Friday, January 27, 2006

Ohhh snap!

This weekend, the Pygs and cousins and Gramps will get together for a family cook-off. Many years back, a grandmother and her sisters/cousins put together a fragile handwritten cookbook that’s been since handed down through the generations. The recipes are classic 50’s Midwest fare; casseroles, jello salads, main courses that feature animals that may have been playing on the range with deer and antelope hours before. Each cousin shall bring one dish and we will compare and contrast.

While I assumed the palates of today’s superhumans would have evolved in the past 50 years to handle most food stuffs, I have a hard time imagining anyone being able to stomach some of these recipes. I haven’t decided what to make yet, though it will no doubt contain large amounts of cream cheese, as it appears to be the main staple of many of these concoctions. And melted Red Hots for some reasons.

An entire new blog could be dedicated to this book, but for now you will have to settle for my family’s direction for preparing snapping turtle for consumption. Much more of this family treasure will come in the days ahead.
Catch a turtle in a fishhook – or however you can – and bring it ashore. Using your best method to handle the turtle and being VERY careful, poke turtle with long stick until head comes out and turtle grabs stick. Quickly chop off head with axe. There are of couple of ways to proceed from this point.
Method #1:
After chopping off head, put turtle under tub for 8 to 10 hours. (Suggestions for disposal of head will come later.) Raise tub carefully. If claws are still grabbing, carefully remove tub and turn turtle over. If turtle proceeds to walk off (which has happened) call for help and maneuver turtle into tub again and cover with boiling water for a few minutes. This method is usually successful but quite long and drawn out.
Method #2:
After cutting off head, nail turtle to a board by the tail – still being terribly careful – and allow to bleed out for about 2 hours. Plunge into boiling water for a few minutes. Then cut off bottom shell while still hanging. Take down and cut off top shell. Cut meat from bones and cook slowly in 4 quarts of water for about 3 hours.
You will have 203 pounds of meat and are numerous recipes for this delicacy, but I am too tired to go on.
Oh, yes, Disposal of Head: the general consensus of opinion on this problem is that is in not possible to dispose of the head. No matter what you do with it, the head will continue to pop up in the most up in the most unlikely places. If you come up with a good method for this, we would appreciate hearing from you.
If you had a hard time following that, you’re not alone. If I got to Hechinger’s, will they know what size nail I need to bleed a turtle for 2 hours? Is it possible for one person to pull the turtles head out with enough force and have the leverage to chop it off with an axe? Did Method #1 suggest that the turtle may still attempt to flee 8 hours after its head’s been removed?

Oh, I think a little bit that it did.



The Governess said...

you can't make turtle if I find one first.

then you'll be stuck being The Guy Who Brought Mayonaisse Casserole.

The Governess said...

(PS hechingers, ha.)

tom said...

203 pounds!?