November 24, 2006

Looking back on the Thanksgiving squirrel.

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. What did you have?
Squirrel, because it's not only different, it also happens to be the only type of animal my boys and I shot while out hunting at my parents' farm recently. No wild turkeys, No wild boar, no deer to grace the Thanksgiving table, but the more unusual Thanksgiving squirrel. After we cleaned them my dad made me take them home so I decided to toss them into the freezer where they would wait alongside the turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner.


Unknown said...

I do not like squirrel, never did. I like game, but squirrel is bitter and greasy.

JohnF said...

I liked the fact that the hunter was the mom, who took her sons.

miked0268 said...


I will not eat them with a fox,
I will not eat them in a box.
I will not eat them in the rain,
I will not eat them on a train.
They're not good food like ducks or quails,
They are just rats with bushy tails.
They will foul my frying pan,
I will not eat them, Sam-I-am.

(My apologies, Mr. Geisel...)


Anonymous said...

This squirrel thing is making queasy at the stomach.

A Menken Moment said...

Taking revenge for all the nuts the squirrels dropped on your rooftop in the middle of the night?

A Menken Moment said...

Nice greens in the pictures, by the way, very soothing, and they show well even on the web browser.

Unknown said...

My parents took an opportunity to teach me and my brother an important lesson. My brother and I (about ages 10 and 13, respectively) had gone hunting and brought back squirrels. My father sat us down and told us we eat what we kill, or we leave it alone, and we had to eat them. Fairly nasty.

Anonymous said...

I have never noticed squirrel being greasy, but maybe it was the way it was fixed.

A friend of mines's Mom would cook it in a pressure cooker for a half hour or so with some spices & then dump the works into pot of dumpling stew.

With the spices, dumplings and veggies I suppose it was more like 'stone soup' than squirrel & dumplings, but used to eat quite a lot of it during squirrel season.

Ron said...

Do you put the little turkey skirts on the squirrel legs before he goes into the oven? Does someone get to crack open the skull, for some deeee-lish squirrel brain?

They should be easy to deep fry...

Anonymous said...

I wonder what kinds of parasites squirrels harbor... Oh.

Anonymous said...

Something I always found funny in the old TV show ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ was the way society would make fun of the Clampett’s habit of eating possum, squirrel and raccoon while themselves (allegedly) enjoyed salted fish eggs, a paste made from an engorged goose liver and raw fish, all of which I have sampled and found to be definitely an acquired taste (meaning I ain’t going near that stuff again).

I have always wondered if certain things aren’t only considered edible because of long standing traditions more than actual taste. Garrison Keillor’s stories of the Norwegian Ludefisk (sp?) come to mind, as well as the habit some have for eating Limburger cheese, or some of the more potent English varieties (like Stilton). How would like to have the marketing contract for Limburger?

Its not just a cheese; it’s a weapon?

Shane said...

Here is more on the supposedly sweet natured squirrel!!!

LoafingOaf said...

I'm weird about what animals I'll eat. I don't have it in me to be a vegetarian, so I divide animals up between those I respect and those I think are too stupid for me to care as much about. I have great respect for squirrels! They're freaking cool and clever and I encourage them to feast at my bird feeders. Turkeys and fish I don't mind eating.

We've got these righteous lil black squirrels invading the Cleveland area in recent years. I think they came from England somehow, or something.

When I went to college in Northfield, MN, the squirrels were so friendly you could walk right up to them and say hi from just a few feet away. Can't imagine killing one.....

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Loafing Oaf: Carleton or St. Olaf's?

Does Northfield still have the distinction of having more colleges than movie theaters?

Anonymous said...

This is from my all-time favorite A.P. article, filed by Sandra Blakeslee on August 29, 1997, entitled

"Kentucky Doctors Warn Against Regional Dish: Squirrels'Brains"

"Squirrels are a popular food in rural Kentucky, where people eat either the meat or the brains but generally not both, Weisman said. Families tend to prefer one or the other depending on tradition. Those who eat only squirrel meat chop up the carcass and prepare it with vegetables in a stew called burgoo. Squirrels recently killed on the road are often thrown into the pot.

Families that eat brains follow only certain rituals. "Someone comes by the house with just the head of a squirrel," Weisman said, "and gives it to the matriarch of the family. She shaves the fur off the top of the head and fries the head whole. The skull is cracked open at the dinner table and the brains are sucked out." It is a gift-giving ritual.

The second most popular way to prepare squirrel brains is to scramble them in white gravy, he said, or to scramble them with eggs. In each case, the walnut-sized skull is cracked open and the brains are scooped out for cooking.

These practices are not related to poverty, Berger said. People of all income levels eat squirrel brains in rural Kentucky and in other parts of the South."

Oh, and the article said you shouldn't eat squirrel brains because they may be infected with the squirrel equivalent of mad-cow disease. (In the summer of '97, six people died from this.)

Tully said...

Squirrels are rats with fuzzy tails and better PR agents.

Not surprisingly, they taste like rat, not chicken.

Mellow-Drama said...

I think squirrels are delicious, and I hate it when people make fun of people who eat squirrels, or rabbits, or beaver, or other such items. Hello, anyone? Shrimp are the cockroaches of the sea, and no one ever mentions that.