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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wildlife survival - If it moves eat it!

Culinary trailblazers.

I don't recall this ever happening, but then I'm getting older and perhaps I just like to remember only the stuff I like to remember.

So back in the mid-70s the powers-that-was sent us kids out on canoe trips armed with this cookbook and this advice: If you ran out of food and were caught in "survival situation" there was plenty of good eating to be had all around you.

Squirrels, chipmunks, birds and rabbits were just some of the tasty smorgusboard offerings you and your trail mates could chow down on when things got desperate--and so you didn't immediately eye up the littlest kid for the frying pan.

"Rabbits are easy to clean; pinch up enough of loose back skin to slit by shoving a knife through. Insert fingers and tear fragile skin apart completely around rabbit. Peel back lower half like a glove, disjointing tail when you come to it, and finally cutting off each hind foot."

Easy, peasy, huh?

"Do the same with the top part of the skin, loosening it and finally cutting off the head and forelegs. Then pull animal open at the ribs and flip out the entrails, retrieving heart and liver. You can also cut out the small waxy gland between the foreleg and body. Roast or fry the remaining meat."

Just serve with a sprig of rosemary and room temperature Merlot.

Bon app├ętit!

Wait. There's more. The forest is a veritable buffet.

Who wouldn't want beaver on a plate?

"Beaver tail is especially full of oils," the trusty Camp Stephens trail cookbook opines. "All parts of animal should be used; e.g. bones in soup, blood in broth, etc., because they contain many vitamins and minerals."

This handy cookbook also offers advice on what bugs and plants you can eat.

Word of caution: It's important to not overcook your stinging nettles.

So if you're planning canoe trip this summer--heck, if you're just camping with the kids in the backyard and want them to experience Scuzz Eggs and Rice and Raisins--download your own copy of the 1975 Camp Stephens Trail Cookbook.

Any poser can run down to MEC and fork over some big bucks for a few pouches of Backpacker's Pantry Chicken Vindaloo, but it takes true grit to bite into hunk of Klik fried in lard that was dropped on the ground and covered in pine needles.


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