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> Opossum, the other meat
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Shadows 
Posted: 18-Jun-2010, 05:49 PM
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We today seem to have lost touch with our roots as far as what we eat!
We have become consumers of the "great agri-business" and eat only those things dictated by "big farms".
This recipe goes back into our heritage...
...it has roots in the 1700's, but his particular recipe is from the 1930's to early 1940's:

Recipe Name: APPLE ROASTED OPOSSUM
Category: 18TH CENTURY
Serves: 4

SOURCE PA GAME COMMISION NEWS LETTER

1 Young Opossum
Dressing
Bacon slices
3 Cup Water
Salt
1 Tblsp Sugar
1 Tblsp Lemon juice
pared, quatered apples

Parboil opossum in salted water until tender.
Stuff with any preffered dressing.
Place on rack in roaster and cover with bacon slices.
Dissolve sugar and lemon juice in water, add to pan and bake at 450° F for 2 hours.
Drain all but about 1 cup of liquid from pan.
Surround opossum with apples.
Continue baking for 1/2 hour until opossum is tender.


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Jun-2010, 08:37 PM
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ZodiacBirch

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I've never had possum -- does it resemble anything for taste, like maybe rabbit?

I notice that this recipe still seems to need a fattened domesticated meat source as an addition to keep the possum moist -- the bacon slices. Lean little fellers, are they? Still, using the pig meat only as a garnish instead of the main protein is an improvement, resource wise. You could also get some chopped or ground nuts in the dressing to moisten the lean meat from inside.
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Patch 
Posted: 21-Jun-2010, 02:59 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 18-Jun-2010, 06:49 PM)
We today seem to have lost touch with our roots as far as what we eat!
We have become consumers of the "great agri-business" and eat only those things dictated by "big farms".
This recipe goes back into our heritage...
...it has roots in the 1700's, but his particular recipe is from the 1930's to early 1940's:

Recipe Name: APPLE ROASTED OPOSSUM
Category: 18TH CENTURY
Serves: 4

SOURCE PA GAME COMMISION NEWS LETTER

1 Young Opossum
Dressing
Bacon slices
3 Cup Water
Salt
1 Tblsp Sugar
1 Tblsp Lemon juice
pared, quatered apples

Parboil opossum in salted water until tender.
Stuff with any preffered dressing.
Place on rack in roaster and cover with bacon slices.
Dissolve sugar and lemon juice in water, add to pan and bake at 450° F for 2 hours.
Drain all but about 1 cup of liquid from pan.
Surround opossum with apples.
Continue baking for 1/2 hour until opossum is tender.

Virtually anything with muscle is edible and somewhere it is a staple for the population. As a child, we ate rabbit, squirrel (tree rats) raccoons and wild birds. I went to school with a kid of Celtic lineage who I helped shoot sparrows for his family to render into sparrow pie.

Though I have never eaten opossum, I did sample pan fried beaver at an annual VFW "Turtle Smoker." It was OK but not to my liking. I was offered fried Nutria once but didn't try it. They are similar looking and are several times larger than opossums with brown fur.

As a general rule anything with scales on it's tail or any creature with both fur and wings is at the very bottom of my food chain.

I sent the recipe to my sisters, one of whom lives in a rural area and is blessed with plenty of opossums. She has not replied to my message but I doubt she will partake of that particular repast. I suspect their daughter would run away from home should an opossum turn up on the table.

The creatures look like very large white haired rats. They are quite prolific so one could probably raise them like rabbits. They will eat carrion and will crawl inside larger dead animals to eat the innards first.

That is probably more than most wanted to know.

I do think the old recipes are very interesting.

Thanks for this one!

Slàinte,    

Patch    
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Shadows 
Posted: 21-Jun-2010, 04:42 PM
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ZodiacHolly

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Stormie, possum is very greasy that is why this is par-boiled... the bacon is added as flavouring not as moisture...

Patch, what we eat is relivent to how hungry we are...

I recently watched "The Book Of Eli" very intersting movie... ate a cat and feed some to a rat...when hunger is a matter of living or dying survival wins out...

Hope you sister comments on this... I have been told it is very good!
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 21-Jun-2010, 06:31 PM
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This is from the 1962 (gad! WE were alive then!!!) "Joy of Cooking":

"OPOSSUM
If possible, trap possum and feed it on milk and cereal for ten days before killing. Clean, but do not skin. Treat as for pig by immersing the unskinned animal in water just below the boiling point. Test frequently by plucking at the hair. When it slips out readily, remove the possum from the water and scrape. While scraping repeatedly, pour cool water over the surface of the animal. Remove small red glands in small of back and under each foreleg between the shoulder and rib. Parboil, page 134, one hour. Roast as for pork, page 421. Serve with turnip greens."

And I guess you could use the kinds of seasonings you often find with pork to offset the fattiness, like thyme, or to help digest the fat, like fennel seed or caraway. It's interesting too about the milk and grain diet (ten days! what a life . . . ) which I suppose makes it milder (and maybe more tender, like milk fed veal?)


Here's another lovely simple one -- I am so fond of sweet red peppers in my cooking, I can actually imagine eating this:

OPOSSUM WITH SWEET POTATOES
(Encyclopedia of American Cookbook)

1 opossum, cleaned & dressed
3 green peppers, chopped
3 red peppers, chopped
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced
salt to taste

Combine salt, green and red peppers and 4 cups of water in saucepan; simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Combine opossum with pan liquid and sweet potatoes in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until opossum is tender, basting occasionally.

Most of the raccoon and possum recipes I just looked at emphasize removing the little musk glands. Maybe not doing so is why some people have had a bad experience with this meat.


