Friday, August 25, 2006

Today is the first day of squirrel season in Tennessee.

Everyone turn to page 32 of The Book:

[A]n old boar squirrel tightwalked unsuspecting down a branch just ahead of the boat, and having skipped lunch I shot him for supper.

In another drifting mile or so it was four thirty by my guess time, and I pulled out at the mouth of Inoi Creek, above a tumbling rapids, and made camp in a bed of thick, tough, oily, dark green weeds, below willows. It was the sort of place that in summer would have been insect-ridden, but the footing was sandy turf instead of mud, and I wanted to get settled before evening brought whatever weather it might bring.

I skinned and quartered the old squirrel, thick-hided and with testicles as big as a dog’s. Since the war, somehow, I don’t much like to skin them. You cut them at the wrists and make a slash or two and peel away the tough pelt, and what you the have suddenly in your hands is a bug-eyed, naked, dead homunculus whose looks I do not care for. It isn’t the same with other animals . . . I remember, from somewhere, a story of Kentucky politicians arguing over the composition of burgoo, and whether or not the squirrels that went into it ought first to be decapitated. One point of view holds that the cheek meat is the best of all . . .In the story, the proponent of headlessness wound up shouting: “By God, I don’t care. When I look in a pot, be damn if I want it lookin’ back at me!”

Which, in male company, could lead to the proctologist and the swallowed glass eye, and along many another coloful byway, but won’t. . . .

“Goodbye to a River”, pp. 32 – 33.

Here is a recipe for squirrel burgoo from “Kentucky’s most famous Burgoo-maker" (click on it to read, it's worth it)....

Here are a few more relevant facts to consider before the trip…

1. Rob is in charge of side items on the fall trip.

2. Rob is from Kentucky.

3. Rob likes to cook “outdoors in huge iron kettles over wood fires from 15 to 20 hours.”

4. Rob likes to cook in large quantities. This recipe makes 1,200 gallons of Burgoo.

5. Notice the tripod in the illustration. Notice Rob’s e-mail from last week…

"And just wait 'til Varmint season...!"

No comments: