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June 2006
Of Woods & Waters: A Kentucky Outdoors Reader
edited by Ron Ellis

Selected Recipes

These recipes from Of Woods & Waters are reprinted by permission of their author, Sidney Saylor Farr. They originally appeared in her 1983 book More Than Moonshine: Appalachian Recipes and Recollections.

Barbecued Groundhog

  • 1 groundhog, dressed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons lard, approximately
  • barbecue sauce

Brown meat in lard in heavy skillet. Drain off excess lard and drippings. Pour barbecue sauce over meat until each piece is covered. Simmer on stove until meat is tender. Serve with vegetables and bread.

Venison Pot Roast

To prepare the roast, soak venison in a solution of salt, vinegar, and water for 3 hours. (For each cup of water, mix in 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup salt.) Pour off solution and run cold water over meat. Put salt and water (1 cup water to 1/4 cup salt) into container and soak venison overnight. Take out of container and rinse in cold water. Put meat in kettle or crockpot and pour enough water over the meat to cover it. Add carrots, onions, potatoes, and celery and cook very slowly—8 hours in crockpot or 4 hours in a kettle. You may sprinkle garlic salt over meat if you like. Venison should be cooked slowly for it to taste best.

Fried Fish

Clean and cut the fish into strips for frying. Put 1/2 to 1 cup (depending on how many fish you are frying) of cornmeal into a paper sack and add salt and pepper to taste. Put a strip or two of fish into the bag at a time and shake until well coated. Do this until all the pieces are coated with cornmeal. It will help if you dip the fish in milk or water first, so the cornmeal will stick.

Put a large heavy skillet over medium heat and lay strips of bacon across bottom of pan. Put a layer of fish crosswise of the strips of bacon. Fry until the bottom side is golden brown. Take a flat lid or tin plate and lay it on top of fish. Tilt skillet sideways and pour off all the grease, then turn the fish out onto the lid or plate. Start all over again by placing more strips of bacon on the bottom of the skillet and put the fish into the skillet, browned side up. Fry. When done you will have fried fish held together with the bacon. Serve with hushpuppies and vegetables of your choice.

Cooked Squirrel and Gravy

Clean squirrel and cut into serving pieces. Soak the meat at least an hour in salt water. Take out and put in a heavy kettle and pour water over it to cover meat. Cook on moderate heat until meat is tender. Put 1/2 cup flour in cold water and stir until mixture is a smooth paste. Slowly pour into kettle and stir until thickened into gravy. Put pieces of meat into a big bowl and pour gravy over all. Serve with vegetables, cornbread or biscuits, and hot coffee.

Fried Rabbit

Dress rabbit and cut into serving pieces. Put in a kettle with a sufficient amount of water and boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove kettle from heat and let stand until meat is cold. Dry each piece and dip into beaten egg, then roll in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Fry in an equal mixture of lard and butter until pieces are nicely browned. Remove pieces of rabbit and keep hot. In the drippings remaining in the skillet, put in flour enough to make a creamy paste, pour in a cup of milk or cream, and let the mixture come to a boil. When it is of desired consistency, pour over the rabbit and serve with green vegetables, fried or creamed potatoes, and coffee or milk.

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