Every time I get together with my sister we have at least one good laughing fit. This year it came from reading the National American Hunting Club's Wild Game Cookbook at my mom's house yesterday. It all started with a bird hunt.
This weekend Brian and the boys went pheasant hunting. They came home with two pheasants and a quail. I love pheasant and quail. I know it's cliche but they really do taste a lot like chicken. My mom used to just fry them just like a chicken and serve them with mashed potatoes and gravy. Yummy!
Unfortunately these birds have been skinned, not plucked, which means they cannot be fried as well, so I haven't decided how I will cook them. Yesterday we were down at my moms where she announced that we would be having the pheasant my Dad got for supper. She also had to find a new way to cook it so she got out her Wild Game Cookbook. She ended up choosing Pheasant in Mushroom Sauce, which was just fair, not great. But here is where the funny (blog-worthy) part comes in.
My brother-in-law spent a good while reading recipes in the cookbook to us. And let me tell you they have a recipe for everything. Have a hankerin' for some groundhog? Just soak it overnight in vinegar and then bake it. Armadillo more to your taste? Just fry it up, Texas style. Got a bison tongue or some mountain lion sausage (I am not joking here) taking up space in your freezer? There's a recipe for that too.
And if you don't know how to clean the roadkill you are about to fricasse there are step by step directions for that in the cookbook too. For example, check out this recipe for Grandpa's Snapper Soup.
Hang turtle upside down for 1 hour after cutting head off. (No word on how to safely catch said turtle.) Dip in boiling water and peel scales off (dip again if needed). Scrape the bottom of the turtle and pull the toe nails off. (Proof even hillbillies don't eat toe nails....at least not snapping turtle toe nails.) Cut around the breast bone to remove intestines.
In a large pot soak turtle in salt water for 1-2 hours. Bring water to boil and cook until shell falls off, remove shell from water. Add 6 slightly boiled eggs, 1/2 t. celery seed, 1 stick butter and vegetables. (Use 1 qt. of each desired vegetable for a 5-7 pound turtle.
Serves: a large group
Or maybe you are a bad shot and you only made it home with the moose nose and not the whole moose. Not to worry. There is a recipe for that....and it sounds scrumptious.
1 moose nose
1 medium onion
Cut off the large upper jaw of a moose just below the eyes. Simmer in a pot of boiling water for an hour, cool and pull out the loosened hairs. Wash clean.
Return to cleaned pot. Cover with fresh water, add salt and onion. Cook just short of boiling until the dark meat falls away from the bones and jowls and white stripes ease from the nostrils. (I don't want to know what the "white stripes" really are.) If the sweet tantalizing odors have been too much for you, this is fine to pick at hot. If you can keep occupied with different tidbits, however, alternate bites of both kinds of meat in a small narrow pan. Strain the liquid over them, let the juices and the meat jell together overnight and savor the whole in cold slices.
So what I'm saying here is if civilization fails one day and grocery stores cease to exist but you still want to make a delicious and nutritious meal for your family from the porcupine, caribou or big horn sheep you bagged that morning, my mom is the lady to call. Who else could give you the details on Goose Ravioli, Bear Stir Fry, Crispy Cottontail or Partridge Supreme?