New Kentucky Calendar Shares Delicious Recipes for Rabbit, Squirrel, Beaver and More!
Have you ever seen a groundhog? In case you haven't, here's a photo of one. In fact, this guy's the most famous groundhog in the country.
That's Punxsutawney Phil. Each Groundhog Day (February 2nd), thousands of people gather to see if Phil will see his shadow. That yearly tradition takes place in Pennsylvania and, literally, as a nation we have built a holiday around a rodent.
Here in Kentucky, people don't necessarily celebrate groundhogs. They line up here to eat them. I know this from experience.
Look at this little guy.
When I was in college, a groundhog, much like that one in that photo, made a home for itself in my family's barn. When my parents discovered that he was digging up the ground inside said barn, they called my grandfather to come "take care of it." He showed up with his solution for the problem- a 12 gauge. Yep! Russell shot the groundhog, then carted it off back home to Philpot so my grandmother could skin, clean and cook it. My god! They had Punxsutawney Phil for dinner.
There's no denying that wild game is, well, game here in Kentucky. If you can hunt and kill it, chances are that someone's gonna want to cook it and eat it. That's precisely why the UK Cooperative Extension Office just published the 2022-2023 Cook Wild Kentucky Calendar.
Thankfully, you won't find a recipe for groundhog in this year's edition, but you will find recipes that highlight all sorts of other critters- like rabbit, dove, squirrels, deer and, yes, beaver.
Here's a great example of the recipes in the book. Now, I'll be honest. I have often heard friends and various relatives mention their affinity for turtle soup. I have never tried it. But, as you can see, this recipe isn't a soup at all. It's a "hot pocket" that you cook in the oven and the marquee ingredient is four large turtle legs.
Now, look. Kentucky is full of deer hunters and, well, 'tis the season. Naturally, the Cook Wild calendar has several recipes that highlight deer meat/venison. This particular entry combines the tastes of Kentucky with the traditions of Latin America.
When I was a kid, my sisters and I got three rabbits as pets one Easter. If you've ever spent any reasonable amount of time around rabbits, you know that three can quickly turn into thirty. So, our three rabbits turned into huge rabbit cages back behind the house and we always had twenty to forty rabbits at a time.
What my sisters and I didn't realize was that my parents were occasionally killing some of our pet rabbits for food. Yes, we knew that we had rabbit for dinner occasionally, but we never connected the dots and traced them back to the rabbits that had mysteriously gone "missing" from the cages.
I can't imagine eating a rabbit ever again. To this day I still think of them as pets. But, if you like rabbit, you'll love this.
And, really? Here's another example of an animal that I personally find way to cute to eat. I think beavers are adorable. Apparently, if you throw a little Cajun seasoning on them, they're delicious too. Who knew?!
And if you want a real, action-packed taste of Kentucky, check out this recipe. It's the December 2023 recipe in the calender. In case you aren't aware, burgoo is Kentucky's BBQ soup. This particular burgoo is loaded up with the Commonwealth's wild game.
It has all the little critters in it: rabbit, squirrel, deer! Bon Appétit!
If you'd like to pick up a FREE copy of the 2022-2023 Cook Wild Kentucky Calender, you can find them at the UK Cooperative Extension Office here in Daviess County.
They are also available at other extension offices around the state. Plus, we have a few copies here at the Townsquare Media offices in Owensboro at 3301 Frederica Street.
If you're unable to pick up a calendar, you can find the recipes by CLICKING HERE!
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