More blogging fun with the ProJo

As I've written, the ProJo's SoxBlog is among the paper's best new-media efforts. There's a lot of content and a steady effort to try new things, such as a daily recorded interview with Sean McAdam, far and away the ProJo's best baseball writer. The downside? McAdam, speaking from some sort of phone while on the road, sounds like he's trapped in a metallic can. Isn't there a way to get better audio for this?

Meanwhile, as someone who has long had an unusually high level of interest in squirrels (due to how a relative had once dubbed a hyper co-worker "the Squirrel"), I appreciated this post from ProJo blog savant Sheila Lennon:

Squirrel for dinner?

Journal / Kris Craig

The ultimate ethical meal: a grey squirrel The Guardian (U.K.) coos,

It tastes sweet, like a cross between lamb and duck. And it's selling as fast as butchers can get it.

That's in England, where the North American Eastern grey squirrel is overrunning their beloved red squirrels. So it's almost patriotic to eat them to help cull the species, at about $6.82 per cleaned squirrel at the butcher shops.

I'm thinking depression-era protein, if things get bad here. Lord knows we have enough grey squirrels eating our tulip bulbs and all the pears from our tree every year.

Texas A&M offers instructions for harvesting acorns, squirrel, opossum and raccoon "(for traditional community coon suppers)", "dressing" and cooking them,:

Squirrel is one of the most tender of all wild game meats. The rosy pink to red flesh of young squirrel is tender and has a pleasing flavor. The flesh of older animals is darker red in color and may require marinating or long cooking for tenderness.

There are recipes for squirrel, although I wouldn't expect much meat from these scrawny city critters.

Here's a recipe for Braised acorn-fed grey squirrel with roasted loin and squirrel pie, garlic mash by Craig James, head chef, at Butlers Wharf Chop House, near Tower Bridge, London.

There's even a review of Butler's squirrel specials in the Evening Standard by restaurant blogger Charles Campion:

During May there is a “squirrel and rook” season. When I visited only the squirrel element had kicked in - and the menu listed “Grey squirrel and rabbit terrine with piccalilli” – the terrine had a good texture, the sweet close-textured squirrel meat ends up pretty much indistinguishable from the rabbit – this would be a great dish for nervous squirrel sensation seekers. On the main course list there is “braised Grey squirrel and Guinness stew with carrots and horseradish dumplings” – very rich and discernibly squirrel, the meat falling from the bones of those long back legs – the dumplings need work, they are a little solid (which need not be a bad quality in a dumpling but can be taken too far) and they also need a bit more of the promised horseradish bite.

pcakes.jpgUKTV Food offers a recipe for squirrel pancakes, pictured at right.

Other squirrel recipes.

There are reports of prion disease -- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease -- in five people from Kentucky who all ate the brains of diseased squirrels. (Hard to know how the squirrels might have acquired it on their diet of nuts and berries, though, so the link may be tentative.) Don't eat the brains if you're being fastidious. (Of course, if you're being fastidious you wouldn't be anywhere near a dead squirrel.) Rabies is rare among squirrels.

How to: Squirrel hunts are great ways to enjoy fall days and teach new hunters field skills. - Wisconson Natural Resources magazine

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