I will probably stick to a tried-and-true method for cooking these bad boys up, like stew or a crock pot recipe. I've read that there are ways to minimize the gaminess (like adding acid, such as citrus), but I would like to try squirrel encompassing its full flavor palate first before resorting to flavor-minimizing techniques.
We calculate the total cost per pound to be about $1.20 since we got a quarter pound per animal at approximately $.30 per shotgun shell. It took us about 25 minutes per animal to butcher, and this was our first time (thank you YouTube for your video educumacation), so I'm sure that can be cut way down. Once fall rolls around, Jay can start using the .22 (since the leaves will fall, thus making it easier to see prey), which should drop our ammunition price down to approximately $.01 per kill. Of course, this is not taking into account our time spent butchering, preserving, and/or cooking said meat, or all the fun times Jay spends stalking through the forest, but folks, that's half the fun!
I bought some carrots, potatoes, celery, and onion at the Devil(Wal)-Mart today (no, I haven't stopped shopping there yet, despite my outcry at this Pre-Packaged Insanity Mecca). I feel like a complete outsider when I'm behind someone in line, and someone is behind me in line, that both have their carts full of every pre-packaged food under the sun, with nothing in the way of fresh vegetables of fruit, or even meat or dairy products that are not pre-cooked, pre-breaded, pre-fried, or pre-microwavable for that matter. I know, what a snob I am! Here I am, declaring the virtues of "local food" when all we've done today is kill a few lil' squirrels. I know killing and preparing food like this is not everyone's cup of tea, but let me tell you, it's fucking awesome and you should really try it!
|Non-bloody capture for the queasy among you. (Note: don't look|
at the rest of them if you take issue with animal butchering.)
|Honestly, I don't know how the dog gets in every picture. (He really|
wanted to investigate the kills, but was Angel Dog and heeded
our commands to not swallow one whole.)
|Prepping area. Courtesy of the Appalachian Fair 2012 flyer insert.|
|One down. One to go.|
|A little more than half a pound. Fresh bushytail headed for the freezer!|