Now -- does anyone eat skunk?
smile.gif
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 21-Jun-2010, 06:39 PM
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Well -- the short answer is yes. I just wonder about hunting the critter and keeping an appetite . . . Or would it be raising them for food and de-scenting them young?

FRENCH FRIED SKUNK
Ingredients

* 2 skunks, skinned and cleaned
* 1 tablespoon salt
* water, to cover
* 2 cups bear fat or lard
* 2 egg yolks, beaten
* 3 cups milk or cream
* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons baking powder

Directions:

Clean and wash the skunks, making sure that the scent glands are removed.
Cut up into small serving pieces.
Put a soup kettle on the stove and add the meat.
Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Lower the heat and boil until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes.
Remove all the scum that rises to the surface.
Make a batter by mixing together the egg yolks, milk, flour, salt and baking powder.
Mix real good until the batter is about like cake batter.
Heat the bear fat or lard in a deep fryer to about 360 degrees.
Dip the pieces of skunk in the batter and then fry them in the deep fryer until golden brown.
Drain well and serve.

For sides, maybe the stuff you get at Popeyes -- red beans and rice, sweet corn, mashed spuds and gravy, and a nice fresh cole slaw.
MMMMMMM!!

And here is a site with recipes for feeding your skunks royally while you are raising them to a juicy fat maturity -- apparently some of these are also fit for humans:
http://www.skunk-info.org/recipes/recipes.htm

angel_not.gif
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Patch 
Posted: 21-Jun-2010, 07:17 PM
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Squirrels are best parboiled but mostly to tenderize them. If you only fry them they are tough. I have eaten many of those. My grandfather liked to eat the heads and that I could not watch.

I saw traditional Indian cooking at the Sun Dance festival in Colorado, Koreans cook and eat a dog, fish heads and rice and people in VN eat snakes rats and what appeared to be cats. It is what you are conditioned to eat. People have resorted to cannibalism when starvation is eminent.

Also, I have no desire to "clean" a skunk in preparation for cooking! They are loosely a part of the cat family I believe.

I still believe I could avoid bats, anything with scales on it's tail and human flesh.

Slàinte,    

Patch    
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 21-Jun-2010, 07:59 PM
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Not feline at all -- and not rodents, either. They are loosely related to martens, badgers, otters and ferrets, but distantly enough that they are classified separately.

I think, since skunks are omnivores, they would be palatable in the proportion that they were not meat eaters -- the more meat they ate, the worse they would taste, as a result of the urea and other protein breakdown products that linger in the tissues from meat in the diet. (I have also heard this said of humans: a vegetarian would taste much better to a cannibal. smile.gif) So if you fed the animals a grain and vegetable based diet and kept the animal protein in their menu to a minimum, they would probably be pretty good.

Some use of the fur too, I would imagine. It's very pretty and lux-y looking. Make an unusual sporran, eh lads? Already thinking in the direction of skunk farming . . . lightbulb.gif

The main problem is that they are cute and sociable after removal of the glands, if raised from kits among humans, and when your kid gets attached to his future dinner, there will be trouble.
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Shadows 
Posted: 22-Jun-2010, 03:12 PM
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I wonder....

Do clowns taste funny to cannibals.......



LOL!
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Patch 
Posted: 22-Jun-2010, 03:59 PM
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One sister ignored the opossum recipe and asked if I had one for "ground squirrels."

The other however offered to prepare the "baked opossum" provided that I killed one cleaned it and presented the carcass to her in pristine condition.

She, her husband and daughter would order pizza, breadsticks and cheese sauce for themselves and would document my success or lack thereof in consuming the opossum.

I declined!

In addition, skunks are dietary opportunists that eat insects, birds, some vegetation, small rodents carion and garbage. The also have a taste for eggs though since they do not climb well they are limited to eggs from ground laying birds. When I had a small farm, I unwillingly fed them a lot of chicken eggs and ground chicken feed as well. I have had more contact with them than I ever wanted and even had them as pets on two occasions.

Slàinte,    

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 23-Jun-2010, 03:43 PM
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Wild Game

by Richard Newman

When my great grandma Lizzie moved to town,
her husband promptly sent her to finishing school—
for none of the dainty china or fancy jewels,
house full of servants or elaborate evening gowns
smoothed her backwoods edges or prettied her mouth,
its vocabulary rich in profanity.
She circled higher circles, flattered their vanity,
but kept the dishes that made her famous in the south:

raccoon in barberry sauce, Grand Pacific Game
Pie (with woodcock or snipe), herb-roasted otter,
Spanish fricasseed rabbit garnished with roses.
It wasn't that her wildness was tamed—
Lizzie used the finishing they taught her
to sneak the savagery in under their noses.

Roast haunch of venison, roast possum
with cranberry sauce, hare pie, quail on toast
points, merckle turtle stew, and the most
famous dish of all: cherry blossom
gravy, dumplings, and beer-battered squirrel.
But even when she cooked domesticated
fare, she made it game. Neighbors hated
to watch her grab a backyard hen, twirl

it over her head, and with a snap of the wrist
launch the headless bird into the air—
to land veering like a top too tightly wound
and raining a trail of blood on the dry ground.
And though its comb went limp, the eyes would stare
accusingly from Lizzie's bloodied fist.
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Patch 
Posted: 23-Jun-2010, 04:01 PM
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Sounds a bit like my paternal grandmother. Though I doubt she ever attended a finishing school, she held her own when she attended DAR meetings as a guest of my mother.

She could "do in" a chicken in a flash and her finnesse in holding a goose between her thighs while she quickly divested it of it's down was legendary.

Slàinte,    

Patch    
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