the meat...

The only thing i prefer to skin from my meat is the styrofoam and saran wrap...

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