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Eating in the Wild

Pioneers soon learned the art of preparing foods which were life-sustaining and living off whatever they were able to find. When hunting and staying in the wild, every person had their own ways to prepare animals they captured. These three ‘appetizing’ recipes are found in "Eating on the Wild Side, A Wild Game Cookbook" for pioneers.

Bear Head Cheese
Head of bear, tongue, heart, trimmings, 1/2 cup salt, 1 gallon water

Clean head, removing eyes, ears, brains, and skin. Trim off fat. Cut head into pieces. Soak in brine of a half cup salt to a gallon of water overnight. Drain and rinse in clean water. Place all in a large pot and boil meat. Trim meat from bones and chop fine. Weigh meat, strain broth, then boil it down to 4 cups for every 3 pounds of meat. Add chopped meat to broth with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. 1 tablespoon onion flakes, 1 tablespoon dried red pepper, 1 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon cloves for every 3 pounds meat. Heat mixture and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into loaf pans, cover and chill.

1 muskrat per person, onion, cut, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, salt and pepper

Wash and clean muskrat completely. All fat and musk must be removed. (Musk is found between the shoulders, underneath the arms, on the back, back quarters by the tail, and under back legs.) Parboil with onion, carrot and celery. Bring to a boil for 20 minutes; let stand with the cover on for 20 minutes. Drain well. Do not use broth. Brown muskrat in oil in a skillet until brown using seasoning. Serve warm.

Roast Skunk
1 cleaned and descented skunk, 1 cup bouillon cube soup, 2 carrots, 1 tspn onion juice

Skin, clean and remove insides, and scent glands. Parboil in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain off water. Then place meat in fresh water and steam until tender, about an hour. Transfer to roasting pan and bake for 2 hours. Add 1 cup of broth, 2 sliced carrots and 1 teaspoon onion juice and cook uncovered for 30 more minutes. 

'Pioneer' segment written in October, 1997 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge


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