I figured I had three, maybe four options: let it go free outside in the nearby woods, keep it as a pet, or kill it and eat it. Maybe I could give it to the Nature Center on the other side of town.
Thinking, I decided to take a stroll around the neighborhood. Walks can be a good time to figure out what to do.
1. I know all my family and friends would say “let it go.” So that’s best if I need their approval to validate my actions. Hmmmm.
2. A pet? It would eat and urinate and defecate and need shots and someone to take care of it when I travel. Not so attractive.
3. I knew if I killed it, I would have to eat it. I had recently finished a great book “Thirteen Moons” about these mountains and the rugged people who lived here, subsisting off the land, hunters and farmers. Maybe? They would have done it, easy.
4. Donating it to the Nature Center was the equivalent of a life sentence behind bars.
While I thought about all this, maybe I ought to see if I could learn exactly what kind of critter it was.to the rescue. Is too far south for a Martin? Maybe. There it was – my first guess, a Yellow-breasted Martin, or Pine Weasel. They’re omnivores that eat mostly squirrels and mice and birds and some fruit. So far so good. They are rare and even endangered in . Well, this is , so my environmental pals are out of luck. Option 3 is looking good.
The big problem with eating the weasel was not how to cook it. I knew exactly how I’d do that. The darn thing was alive, not skinned and dressed on crushed ice at the market. There could be no suffering. Besides this story is rated G, so this part is very important.
We never talk about all the meat we eat, how the animals die, only how delicious it tastes. I’m pretty sure none of those animals want to die and that, in the interests of efficiency, it’s all very disturbing and violent, but well hidden. Animals don’t have a voice, just our consciences.
So, I’ve decided not to tell you about that part and move on to the cooking. I used my old Appalachian recipe for squirrel stew. I browned the meat in olive oil, onions and garlic and then added some vegetable stock and red wine, carrots, potatoes and celery and some red pepper flakes and rosemary. It simmered in a covered pot for 2 hours. Then, I thickened the stock with some arrowroot. Martin stew was served, delicious.
After my meal, I had a nice hot cup of Jasmine tea.
Well, that could be the end, if I didn’t tell you what I saw on that walk. Want to see? (link)