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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Troutbirders Favorite Recipes - a retrospective from 2015

Its hunting season here now in Bluff Country and our walks with Miss Lily the GSD are somewhat limited in where we can go without running into deer hunters. My hunting efforts in years gone by were mainly limited to upland game birds. Bow hunting  for a few years was famous mostly for some hilarious episodes of ineptitude on my part. :)
 In the late sixties my bride purchased Cooking The Sportman's Harvest from the South Dakota Dept. of Game, Fish and Parks. I'm not sure why due to the fact that my very first effort to bring home game to the family hearth had engendered the following exchange. "What are they," asked an obviously disturbed Queen B. "Squirrels", was my proud reply, 22 in hand. "You can forget that. I'll be damned if I'm gonna cook any skinned rats in this kitchen.
Here are some of the recipes which didn't get used. I wonder why?
Paddlefish squares (illegal to catch in Minnesota. Now on the endangered list.)
Snipe (Boys Scouts were often sent to search for these in the dead of night)
Fishloaf (probably carp with ketchup topping) or that all time favorite... Carp Chowder with PCB's and other genetic mutations.
Pressure cooked Sage Hens (tenderizes geriatric birds of any type)
Sandhill Crane pie (popular also in North Dakota where if it has two or four legs and is not human it can be shot and eaten including tables)
Barbequed perch (not available at Famous Daves)
Fish Egg Soup ( for those with more expensive tastes) Also in the Moss Back Turtle variety
Fricasse of Young Racoon. Yes!
Also in the book were specialized recipes for Opposum, Beaver Tail, and Groundhog.
What it came too finally was that she was sure anything not certified Grade A by the Department of Agriculture was probably not safe to eat. I then presented her with a copy of Upton Sinclairs book The Jungle. The inside story of the meat packing industry in Chicago at the end of the 19th century. Having decided that Grade A was not a sure fire saftey guarantee either, Mrs T. went on to devise her own recipes for pheasant, grouse, geese, duck and trout and walleye. What a woman! Squirrel never did make the "approved list" though.

Sons Ted and Tony carry on the hunting traditions of the Troutbirder family.


Far Side of Fifty said...

BBQ squirrel cooked over a campfire with your next farm over boy who was a good shot! I bet Mrs. T's recipes were awesome!
What a wonderful photo of your boys:)

Sarah Laurence said...

You lost me at beaver tail. I ate some weird animals in Kenya while doing field research on game ranching (better for the environment) versus cattle ranching. Helping out in the slaughterhouse turned me off red meat for years. Still, environmentally it is usually better to eat wild game than beef. I can't imagine any recipe making squirrel palatable.

Cynthia said...

I've never eaten squirrel but I know people who do. I had my first meal of "wild hog" at a neighborhood barbecue last weekend. Never had that in Minnesota! I haven't tried frog legs yet but I'm not sure they are classified as wild meat as you can buy them here in the meat department even at Walmart!

amanda said...

We just made a batch of pheasant jerky.
Grouse chilli, venison roasts, sweet and sour grouse, venison tacos.. these are the usual on our dinner table. Chicken fried goose steaks are a favorite. The family says rabbit is delicious.. I draw the line there and have never tried it!
Our Johnathan turned 13 Sunday and Monday early evening got his first deer, a nice young buck. The twins have been successful in archery season. Some days I tire of all the hunting.. but they prepare it for the freezer on their own and it feeds a growing family well!

NCmountainwoman said...

My father was a hunter and I grew up eating game. That paid off when one of our neighbors was an executive with Ducks Unlimited. One of his PR jobs was to take donors hunting. His wife did not appreciate the birds and did not want to cook them so he gave them to us. So while we never hunted we received the bounty. And...he delivered them to us already cleaned.

Shammickite said...

Really? You wanted her to cook squirrel? People really eat squirrel? Are you joking? There must be no more than a mouthful of meat of one of those pesky tree rats.
A pheasant crossed the road in front of my car last week. Very beautiful. I definitely didn't want to shoot it and eat it.

Lin said...

I think this would be really handy should we fall on hard times and were forced to hunt for our own meals. There is a big fat raccoon in our yard--I'd love to fry him up for someone to eat.

Anonymous said...

I remember squirrel being tasty from my younger hunting days. Alas, I was the one who took home the ducks my buddies didn't want to clean but now can hardly get a box of cereal open. Those new inner space age plastic wrappers have to be hack sawed. Very nice tongue in cheek review.

Shady Gardener said...

Too funny!! I'm not much for knowing how to best cook some of the offerings of My Mister! However, I recently found a wonderful recipe for pheasant. It was moist, tender and delicious!!! I would be happy to make it again!! SG

Carla from The River said...

Fun post. Snipe! Ha, that one is funny.
Have a great Thanksgiving,

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Lol. Great post. I could totally see cooking squirrel or even the fat gophers that devastate gardens. Sandhill crane, not so much. Have a wonderful thanksgiving. Nice to see a picture of both your sons.

Far Side of Fifty said...

What a delightful recall to re read!