Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Squirrels, Feeders and Food

A squirrel knocked down my bird feeder today. We're going to come to blows, that squirrel and me. Shouldn't be on the feeder in the first place. Big show on my bird feeder, all confident, but kind of skittish when it comes to roads, squirrels are. The problem is that a squirrel is afraid to commit. Watch a squirrel in the road sometime – it darts out about a third of the way across, stops, and then runs back about half the distance it ran the first time. Then it stops again, changes direction, and runs halfway across the road, turns back and takes three giant (squirrel) steps before running into the path of the truck coming in the other direction.

When that happens, what should we do? Well, let's face it. These are tough economic times. We all have to stretch our dollars. So, you might try this recipe for Easy Squirrel BBQ: Take 4-5 squirrels, cut into serving pieces, and Original Allegro marinade. Place meat in a large zipper seal bag and cover with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, but overnight is better. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil, making the foil big enough so you can fold over the top and seal. Place the meat on the foil and season with garlic powder, salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Wrap the foil over the top and seal. Bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees. While the squirrel is cooking, pre-heat your grill. When squirrel is done, remove it from foil and place it on the grill. Baste with your favorite barbecue sauce. Grill over medium heat until sauce starts to get sticky. Do not overcook - you don't want the meat to get tough! Serve with your favorite side dishes.

NOTE: It's important – and so difficult – to avoid toughness when it comes to roadkill and other game. Here’s a handy tip: for wild game that is rough and tough in taste and texture try soaking it in a zipper seal bag with Coke, beer, red wine, pineapple juice or buttermilk. Except with the buttermilk add minced garlic, black pepper, salt, paprika, cardamom, or other spices to suit your taste. Squeeze out ALL the air and seal well. Keep it in the refrigerator at least 12 to 24 hours. If you have a meat injector you can even put the liquid inside the meat. Coke gives the meat a slightly sweet taste & really tenderizes it. Large pieces (roasts, ribs, shoulders, etc.) are best slow cooked. Check periodically that the meat doesn't dry out by basting or using a spray bottle with the chosen marinade.

“My kids won’t eat that!” I hear you say. You might want to try Squirrel Nuggets: You’ll need some squirrels – the amount depends on how hungry you and your family are. Clean and quarter the squirrels. Add to a large soup pot. Cover with water, beer or chicken stock. Add one large onion, two chopped celery stalks, two chopped carrots and peppercorns to taste. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender. Remove the meat from the pot and cool. Remove the bones, keeping the meat in nugget-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix some flour and beer together to a gravy consistency, season to taste with paprika. Dip the nuggets into the batter and deep fry to a golden brown. Serve with ketchup, ranch dressing or homemade plum jam for dipping.

AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER: I do not expect to ever actually fight a squirrel. They're fast, and they can climb, so they're hard to catch bare-handed. I do not expect to ever actually prepare either of these recipes. It would be very difficult to feed my family of somewhat picky eaters roadkill squirrel, especially with gas prices on the rise. I could stock up, but I hate hearing my wife scream every time she opens the freezer.


  1. Eeewwww....this totally made me think of Spark's Ark and how he freezes roadkill. The last time I saw him he talked about how he thawed them in their microwave (yup, the one in their regular kitchen) GROSS!!!

  2. You and Michael have a lot in common when it comes to your distaste for squirrel! He's got a squirrel relocation program that you may be interested in.

    LOVE your writings...you have a gift!


  3. Tony this is absolutely hilarious! It reminded me of all the squirrels that would invade our yard on Center Street! My Dad would go nuts because the squirrels would totally trash his bird feeders! On the other hand, my Mother would name all of the little critters! I love your blog and can't wait to read more! Please say hi to Elizabeth for me....Lisa Asher Doughty