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Anna Lou's Squirrel

Anna Lou's Squirrel

By Jim Casada

Most families living close to the land, as mine did when I was a youngster, have time-tested recipes which they pass down from one generation to the next. The Anna Lou of this recipe’s title was my mother, and in turn her mother was a rarity, a woman local folks called “a squirrel-hunting fool.” This recipe probably originated with her, although Mom never said for sure. At any rate, squirrel was a regular feature on our table throughout my boyhood years, and seldom was I fuller of pride than when a batch of bushytails I had killed formed the centerpiece of our simple supper.

2 squirrels, dressed
Water to cover squirrels
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 tablespoons of butter

Place dressed squirrel in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add soda and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and rinse squirrel thoroughly under cold, running water to remove soda, rubbing gently as you do so. Return to cleaned pan and simmer until tender. Place squirrel in a baking dish, dot with butter and bake at 350 degrees until browned and crusty.

TIPS: Use the broth from cooking the squirrel to make delicious gravy. Also, rabbit can be prepared in this same manner. You can, if the squirrels are old and promise to be rather tough, use a pressure cooker.

—Jim Casada is the author of Field to Feast: The Remington Cookbook.