Sunday, February 17, 2008

Apparently, it has a taste not unlike chicken.

Breaking news! Nut farmers on the Saanich Peninsula near Victoria, British Columbia are faced with an epidemic of Grey Squirrels.
Illegal transportation of Grey Squirrels in live catch traps from urban centres such as Victoria are contributing significantly to the spread of this population up island and throughout the Vancouver area . BC Wildlife Branch lists grey squirrels as a species that is known to destroy property and is detrimental to native wildlife. Nut Growers on the Saanich peninsula near Victoria are inundated with Grey Squirrels and farmers are facing massive losses of nut crops. At the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve in Duncan Grey Squirrels are damaging bird boxes, killing young birds, eating acorns and are impacting on the overall ecological health of the site. Nipping off the new shoots of the Garry Oak tree when it sprouts is having a devastating impact on the Gary Oak population which is already Red Listed by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. These squirrels have now been seen and captured in Nanaimo.
Nasty little suckers, aren't they? Mind you, I've always felt that squirrels, the urban kind anyway, were little more than rats with good public relations.

What to do? Well, damned if the Times Online doesn't offer a timely and practical solution.
Pan braised squirrels


4 skinned gutted squirrels, feet removed;

8ml olive oil;

300g dandelion leaves;

300g young sow thistles;

100g young dock leaves;

150g hairy bittercress;

150g nettle tops;

3 medium onions;

100g wild chervil;

80g dill;

a few lemon balm leaves;

juice of one large orange;

pine nuts;

toasted sesame seeds;

dried apricots;

1 tablespn balsamic vinegar;

1/2 teaspn curry powder;

1/4 teaspn turmeric;

1/8th teaspn cinnamon;

1 small chilli;

salt and pepper


Sweat the onions in the olive oil. Boil a pan of water, add dock leaves, sow thistle and dandelion leaves. Boil for 30 secs to 1 min. Strain and discard water. Add this, 3 cups water and all other ingredients to the meat pan. Cover and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally

Does anybody know what wine would go best with that?

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