The other day my four-year-old daughter asked if we could keep a live animal as a pet. She thought either a dog or a squirrel would do. Clearly she takes after her paternal grandfather, who once kept both a porcupine and a deer. While he was a Marine stationed out at Pickle Meadows.
Anyway, it's squirrel week. I'm sure you're all celebrating in your own way. Are any of you celebrating this way, though?
Any serious discussion of squirrel — which is what we do during Squirrel Week: discuss squirrels seriously — must address the subject of eating squirrels. For much of our country’s history, squirrels were not cute little critters seemingly put on Earth to amuse us with their antics. They were food. In some places, they still are.
That was in the Washington Post, where the columnist goes on to describe the skill required to properly kill squirrel. He explains that many parents used to train their children to hunt squirrel before moving on to larger animals. It includes this line: "... the real divide between old school and new school is whether or not you eat the brain."
My mother is one of the more refined women I know. She's reserved, always perfectly dressed, just all around lovely. So when she told me about how she used to eat squirrel -- during her childhood in Missouri -- I had a hard time believing it. Apparently she's not alone.
It almost makes me want to try some. Any tips for how to secure some squirrel meat or how to prepare it?
What other food should I try? My husband tells me that fried scorpion is good. The most adventurous I've gotten is scrapple.