I can tell by the decline in the numbers of viewers and readers of my blog last week that a lot of you thought that the title “Wow, what a victory” was going to be political. Well, if you had taken a moment to read it, you would have seen that it was not about the winner or the loser, but about the process. As I said before I do not do politics well, so I should have stayed clear of even this attempt to get your attention.

Now, before I tell you just HOW to cook a porcupine, let me tell you how I know. Some years ago I was up in Alaska on a hunting trip and managed to get my hands on a fascinating cookbook called the “Northern Cookbook”. It makes for great reading as the recipes are for ingredients we rarely (if ever) get our hands on in our part of the world.

This book is for folks who don’t live around here. The recipe for ‘jellied moose nose’ starts off with “cut the upper jaw bone of the moose just below the eyes” Obviously you must have obtained a moose jawbone in order to get started. Not something I might find at our neighborhood grocery store.

There are ten, count em , 10 recipes for muskrats. These start off with…’clean the rats well.’ And then they proceed to tell you how to fry, boil, dry and roast a muskrat. You might enjoy muskrat soup. To eat boiled muskrats…you first clean them (don’t forget this step, very important) cover with cold water , add salt and boil for an hour or two until they become soft and fall apart easily. H.P. Sauce (?) seems to go well with this. I think H.P. sauce is kind of like ketchup or steak sauce and I think you would need more than a little bit of it to get me to eat one of these.

For thanksgiving you could always bring a large casserole of ‘baked seal flippers’. Yummy….sounds delicious.

My point in all of this is to get us to realize that our country consists of a lot of different people who have different ideas about things and may not see things as we do from time to time. Maybe folks in Alaska like to eat muskrats or reindeer, I don’t know. We eat deer, and squirrels and maybe a possum or two so we aren’t all that different are we?

I’ve met guys in the Army from up North who didn’t know how to eat a tamale or thought grits were for hogs and not humans. We eat black eyed peas at New Year’s (remind me to eat more than I did at the beginning of this year) for good luck. I’ve been in places where they use black eyed peas to feed livestock. I bet you can’t buy collard greens in Anchorage either.

We are funny creatures aren’t we? How many of us have tasted something, thought it was wonderful until someone told us what it was? I like raw oysters and snails (the eating kind, not the ones in our back yards) but that drives some folks crazy. Several of the ladies in my office eat tongue and cow brains (ceso?) and menudo but not me….I probably am missing a great meal but I can live with it.

I make a pound cake using pinto beans instead of flour. It’s called a …’pinto bean cake.’ And I have taken it to dinners and folks eat it like crazy until someone asks me to tell them what is in it, then they stop getting slices of it. Go figure.

If I didn’t know what was in it, I would probably eat muskrat, who knows? Would you?

By the way, the way you cook a porcupine is this:

First get a porcupine. (This is probably the hardest part for us) 

Second thrown it into the campfire.

After the quills have burnt off, clean it up, skin it  and prepare it as you would any other small animal.

Bon appetite….

See you next week ..