Bethany gets the credit for coining the name of our new dish. I’ll take the credit, or the responsibility I guess, if either of us comes down with a weird parasite or tapeworm. BUT, I saw it in a book! The book is called Afield, and it says that people in Texas, and across the south, eat squirrels on the regular. And I trust the authors of this book. I’ve used it many times when I need a reminder on butchering small game or a dish to prepare after a successful hunt. So before you judge, try it!
In the area of California that I live there are a lot of squirrels. I’d wager it’s probably regarded as an infestation. So, after checking with my landlord about using a firearm on her property and checking all boxes according to local hunting regulations, I sat atop a hill and waited for our next meal.
After rendering the squirrel incapable, I set out to do the dirty work. I thought I was going to be sad to skin and butcher the cute little thing. I didn’t imagine it to be at all like butchering big game with which you feel a sort of necessity for. The necessity being the meat, or the accomplishment, or the almost deja vu of collective experience shared with our ancestors. But surprisingly it was. It was intimate in a way. Certainly, it would’t feed the family for long, but I had a true respect for the harvest. I cut and peeled the skin, cut off what little fat there was, and portioned the animal into the pieces that would be eaten. Then I cured the hide with salt and wrapped the meat.
And then I read about all the parasites and tapeworms and I put the squirrel in the freezer for a deep freeze to kill the parasites and feed to Hamlet as part of her new raw diet. Then I tried to imagine I wasn’t the guy living in a trailer who hunts squirrels and say’s thing like, “this truck loves to haul.”