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Tomorrow it will be -20 but today it’s spring! — 4 Comments

  1. Ref Squirell hair comments: The best way to keep hair off a squirell carcass is to not get it on in the first place. Here is how to skin a squirell without getting even one hair on the carcass. I skin squirells right when I shoot them, and put them in a plastic bag to carry home. It takes less than a minute.. (I have done this over a thousand times in my 70+ years.)

    Lay the Squirell on it’s belly. Stand on it’s hind feet. With your pocket knife cut through the tail bone while holding the tail up with your other hand-but do not cut off the tail-leave as much skin as possible attached to the tail on the upper side. While standing on the hind feet holding the tail, slip the knife blade under the skin from the cut tail bone and slit the skin for an inch or two down each hip of the Squirell.

    Now take hold of the hind feet and stand on the tail. Pull the hind feet up while standing on the tail and the skin will peal off the carcass down to the head and front feet. With thumb and knife blade cut off the front feet to free the pealed skin to the head. A small triangular stip of skin will be still on the belly and hind legs to the hind feet. Using your knife blade and thumb peal that strip of skin up to the hind feet that you are still holding. Now you are holding a compleatly skinned Squirell suspended between the tail (that you are standing on, and the hind feet you are holding. The skin is “wrong side out, the Squirell is suspended in mid air and you have not touched any hair to the meat.

    While holding the carcass this way, cut a slit in the belly of the Squirell from the vent to the rib cage. Flip the Squirell and the intestines will fall out while you still hold the carcass in mid air.

    Next, cut through the neck to sever the head, and with a thumb and knife blade cut off the hind feet.

    It takes less time to skin and clean a Squirell this way than to read these instructions and there will be no hair on the meat and your hands will not be bloody.

  2. Confit is essentially a seasoned version of Qawarma, which was covered in issue 84. Unfortunately, that article is not available online.

    Let me see if I can find my cookbook with the confit recipes, and I’ll get back to you.

    One catch with canning confits: the fat content may make it hard to get a good seal. If you have a cool cellar, a properly made confit can be stored for several months in an airtight container, as it was originally a way to preserve meat without refridgeration.

    -Ellendra

  3. So, are you going to reveal which peppers you consider standbys and which ones you’re trying out? We’re sort of pepper-mad around here; I love the sweet peppers and my boyfriend Rob lives for hot peppers, so we always try to have plenty of both. This year, I’ll make sure I plant the prettiest ones (like Trifetti, with leaves splashed with green, white and purple) either in the greenhouse bed or in hanging baskets so I can enjoy them long after frost has killed the outdoor plants!