One of the advantages of living out in the country is ….well….being out in the country. The Rohr family loves the fresh air, the peace and quiet, no neighbors and the ability to step out the back door and kill our dinner.
Last week Devin and Caleb went on a long walk in the woods to see if they could find out where the deer were hanging out. They didn’t see many deer but they did see lots of squirrels. They were everywhere, chirping and barking, jumping from limb to limb, and tree to tree.
Little did I know, Devin had been pinning for some fried squirrel (looks like it’s my lucky day).
When I got home that afternoon Caleb met me at my car with some exciting news. He was eager for me to get out of the car and come in to see the surprise they had for me. I should have known it was a trick. Caleb grabbed my hand and dragged me to the refrigerator…..he could hardly wait for me to see what it was. I opened the refrigerator door and there it was. A large bowl with a plate over it. Now let me explain. In our house , if you see a large bowl with a plate over it, that usually means there is something dead under the plate. Some varmint that my great white hunters have brought home for me to cook. Sure enough…..there it was……a squirrel. Caleb’s squirrel! Devin had left the head on just for me (that romantic devil) to remind me of the time I made my first squirrel dish.
Every time the Rohr family gets together, Devin’s cousin Cheryl (the village idiot) makes me tell this story…..AGAIN! I don’t think it is that funny but everybody else does. Here, you decide for yourself.
Our first year of marriage was a tough one, financially, like many young couples just starting out. We were living in Springfield, Mo. on the campus of Central Bible Collage. We were both taking a full load of classes and working part-time. We were living on love….literally….that and bologna!
One day, after a short hunting trip, Devin came home with a squirrel. Now let me just say right here that I was raised a city girl. I didn’t even know you could eat a squirrel and I sure didn’t know how to cook one. He plopped it up on the table and said, “can you make some squirrel stew with this?” Oh yeah right! Let me get my Betty Crocker cookbook and look up squirrel stew in the index! “Well no!, I said. “I have never even eaten a squirrel much less cooked one…..I wouldn’t even know where to begin!” “Oh it’s easy”, he said. “Granny does it all the time, you just throw it in a pot with some potatoes and an onion and boil it until it gets thick. You will have to boil this old squirrel a long time. He is a tough one!” As soon as he got that sentence out of his mouth, he left for work and left me with a dead squirrel.
I can still feel the panic that I felt that day. I did NOT want to stew a squirrel but I DID want to prove to Devin that I could do it. His one request when we were newly engaged was , “I want you to be able to cook like Granny.” (no pressure there) Stupidly, I smiled and said, “sure, I can do that.” Boy was I green back then! He was too, now that I think about it ;-). There I was, all alone in that tiny apartment with a dead squirrel. Devin had skinned it for me but as I recall it still had the head on it. As I stood there looking at this dead rodent resting on my kitchen table I grew more angry by the minute at Devin for leaving me alone with this squirrel and too little information about how to cook the stupid thing!
He said to just throw it in a pot with some potatoes and an onion and that is exactly what I did. I threw the squirrel in a pot of water, head and all. I boiled the old boar by its self for about two hours then I added the potatoes and onion. Every few minutes I would walk over to take a peak hoping that it would at least look like stew. All I can remember seeing was this nasty rodent, head and all, rolling around amongst some floating vegetables in brown water. I was just hoping and praying this was how it was supposed to look.
A few hours later, when Devin came home, he went straight to the kitchen and looked in the pot on the stove. He put the lid back on and began to look around the kitchen. With a confused look on his face he asked, ” where’s the squirrel stew?” Well, that made me mad! “In the pot!!”, I said. He picked the lid up again and said, “that’s it?”. “Yes!”, I said, now with my hands on my hips and my voice raised. “Oh……..well it don’t look like granny’s…..but that’s ok”, he said. “I’m sure it will taste good.”
Bless his heart. He ate that squirrel stew just to make me feel better. What a guy!
A few weeks later, when I saw Granny, I asked her how to make squirrel stew and it was nothing like the directions that Devin had given me. It figures. Needless to say I have NEVER tried squirrel stew again. Now I just fry it and Devin loves it!