What Your Kids Know about Squirrel Stew
You ever just sit down and think about what’s really funny? The funniest person I know is my 9 month-old son. The cool thing about him is that every day, everything he does, it’s a damn premiere.
Every single thing he sees is brand spankin’ new. It’s like he’s always cruising his own little red carpet, getting interviewed by that crazy plastic chick — what’s her name?… Joan Rivers. Any time I feel bummed, all I’ve gotta do is watch him eat some pureed bananas or something. He goes: “MMMMM-MMMMMM-MMMMM” like he’s in a trance, and his arm bounces up and down to the beat of some unheard music.
￼He just started crawling, which is good, because for a long time there he was stuck on dragging himself around the house using only his arms. Man, it was totally creepy. Remember how in the Terminator flicks some killer robot would get cut in half but it won’t stop coming, just keeps dragging its damn self, looking to kill shit? My boy was like that. Plus, he had this thing for dust bunnies, I reckon they looked kind of tasty to him, or cute or something, because any time I’d be sweeping the house, along’d come the boy like a little Terminator robot, pulling himself along using his arms, with his legs dragging behind him, yelling “Da-da-da-da-da-da!” like a crazy man. You ever see that?
It’s fuckin’ freaky!
And man, I tell you what, this boy loves to eat everything. I’ve got a theory about that, by the way. See, since the time he was a tiny tot, I’ve been feeding him every damn thing you can imagine. Hell, when he was four months he tried squirrel stew and he loved it. Of course, I pushed it through a little baby food mill on account of him not having any teeth, so the whole thing was just a paste, but he sure ate it right up. He puts down every other thing you can name too. Now that’s a little redneck! The way you’ve got to figure it is this: if you give your kid sweet, salty, tasteless, snot-looking food that comes in those itty bitty glass jars, then that’s all he’s ever going to want. You’ve got to expand his horizons! Babies dig spicy muskrat, and hearty beef stew, but most times, they don’t get a chance to try anything that good. Other stuff the kid eats: liver, spinach, beets, tuna casserole, taco salad. Stuff he doesn’t eat: nothing. See what I mean? The proof is in the pudding? Oh, yeah, and he loves pudding. Man, all this food talk, as usual, is giving me the munchies. Here’s a good recipe to keep the homefires burning.
- 6 dead-as-hell squirrels
- Red wine
- Basil and oregano
- Olive Oil
Filet the squirrels and set aside the good meaty chunks. (A note on squirrels: It’s easy to get the skin off. Just make an incision where the hindquarters meet the hips and pull the skin off like little pants. Then use a real sharp knife to get the meat off the hindlegs. A good-sized squirrel has actually got good meat on it, especially in late fall. Oh yeah, and be sure to pick out any pellets. Lead is not good eating!)
Time to make some tasty squirrel stock. Snap off the femurs and fry them in hot oil to get the flavor out of the marrow. Go ahead and fry up some onions and carrots too. Toss in some basil and oregano, a bunch of water, some salt and pepper, and simmer for half an hour. Strain out the bones but leave in the veggies. Run it all through a blender and set it aside for a little later.
Now chop up your veggies. Sauteé the meat until brown, then add the onions, peppers, then add the tomatoes and the stock. Simmer all that goodness for an hour, two hours, whatever you’ve got at your disposal. Add the potatoes in the last half hour of cooking.
Serve with some crusty bread with lots of butter. Or try this: toast a piece of bread, then butter it and grind some black pepper. Stick it on the bottom of a bowl and pour the stew over it. De-freakin’-licious!
You know what’s cool? If you’ve never had squirrel stew, then this’ll be a premiere for you! Just like being a kid again. Yeehah!