Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kill it and Grill it!

When you get invited to dinner here you aren’t expected to turn up just with beer and wine. You are expected to take a whole course with you. Politely, when I was first invited to dinner I asked ‘Do you want me to bring anything’. I was shocked when asked to bring the appetiser (starter for Brits!). If you take wine and hand it over – you don’t see it again. It is considered a gift for the hostess. I am very fussy about wine. When you get pissed on two glasses and ill on three you want the wine to be good!  I learned pretty fast to hand over something to the hostess and take an extra one for me. Unfortunately some people think I am being generous and put that away too and serve me some Californian Wine! Urggg! I took after dinner mints once and didn’t see them again!
The weather is suddenly lovely here – from being in the 40’s in early February it is now up in the 70’s. Warm enough to grill out (BBQ!). We were invited once to a BBQ and asked to bring our own meat for the grill. What do you take to impress? Are you supposed to eat your own or share with everyone else? If I take Fillet steak will it be considered a gift for the hostess and we get served chicken wings or wieners?
I find it hard to buy decent meat here (and I may be repeating things I have mentioned in other blogs). Some supermarkets add up to 15% broth to their meat. I didn’t read the label and cooked a joint of beef in red wine. It was disgustingly salty because of its broth! I got meat two days ago and, within its sell by date, it went a very funny colour in my fridge. I have to say I sometimes go a very funny colour when I open my fridge. Hubby insists on keeping Roquefort cheese. It smells almost as bad as his feet.
In the UK I would buy free range or organic meat – it got relatively cheap and was easily available and satisfied my former vegetarian self that it was better than intensively farmed stuff. Here in the US it is hard to find, not always good quality and obscenely expensive.
I have come up with an exciting solution that will no doubt impress anyone who invites us to a grill or ‘cook-out’. It is cheap- well free actually, free range and can be loosely defined as organic (but I couldn’t guarantee that). The meat is not injected with broth, is lean and naturally high in vitamins and protein. I am going to take Road Kill!
Driving back from the mountains last week we saw 3 skunks squidged in the road. I was impressed as I have never seen a skunk in the wild. They must be fairly common in these parts. Skunks accurately spray stinky stuff for up to 7 feet, often targeting the face of their enemies. If I take skunk I can take a side of tomato salsa. If the skunk revives and sprays the guests, tomato sauce apparently gets rid of the smell. If not, and we successfully grill the Skunk, the onions can ensure everyone can produce their own noxious smelling gasses in memory of the deceased. I recon my hubby could accurately target his farts in the face of enemies and friends alike!
I often see possums on the side of the road. Again I have never seen a possum out in the wild. They have the cutest noses (if that bit of them hasn’t been tyre tracked!). I could take possum for the grill. At 221 calories per 100 grams  they are more fattening than deer (121cals) and black bear (163cals) but so cute! Maybe with my 'muffin to' I should stick to deer! There is a big risk with taking Possums to a BBQ. As a defence mechanism possums can ‘play dead’ for hours. This is because animals hunting will only eat prey they have killed themselves. If they successfully pretend they are dead they get left alone....unless someone mistakes them for road kill and scoops them up for dinner.  Not sure how it would go down at the BBQ if the entrée (Entrée? Why the French in America?!) jumps up and runs for the bushes.
People round here dislike deer. They shit on your lawn, eat your flowers and carry ticks. Deer ticks are disgusting. My son had one on his neck. It was a dark red spidery/crabby looking thing that I had to get out with tweezers. (Well, not me personally, I took him to a friend who is also a nurse to perform that surgery on him). I think guests would welcome some venison without the bits of shot! If a deer runs in front of your car here, expect a second to follow. They travel in twos. They are small and very sweet and I leave them apples in the garden. If I am found out I am certainly going to be ostracised by the wives of Wisteria Lane who are totally exasperated that the deer don’t appreciate the forest has been carved up for suburbia. I’m sure they will forgive me feeding the deer once they munch on those apple flavoured organic venison steaks.
Grilling Roadkill might even catch on in these local parts. There is an ‘earthskills collective’ in North Carolina whose members started to eat road kill in 2002 and they have now become a  center of information on 'evaluating, skinning and cooking roadkill as well as turning the hides to good use'. They welcome short term visitors – perhaps I could organise a girls weekend away and sell it as a ‘perfect your cook-out skills with new and exciting recipes' weekend. I could keep it a secret, go myself and when I am next invited to a Grill, instead of taking wine for the hostess, I could fashion her a possum hide handbag with skunk trim!



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8 comments:

  1. Eating road kill...fab idea
    Can't believe they thought of it first!!!

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  2. I don't think they did! there are restaurants for road kill! Austrailia, UK and US have fans of Road kill! Very environmentally friendly (other than the cars of course!)

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  3. this made me snigger lots x Deb.S

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  4. Probably best to go for one that you've finished off yourself rather than drive around looking for it

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  5. I found this very funny. It would make entertaining much cheaper.

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  6. just driven past a dead possum. Too squidged to scrape up and cook! I'll keep a look out, I'd prefer not to mow down any small mammals myself, although it would guarentee freshness if I did!

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  7. So thats the reason you drive a large car! Big enough to kill animals that venture out in front of you, and (the car) is large enough to transport it home. Now for the road kill classes, need to attend soon or the car will start to smell!

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