Squirrel Crazy

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Published on: Jun. 2, 1996

Last revision: Oct. 21, 2010

Ken claimed he'd rather pitch those delicious casseroles than risk having them spoil in our refrigerator. How many secret trips did he have to make to the local steakhouse to stave off malnutrition?

Saturday night after another dinner of hamburger mystery, Ken blurted, "I need some meat with bones in it! I'm goin' huntin' tomorrow morning!" Around lunch time on Sunday, he returned from the hunt and casually tossed a bread sack containing some kind of peeled creature on the kitchen counter. I recoiled in horror from what looked like a miniature human whose head, hands, and feet had been crudely amputated. "What is that thing?" I shrieked. "Haven't you ever seen a squirrel?" He shook his head in disbelief as he headed to the living room to catch a baseball game on TV. Yeah, I had seen many a squirrel, but none in this condition. I stared at the carcass. Yuck! This meat couldn't be tossed into a bed of noodles and mixed vegetables. I called into the living room, "How do I cook a squirrel?"

"Fry it, of course!" he yelled.

Bingo! Method number one! The one with the flour and grease! I gritted my teeth and began the grisly job.

Using a dishtowel to grasp the squirrel, I dropped it into a paper bag and added enough flour to coat a moose. Thumping and shaking the bag produced choking clouds of escaping flour, but I persevered.

After the flour dust settled, I peered into the bag to find the squirrel satisfactorily camouflaged with flour. Next step, grease. I melted a fist-sized dollop of lard in an iron skillet. When the grease seemed hot enough, I gently lowered the squirrel, belly side up, into the pan. I jumped back from the skillet in horror at the instantaneous reaction of the squirrel. The torso bent, leaving only a portion of the meat in the boiling oil.

Resisting the urge to rescue the poor beast, I pressed a fork tentatively against the sharply arched belly to urge it down into the lard. No luck! I flipped the squirrel over. The belly was in the grease, but the rest was not. I flipped the meat over again and mashed even harder. I thought, "Maybe the lard needs to be deeper," so I added the rest of the package. Still too much squirrel out of the lard!

What now? At this rate, the darned thing would be only partially

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