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Eat a squirrel
On November 7, 1974, hirsute American rocker Ted Nugent shot a squirrel from 150 yards with a bow and arrow, hitting and (unsurprisingly) killing the beast. Despite releasing 29 albums’ worth of moderately hard rock, Nugent has become famous (not just among squirrels) for his prowess with his arrows of death – and his culinary skill in cooking squirrel.
In his bi-monthly column in Sportsman’s Guide, the aged Nugent says that even today he can bring down four squirrels in under five minutes using only bow and arrow. He’s clearly having fun too. He boasts, “I have bow bagged grouse, woodcock, quail, dove, rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, gophers, groundhogs, possums, skunks, badger, armadillos, muskrats, mink, bobcat, coyote, red and gray fox, feral dogs and cats, snakes, turkey, deer, elk, bear, buffalo – probably 40-plus species of African and exotic big game from around the world.
“Every encounter and every kill has been phenomenally exciting. I can’t wait for more,” he added, disturbingly.
But you don’t have to be a lunatic ex-rocker to enjoy a delicious squirrel. Below, Britain’s very upper-class Bear Grylls catches and devours a squirrel with worrying glee. Somehow, this video is far more enjoyable in Italian: Bear Grylls Mangia una Scoiattolo – means Bear Grylls eats a squirrel, after catching it in the Siberian wilderness. One commenter points out that Bear has a team of cameramen behind him and a “truck overflowing with food.”
They’re eco-friendly, they’re cute – so of course the BBC has a recipe for sauteed squirrel with chanterelle mushrooms and autumn vegetables. Sadly, while Ted Nugent could probably feed an entire town on squirrel by himself, chanterelle mushrooms are harder to find in the wild.
If you find yourself with a dead squirrel at your feet (fresh, ideally), and little idea what to do, stir-frying is often your best option. The Minneapolis Star Tribune advises, like many other publications, that squirrel is richly flavoured – more so than rabbit, or even venison.
In Britain, a very well-spoken gentleman shows that such efficient extermination techniques aren’t confined to the US of A. “It’s an efficient way to keep these American invaders under control,” a squirrel “control” expert muses, mid-massacre.
The definitive recipe? It comes from the man who said, without a shade of irony, “Life is a barbecue,” Ted Nugent. Mix in baking pan 2 cups of uncooked wild rice, 1 can each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, 1 small jar of mushroom pieces and stems, 1 small can of water chestnuts. Add squirrel and sprinkle with onion soup mix on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours.
The recipe book, Kill it and Grill It is well worth buying for the cover alone.