Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baked Coon

Soon it's going to be too warm to cook this recipe. We're reaching the end of the "R" months.

Raccoons love city life. A country coon weighs as much as fifteen pounds, but a city coon can weigh as much as sixty pounds. Louisiana country coons are content with acorns, fresh fruit, vegetables, and crawfish. Urban coons prefer the higher calorie diet they find in garbage cans. Country coons sleep in the woods, but city coons reside in outbuildings and abandoned houses.

People try to turn raccoons into pets. Although they are cute, I don't recommend them as pets. Their claws are dangerous. If people feed them pet food such as cat food, the raccoons develop gout, which can be painful for the little fellows.

They are not as clean as we have thought. They don't really wash their food; instead they like to play with it in the water when they can. Furthermore, some of them have rabies, leptospirosis, listeriosis, tetanus, or tularemia. Coon eaters, beware.

In earlier days, raccoons were considered a delicacy. They were popular food items, especially at Christmas in the United States. People in all social circles loved them. Today they remain a well-loved source of food. I know families who enjoy eating raccoons for Christmas dinner. They tell me it tastes scrumptious.
Here is a great recipe for baking a raccoon.

Terry Chrisman shared her mother’s recipe for baked raccoon with me. Since I can’t find any raccoons, I have not tried this recipe. Although it is my policy to try recipes whenever possible—my freezer door is propped closed because of all the food I’ve cooked and stored—I will make an exception in this case. Terry is a distinguished cook, and I trust her. She called her mother to verify the recipe. Because you may find a raccoon you need to cook, I’ll share the recipe with you.

It was one of the first entries at this blog, which now has 370 entries. Also the readers of the Bernice Banner (Louisiana) told me they enjoyed it when I shared it there as a suggestion for Christmas dinner.

Baked Coon by Ann Webb

Dress the coon.
Remove all the glands, especially from under the arms.
Quarter it.
Cover it with pepper sauce.
Lay thick slices of peeled sweet potatoes around the edges.
Pour a little bit of water in the pan.
Sprinkle a cup of dark brown sugar over the sweet potatoes and coon.
Cover the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees until tender.

Terry told me that her mother cooks coon two or three times a year only in cold weather. Her father kills them when he goes squirrel hunting. She said, “He’s supposed to be squirrel hunting, but if he sees a coon, he kills it.”
Baked coon would be a gourmet meal with collards and cornbread on the side.

Flavored with Love: Mary Lou's Family and Friends Can Cook

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