Gourmet My Ass

80 as a squirrel

Gourmet magazine recently reworked their website to include sections on food politics, food-making videos and hoity toity advice. Now, this would not normally warrant a post on the anti-establishment ES, but they also added the section: “Vintage Gourmet.” This showcases ghosts of Gourmet’s past. And when I say ghosts, I just don’t mean pineapple, kiwi and goose pudding, or some other gelatin concoction. No, I mean seriously effed up dishes – VARMINT recipes. Yes, I said it. Gourmet actually published recipes for woodchuck, raccoon and squirrel.

Now this is where the fun comes in. ES will offer a guest blogging post to the most daring, most delicious attempt at varmint cooking and eating. AND, a coveted spot on our forthcoming Hall of Endless Eaters.

Please send recipes and photos to contests@endlesssimmer.com by March 3, 2008 (because the first is a Saturday and obviously we don’t work on Saturdays, we drink)

Good luck and Godspeed!

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  • 80 Proof January 29, 2008  

    “Serve the creamed woodchuck with baking powder biscuits and boiled yams.”

    Seriously? I mean, what about the veggies?

    Great post.

  • Britannia January 29, 2008  

    Omg, I’m in. This is where the “Man v’s Wild: Eats” episode comes into play, I have it on DVR too. Goats testicles, perhaps sautéed in a nice garlic butter or deep fried sheep’s eyeballs. Is there a deadline for this challenge?

  • 80 Proof January 29, 2008  

    I love how they put a picture of the varmint that you are about to eat.

    Oh that’s such a cute bunny mommy! Mommy, why are you holding a knife?! Mommy!!

  • BS January 29, 2008  


  • Britannia January 29, 2008  

    Bunny is lame, I had rabbit all the time as a kid, my uncle would hunt them when he went to the Highlands. He used ferrets to chase them from the burrows… Mmm, ferret, now that could be tasty!

  • Pinch o Minch January 29, 2008  

    Can rabies be used as a spice?

  • BS January 29, 2008  

    in case anyone needs preparation advice, Joy of Cooking has a diagram (pg 515 in my edition) that shows how to skin a squirrel using a scalpel and a boot. Instructions include “don gloves to avoid possible tularemia infection” and “gray squirrels are preferred to red squirrels, which are quite gamy in flavor.”

  • gansie January 29, 2008  

    can i get a publishing year for that edition?

  • BS January 29, 2008  


  • BS January 29, 2008  

    that’s 1775, of course

  • Brian January 29, 2008  

    does “vintage” by definition exclude vegetables?

  • MonkeyBoy January 29, 2008  

    Does anyone have a good source for varmint? I got racoons and the occasional possum down the street, but I think the neighbors are a little uptight if I roll in with a .22. Rabbit is pretty easy to buy but I’m not sure what else. And when you google anything + meat you get {ahem} odd results.

  • Tim January 29, 2008  

    Does it matter if the varmint is a pet? …like Alice?

  • SAG January 30, 2008  

    To answer Monkey Boy’s question “Does anyone have a good source for varmint?” Look no further than my sister’s apartment, right behind the couch they have all the varmint one could want.

  • 80 Proof January 30, 2008  

    Lies. All lies. Might want to look on Irving St. now for the alleged varmint.

  • gansie January 30, 2008  

    Fine – I’ve conspired to murder. We had a dying mouse in our apartment. We poisoned him (dad gansie’s idea) and then we he surfaced, trying to hobble from his imminent death, I suggested we throw him out the window. Is that cruel and unusual punishment?

  • BS January 30, 2008  

    bet he would have been good with a panko breadcrumb crust

  • 80 Proof January 30, 2008  

    I would vote for yams.

  • 80 Proof January 30, 2008  
  • gansie January 30, 2008  

    and we will dedicate this contest in those critters’ honor.

  • 80 Proof January 30, 2008  

    Perhaps we could have a roast in their honor?

    Something tells me PETA won’t be endorsing ES anytime soon

  • Aileen January 30, 2008  

    This reminds me of my favorite part of TV Carnage, a cooking-show clip about how to make “squirrel melts.”


  • BS's Mom January 30, 2008  

    I can’t enter the contest since I’m related to one of the editors so I’ll tell my “tale” here. I grew up on a farm in Ireland and cooked lambs’ tails. First, the tails were cut off the lambs with a butcher knife (no novacaine – and please don’t report us to the ASPCA). We then held the tail with a tongs over the open turf (peat to you who don’t know what turf is) fire, first to burn off the wool, then to roast the tail and eat it. It was lovely and crispy at that stage and delicious to taste.

  • BS's Mom January 30, 2008  

    Pig doesn’t qualify as varmin but this is what we did long ago. Killed the pig (using the blood and intestines) for what we called pudding but in this country probably is referred to as blood sausage (think haggis). The pig’s head was the prize in a card game called “25” and the winner got to cook it and eat it. There was intense competition to be the winner.

  • BS January 30, 2008  

    Mom! You never told me that about the lamb’s tails – sounds delicious….but let em get this straight…you ate the lambs tails without killing the lambs??? Did the tails grow back? Neverending food?

  • gansie January 30, 2008  

    BS’s mom – great stories! And do tell us more about the game called “25.”

  • gansie January 30, 2008  

    okay, you know what, maybe i’m not the food connoisseur that i thought i was. that skinned squirrel made me gag. maybe i’m not cut out for this line of work.

  • BS's Mom January 30, 2008  

    The lamb wasn’t killed and the tail didn’t grow back. My sources are trying to figure out why we cut the tails in the first place; we were poor but not hungry.

    Gansie, BS will show you how to play “25.” I better not as I have been accused of changing the rules from time to time.

  • MonkeyBoy January 30, 2008  

    Easier to shear with no tail?

  • BS's Mom January 30, 2008  

    Perhaps you’re right MonkeyBoy. Some family members thinks cutting the tails helped keep the lambs clean. Who knows?

  • El February 1, 2008  

    While not quite as adventursome as BS’s mom, my mom had some great “from the farm” stories from her childhood. The Farm Journal offered a recipe for Brunswick Stew, which called for 70 squirrels. Ick.

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  • dad gansie February 22, 2008  

    neat pic 80 p he’s not using your camera is he??
    interesting comments, not sure if i’m ready to play 25 by either set of rules. don’t remember wanting to do in the little varmit.

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