Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

July 31, 2013

How to fry a muskrat

Maybe I’m wrong, but I have a feeling that you’d really like to know how to pan fry a muskrat.

I can’t tell you where to find one, but I’ll tell you how to go about cooking it when you do catch one. I can tell you that Civil War soldiers were often happy to eat muskrat when they hadn’t much else to eat. I doubt if the public did, though.

Tom Imel, service officer for the American Legion Post # 129, received a Military Times issue about Gettysburg.

July 1, 1865, marked the day 150 years ago when that battle started. Contrary to what I had believed, the first day at Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest days in that war. I’m grateful that Tom is letting me use it as a way to honor all of those who fought in the Civil War. Off and on for the rest of the year I’ll tell you something in this column from the issue. It’s a comparison between things as used and done in the Civil War and today.

Muskrat anyone? First, you need to find and slay four muskrats. clean and quarter them making sure that the musk are cleanly removed. One small hunk of salt pork, fatback or bacon grease (if lucky enough to have some). Onions chopped up, salt and pepper.

Parboil the muskrat sections in water. Save water to use later for cooking any greens or other vegetables as may be procured. Heat the salt pork or fatback in skillet over medium fire. Add muskrat quarters and chopped onions, with a vigorous dash of salt and pepper. Cook on both sides until nice and browned.

During the Civil War, military surgeons advised against eating spoiled meat, drinking water from puddles or eating green, unripe corn, apples, peaches, or other fruit and vegetables. Hardtack was popular then. It was made from flour, water and sometimes salt and was a staple of the armies on the move because it was cheap and had a long shelf life. Adding potatoes, onions and other fresh foods helped relieve the bloody dysentery. Once in prison camps, however, dysentery killed many soldiers.

Text Only
Columns
  • Dr. Michael Layne: Palm Sunday Matthew 21:1-11 is the Gospel passage that will be heard in many churches this Palm Sunday. Today, I want us to look at the last two verses: 10When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, "Who can this be?" 11The crowd a

    April 12, 2014

  • Jenni Hanna: Exploring the mystery of the bitcoin I've heard of a lot of synonyms for currency, but "bitcoins" was a new one to me. Although bitcoins (BTCs) have been around since 2009, they are something I've just recently learned about and am really struggling to understand. Bitcoins cannot be hel

    April 11, 2014

  • nws-gb041014-Spaulding headshot Jack Spaulding: A time not to adopt Springtime brings a host of new life into the outdoors. The fields, forest, and the nests and dens are full of new life and cute and cuddly baby critters as nature carries on procreation. Nature knows how to take care for her own, but unfortunately,

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've

    April 10, 2014

  • opn-gb040814-Siekman column headshot Lane Siekman: It's time to raise the minimum wage On March 15, 2013, during consideration of a bill to consolidate job-training programs (H.R. 803), Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that, among other things, would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. R

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • nei-gb040914-Kennett Column headshot Linda Hamer Kennett: Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • nei-gb040914-Pat Smith Column headshot Pat Smith: Mistakes needn't be permanent Continuing last week's column about Josh Rutherford who is a Decatur County native interested in local history. He's interested enough, in fact, to have printed a book so that past mistakes can be corrected and on record. Appreciative of the work don

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • opn-gb040814-Hayden column headshot Maureen Hayden: House Ethics Committee considers allegations INDIANAPOLIS - Steering lawmakers through a rewrite of the state's criminal code won House Judiciary Chairman Greg Steuerwald bipartisan accolades this year. His colleagues appreciated how the even-tempered attorney from Hendricks County used his leg

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • opn-gb040814-hawes column headshot Kelly Hawes: Nation's schools need shared set of standards Barack Obama and Mitch Daniels don't agree on a lot, but they agree on this: The United States needs a common set of academic standards to define what every student ought to know. Deep down, we all understand this. We all recognize that if a child su

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Michael Layne: "A friendship like love is warm; a love like friendship is steady." -- St. Thomas Moore As Lent is winding down, what have you learned? More importantly, what have you learned about yourself? Sometimes po]eople become incensed when discussing topics

    April 5, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.