Camp Soup – Outdoor Skills
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Camp Soup – Outdoor Skills

Camp Soup – Outdoor Skills




      

Camp Soup – Outdoor Skills


Camp Soup – Outdoor Skills

When, by skirmishing with the wooden fork, you can fish up bones with no meat on them, the soup is cooked, and the kettle may be set aside to cool. Any hungry sportsman can order the next motion. Squirrels—red, black, gray or fox—make nearly as good a soup as venison,* and a better stew. Hares, rabbits, grouse, quail, or even meadow larks and robins, may I use in making soup; but all small game is better in a stew.

To make a stew, proceed for the first two hours precisely as directed for soup; then slice in a couple of good-sized onions and six medium potatoes. When the meat begins to fall from the bones, make a thickening by rubbing three tablespoonfuls of flour and two spoonfuls of melted butter together; thin to the consistence of cream with liquor from the kettle, and drip slowly into the stew, stirring briskly meanwhile. Allow all soups and stews to boil two hours before seasoning, and use only best table salt and white (or black) pepper. Season sparingly; it is easier to put salt in than to get it out. Cayenne pepper adds zest to a soup or stew, but, as some dislike it, let each man season his plate to his own cheek.

Fried squirrels are excellent for a change, but are mostly spoiled by poor cooks, who put tough old he's and tender young squirrels together, treating all alike. To dress and cook them properly, chop off heads, tails and feet with the hatchet; cut the skin on the back crosswise, and, inserting the two middle fingers, pull the skin off in two parts (head and tail). Clean and cut them in halves, leaving two ribs on the hindquarters. Put hind and fore quarters into the kettle, and parboil until tender. This will take about twenty minutes for young ones, and twice as long for the old. When a sharpened sliver will pass easily through the flesh, take the hindquarters from the kettle, drain, and place them in the frying-pan with pork fat hissing hot. Fry to a light, rich brown. It is the only proper way to cook squirrels. The forequarters are to be left in the kettle for a stew.

It sometimes happens that pigeons are very plenty, arid the camp is tempted into over-shooting and overcooking, until every one is thoroughly sick of pigeons. This is all wrong. No party is, or can be, justified in wanton slaughter, just because birds happen to be plenty; they will soon be scarce enough. Pigeons are hardly game, and they are not a first-class bird; but a good deal may be got out of them by the following method: Dress them, at the rate of two birds to one man; save the giblets; place in the kettle, and boil until the sliver will easily pierce the breast; fork them out, cut the thick meat from each side of the breast bone, roll slightly in flour, and put the pieces in the pan, frying them in the same way as directed for squirrels. Put the remainder of the birds in the kettle for a stew.

Sears, George Washington. Woodcraft. New York: Forest and Stream Publishing, 1884.

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