Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Squirrel - A to Z Challenge

Red SquirrelIf it weren’t for their bushy tails, most of us wouldn’t think much of squirrels at all, but those tails make them look so cute. In England we have the red squirrel which has been fighting a losing battle against the introduced grey squirrel for many years. Also loss of habitat is affecting this animal. I have now discovered there is an American Red Black SquirrelSquirrel which is not to be confused with the Asian one as their territories in no way overlap. We also have the ubiquitous grey squirrel which appears to be the dominant species and certainly in southern Ontario we have the black squirrel which I understand is actually an offshoot of the grey. It is a much prettier looking critter in my opinion. I must admit when I think of eating squirrels, I always picture the American Grey Squirrel but I guess it really doesn’t matter. I  myself have never eaten squirrel but I imagine it’s not that different to eating rabbit which I have done many times and found it delicious. I understand the Brunswick Stew was originally made with squirrel.


Squirrel Stew

Backwoods Bound

~ 3 squirrels, cleaned and cut upSquirrel Stew
~ 1/4 cup all purpose flour
~ 1 teaspoon salt
~ 1/2 teaspoon pepper
~ 2 slices bacon
~ 2 tablespoons butter
~ 5 cups of water
~ 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes
~ 1 chopped onion
~ 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
~ 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
~ 1 - 10 oz package frozen lima beans
~ 1 cup frozen corn
~ 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

Combine 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper. Coat the squirrel pieces.
In a Dutch oven, combine bacon and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Add squirrel and brown.
Add water, tomatoes, onion and brown sugar and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove squirrel pieces and let cool. Remove meat from bones.
Add meat, potatoes, beans and corn to Dutch oven. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
Mix 3 tablespoons of flour with 3 tablespoons of cold water, then stir into stew. Heat to boiling.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, bubbly.
Serve with warm rolls and enjoy!

Have a great day
Jo

50 comments:

  1. I didn't know people ate squirrels. They are so small, how much meat can you get?

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    1. I honestly don't know, never tried eating them.

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    2. About a cup of meat per squirrel. I don't eat them, but my hunter men do. They say it tastes like chicken, so I will stick with chicken.

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    3. Seems so many things taste like chicken.

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  2. The red squirrel looks awfully cute, while the black squirrel looks more exotic. I wouldn't want to eat either one of them.

    Julie

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    1. I'm not sure I would Julie, but they do eat them in the South anyway.

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  3. The black squirrel is the only squirrel I've ever seen in Vancouver (aside from a few tiny grey squirrels, but the black ones are so aggressive that you almost never see them). I've never thought to eat squirrel before. o.O I can't imagine that the cleaning and cutting is easy with such a little body.

    https://out0fprint.wordpress.com/

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    1. We get both black and grey in Ontario. They are small, but if you are hungry then the effort would be worthwhile.

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  4. I'm pretty sure my husband has eaten squirrel, esp. since he and his dad and brothers have always been avid hunters. I think they are adorable. There was a grey squirrel that used to come to my slider in Washington and would take peanuts from my hand. I named her Mrs. Whiskerson. The following year she brought her baby to the door! He came a few times but then stopped. Guess he found another food source.

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    1. I like Russell, he is a man after my own heart and eats anything. I like squirrels too, but if anyone produced a squirrel stew for me to try, I would do so. Actually we probably wouldn't like them if they didn't have fluffy tails.

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  5. I've never eaten squirrel. The grey squirrels (whether grey or black) around here chew bark off of trees and are very destructive to wood on homes. They are one of the reasons I don't mind having coyotes around.

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    1. Nor have I Denise. I think they can be very destructive. I have heard of them getting into people's attics and causing a lot of damage. I just discovered we have coyotes round here too. Someone saw one wandering down the street the other day.

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  6. Eating squirrel?! I didn't even know you could. I will never eat such a cute animal, though.

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    1. Probably nor will I Vanessa, but I would if offered it already cooked.

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  7. Yes! You matched up the animal with the dish. Well done.

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    1. Thanks Alex, it was kind of your idea after all.

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  8. Hunting is big around here too, where people are bringing down squirrel and rabbit all the time. One of my former co-workers talked all the time about how good squirrel dumplings were. I don't see squirrel as something I would ever eat or prepare. But them I'm a wimp about those things.

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    1. I would like to try it, but I don't think I want to try preparing squirrel.

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  9. People actually eat them? Really?

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

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  10. When I was VERY young my dad shot and fished what we ate. I actually have a photo of me at 3 where I'm holding dad's rifle and several squirrels lay on the ground at my feet. Hunting for food is not wrong, but I'd rather shop for it. :) PS I never liked any wild game. Just tastes weird to me.

