The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

"To tan small hides..."

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saradippity's picture
saradippity

"To tan small hides..."

I just got a cookbook (Cooking Alaskan, by Alaskans - it was 45 cents plus shipping) for two chapters: "How to Prepare Any Fish" and "All About Sourdough". Now I proudly own recipes for squirrel and lynx. I haven't had time to read the chapter yet, but skimming the sourdough chapter showed this tidbit of info that I just love, "To tan small hides such as min, rabbit, ermine, or muskrat, first wash the hide with lukewarm soapy water, using a mild soap. Lay the skin on a flat board, hair side down. Cover it with a thick batter of sourdough. When the dough begins to dry, start working the skin. Rub it with a circular motion against the palm of the left hand. Rub and knead the skin until it is dry and soft." Seriously, I wish I hunted.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

I thought you were going to tell us a little about disciplining young children. But, sourdough squirrel skin is much more exotic. Almost makes me wish I had a copy of that book, too!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hmmm ... I wish I made pancakes more often. I could feed the extras to the small animals.

David

saradippity's picture
saradippity

Lol, I was thinking while browsing through my new exotic recipes that trapping might be possible (I think if someone handed me a gun I'd probably lose a toe) now I know I have bait!

SCruz's picture
SCruz

The different meanings of "Cooking Alaskans" makes me think of the difference between "Let's eat Grandma" and "Let's eat, Grandma."

Jerry

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

this youtube video of a train ride from Trail BC up the Columbia river to Nelson.  Very relaxing and slow moving!  A day much like today.   Bear on the tracks at 3:27:40 !!!   Lots of hill, tree and river scenery.  The bear looks brown enough to be a grizzly.  :)

saradippity's picture
saradippity

I now apparently, along with other assorted game, own a recipe for polar bear soup. Only, when I saw that the thought that popped into my head was that if I met a polar bear, I wouldn't likely be the one consulting a cookbook afterwards. Also, I doubt I would find it relaxing. Yeah, I think I wouldn't notice the scenery any more at all.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...what kind of bread is served with p b soup?   are there dumplings?  can we make it without the bear?

saradippity's picture
saradippity

Omg. This book is awesome. It makes me go and look at stuff that I've totally never encountered in my cool herbalism books or my books on exotic cooking techniques. Apparently eating polar bear liver can be toxic due to high levels of vitamin A. This is interesting because the locals have always said not to eat it, that it makes your hair fall out, long before science discovered that indeed, in fact, it does. Anyway, getting your hands on one for the recipes would be a little tricky, and I quote, word for word because this is beautiful:

"Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, only an Alaskan Native may take polar bear (though polar bears may take any variety of human)."

The black humored geek within me is very pleased. The nature geek in me is as well.

Anyway, the recipe calls for 4lb of polar bear meat, potatoes, celery flakes, onion, carrots, butter, garlic, pepper,  and flour. I'll be nice to these lovely people and not post amounts. It has flour, which means I'd totally use sourdough, but it's a thickener and not a dumpling.  In the recipe above the stew for Polar Bear and onions, it mentions that the meat is strongly scented due to the diet of seals (are seals stinky? fishy maybe?) Anyway, the steak requires that you use something equally powerful to counteract the odor.  I bet the right strain of sourdough would impact flavor quite nicely. Perhaps someone could simulate polar bear meat by wrapping beef in clam juice?

saradippity's picture
saradippity

Okay, who is in Alaska? How culturally insensitive would it be to go onto an Alaskan forum and ask if polar bear meat is pungent and was it a fishy pungent or gamey pungent, and what kind of recommendations could they give for recreating the flavor and if I could pair it with a sourdough whole wheat? I would so love a mock polar bear stew to serve at Christmas.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

There is still a lot to be discovered on the internet these days. I just searched polar bear meat in Google search, and found a bunch of interesting stuff. By the way, did you know there are exotic meat markets that sell domesticated bear meat? Even more surprising, they sell American Lion meat! Check out http://exoticmeatmarkets.com for a while. No Polar Bear, but some unique meats nonetheless!

saradippity's picture
saradippity

They have elk! I've had elk jerky before and it was awesome... Wait, I had bear jerky too. I forgot about that. It was pretty good too. That's a cool site, but I think their prices might be jacked up though, it was sixty dollars for a squirrel.