Monday, April 22, 2013

Raccoon Stew


Several years back I was have problems with my water well pump up at our camp.  It was the original one installed back in the mid 1980’s, and apparently it had plumb tuckered out.  So I put in a call to a local water well company to come out and install a brand new one. It was cool out so I made a fresh pot of coffee, grabbed my binoculars  and my notebook and took a seat out on the front porch to observe whatever came flying or crawling along while I waiting for the pump guy to show up. A half an hour later an old rickety van pulled into the drive, and as it passed in front of the house I could see the name of the company hand-painted on driver’s side door.  An old fella crawled out of the front seat, lanky and stiff from the ride over and gave me a wide toothless grin and a wave.  “I hear you’re havin’ water well problems”, he yelled.  “Indeed I am”, I replied.  While he begins to unload his water well fixin’ tools, I go inside and pour him a cup of coffee, which he gladly accepts.  We talk a bit about the weather and then about my pump and what it’s not doin’.
While he worked I studied the intricacies a plaster cast I had made of a raccoon (1) (2) track years back.   He noticed, walked up and asked “Whatcha got there?”  I explained what it was and he responded by saying “Have you ever ate coon?”  There are many things in this world I will absolutely not place into my mouth, and ranking up there high alongside opossum, is raccoon. “No I haven’t”, I replied.  “Well if you ever get a hackerin’, let me tell you how to go about cookin’ one”, he said.  I’m not one for indulging in “exotic” cuisine, especially, that of the varmint persuasion, so out of courtesy, I decided to allow this fine gentleman to educate me on what he considered to be some of the finest eatin’. “First you put the whole skinned and gutted coon in a pot a water, with carrots, celery, onions, garlic and seasonings then cook it for a couple of hours on the stove.  Then you put it in one of them there dutch ovens, and this is the secret”…….as he looked around to make sure no one else was listening….”you stuff the inside of the coon where its inards was with canned sweet “taters” and then pour the tater juice over the meat, and then roast it for a couple more hours in the oven. By that time the meat’ll be fallin’ off the bones.    It’s the best dang thang you ever tasted!” I kindly smiled and told him it sure did sound like it would be good, but honestly I just don’t think I’ll be preparing a “coon” anytime soon.
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