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    1. I think that's a good thing to hunt for what you eat. But I agree, I would rather shop for it. Any game does have a strong taste.

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  11. My son loves squirrel. I always tell him it looks like a fluffy tailed rat.

    (First time I ever cooked a squirrel, I didn't know I was expected to remove the buckshot and it was a lethal grey from the lead. Needless to say, it was tossed in the garbage.)

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    1. I think they are prettier than rats Liz. I would think it was tossed in the garbage. Funny really. Like someone I knew in Malta who didn't know you had to remove the insides of a turkey.

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  12. just stopping by. Unique post. Sorry, the thought of squirrel stew gave me shivers. Nasty little rodents. Ugh.

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    1. Lots of people enjoy them Joanne.

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  13. No squirrel stew for me thanks, not even if it includes the grey.

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  14. Having seen squirrels for the first time in four years recently (apparently they don't like Hawaii) I am a bit partial to these little, furry rat-things:)

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    1. How odd that they aren't in Hawaii. They are cute and I love to watch them. I am not advocating everyone to go out and grab them for supper, but you can if you need to. They are so furry they might make hair grow.

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  15. Hmm. Guess this vegetarian should keep her mouth shut but I do enjoy your theme and will be back for the fruits and vegetables.😳

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    1. There are lots of vegetarians who still have to prepared food for their families who are not vegetarians. You should be OK tomorrow Stephanie, no meat in my recipe.

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  16. There was a man who worked for my grandmother right up until I was about ten. He is the one who taught my sister and I to skin a squirrel because they were good eatin' he said. This man in my opinion was the reason my Dad turned out as decent a person as he was because he practically raised my Dad. Robert was a black man working for my grandmother, who, like most of those in her generation (she was born in 1895), didn't really see him as a person. I sure did. He impressed me and my Dad had a real soft spot for him... Yours is the second blog today I've found posting about squirrels! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. The black people of that time probably ate a lot of squirrel. He sounds like a super nice man.

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  17. Pretty sure I just couldn't eat a squirrel unless I really had to.

    In Olney, IL, the city is nicknamed "The Home of the White Squirrel." Yes, they have white ones there. It's crazy.

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    1. If you really had to you would without problem.

      I have never heard of a white squirrel. Never heard of a black one til I emigrated to Canada - are the white one's albinos or something?

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  18. The black squirrel looks evil! I thought squirrel was something only hillbillies ate. I agree, I think it would taste like rabbit.

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    1. I think the black squirrels are cute. Yes it probably was something the hillbillies ate, but other people did/do.

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  19. My husband always kids about making squirrel using The Joy of Cooking cookbook. Aside from this post I've never heard of anyone actually consider it a food. I think squirrels are cute and can't even imagine it!

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    1. It seems there are people out there who enjoy squirrel or cook it for their families. A lot of animals are cute but if you are a meat eater, I guess you have to forget that.

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  20. We have grey squirrels here...and so many of them! They scamper about all over. I don't think I could eat one. :)

    Creating Life Beautifully - A to Z Challenge

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    1. That seems to be the general reaction Sandra.

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  21. Never have had squirrel but a friend of mine whose husband taught her son to hunt (this was up in Montana), the dad told the boy "whatever you kill, you have to eat" so that the kid got it was just not a sport but for food. Sure enough the boy shot a squirrel and had to eat it. He never shot squirrel again.

    betty

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    1. I am glad he was taught that. Hunting shouldn't be a sport.

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  22. Love Betty's story. Years ago my neighbors who were from Oklahoma would sling shot squirrels from the telephone wires and their mom would make squirrel pie. All I could think of was what kind of diseases might these critters have? Needless to say, I never ate any.

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    1. I think the diseases would have been dealt with in cooking perhaps. I would like to think so anyway.

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  23. Hi Jo - they definitely ate squirrels during the war .. and they are actually coming back on the menu here ... controlling the greys, which have more meat, but usefully using them .. it's something I've never tried: in fact thinking about it there was Squirrel Pasty:

    Fruits of the forest Pasty with squirrel and rabbit meat, wild mushrooms, native nuts and herbs

    This was one of the entries to the Eden Project pasty competition?! Cheers Hilary

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    1. How interesting, I would like to try that pasty. Yes, as I mentioned, Matt's family bred rabbits during the war. I would love to go to the Eden Project, I don't suppose I ever will now though.

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  24. I think they are too cute to eat. I did know someone who hunted squirrel, raccoons and skunk!...he was quite the character

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    1. Those kinds of hunters often are. I wonder if you can eat coons or skunk.

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