Fab Frugal Friday: The Ultimate Foraged Frugal Food Source

April 1, 2011 in Frugal Tips, Oh My!

Even in our highly industrialized, largely factory-farm-dependent world, plenty of people still crave venison and hunt for deer. One of the most classic, beloved forms of paella includes rabbit among its myriad meat ingredients. And the delicacy we usually refer to as “squab” is, essentially, pigeon.

So why let a plentiful food source go to waste, just because the source happens to be accidental in nature? Foraging for plants has totally made a comeback, whether it’s wild herbs, mushrooms or other vegetation, so why not, in essence, “forage” for meat? I propose a revival of an overlooked classic. Roadkill Pie- it’s not just for hillbillies anymore!

Let’s start with this simple delight, just to get you started on the concept, adapted from a recipe by Rita Van Amber.

CREAM FRIED SQUIRREL

1. Soak pieces in salt water; drain.
2. Add fresh water and boil until tender.
3. Fry in heavy cream and season to taste.

I say wrap that up in some dough and you’ve got yourself some Roadkill Pie! What could be cheaper?

 

*****

 

YES, of course, this is an April Fool’s post. But I actually had an enlightening time poking around to (loosely-put) research for tidbits to include here. Check out this fascinating foraging blog, Firstways, self-described as “An Urban Forager’s Guide to Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and More”.

And I had hoped to include a few choice recipes from my old, beloved edition of “The Joy Of Cooking”.Way back when I received it, I specifically requested an edition as old as possible, due to my amusement at the small game recipes. Where else (pre-internet, anyway) was a modern gal to find instructions on how to flay, gut, and stew a squirrel? With diagrams and all?

Alas, my “Joy of Cooking” is packed away in a storage space, along with most of my other cookbooks, so I rummaged through my foodie roommate’s collection for some historical selections. It was a real treat to peruse the aforementioned old spiral-bound book, “Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression”, from which came the Cream-Fried Squirrel. On the simple frontispiece, in the plainest of typefaces, a version of a saying my own mom (my adoptive mom) used to say, as handed down by my grandmother, and mostly likely my great-grandmother:

EAT IT UP
WEAR IT OUT
MAKE IT DO
OR DO WITHOUT

Our version started with “Use” rather than “Eat”, making it more multi-purpose, but was otherwise identical.  The first long segment is simply a great collection of remembrances from those who lived through the Depression,  pithy and stoic and practical.

“The Depression was real, but I feel most fortunate to have had a loving Mom who could turn whatever food into something ‘so good’, rejected clothing into something ‘brand new’.”

“Vitamins was not a word in the dictionary. We knew instinctively that unless we served a variety of foods our families would not be well.”

And my personal favorite:

“I tried to dilute the little bit of gas in the car to make it to town. I added some kerosene. You can’t do that.”

No further information offered. I hate to resort to emoticons in a blog post, but all I have to say is O.o And finally:

“Good old days would kill off this generation in a weeks time.”

Ain’t that the truth?

All joking officially aside, so many of these are not only still absolutely useful today, but serve as a reminder of the incredible relative abundance so many of us enjoy today.

Happy April!

– posted by Anne

Image courtesy of Vegetable Assasins
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