April 22, 2004

IT'S WHAT'S COOKING (via Mike Daley):

First, skin your squirrel...: Philosopher and farmer Roger Scruton explains why the best way to dispose of many country pests is simply to eat them (Roger Scruton, April 14, 2004, The Guardian)

The best answer to a pest is to encourage the predator that will eat it. And the most efficient predator is man. The way to re-establish ecological balance, therefore, is to acquire the habit of eating your competitors. There was a time when the government offered a shilling for every grey squirrel pelt. Now the business of controlling the invader is left to private enterprise. The endangered red squirrel has a foul gland next to the kidney which ruins its taste. The greys, however, are sweet and succulent. You need four per person - not because they are particularly small, but because they are surpassingly delicious, redder and more gamey than rabbit, but less pungent than muntjac or hare.

The squirrel should be skinned and eviscerated. You should leave the head on, not only because the cheeks are a special delicacy, but also because it serves the same ornamental function as the head of a sea bass or a woodcock. Don't take out the eyes, but leave them to cloud over like opals in the heat of the fire. Marinate the squirrel for a few hours in olive oil, with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice; then skewer the length of its body and grill on both sides.

Best if you don't have oaks in the yard and put out sunflower seeds for awhile before harvesting them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2004 10:56 AM
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