field notes ➤ Beulah Simms, 1970

❝ ERO SA KVRPE (Stewed Squirrel)

Ingredients

1 young squirrel
Lard–Abt. 1 tblsp.
Water–Abt. 1 cup
Salt & Pepper–To taste

TO PREPARE SQUIRREL FOR COOKING:

Begin the cleaning of the Squirrel by burning off all the hair over a direct flame. Scrape all the singed hair off. Remove skin, dress, clean, and cut into smaller pieces as you would a fryer.

TO COOK THE SQUIRREL:

If the squirrel is old, boil in salt water until it is tender.

Place a small amount of lard in a frying pan and pan fry the squirrel over a low flame with the pan covered with a lid until slightly cooked. Pour in about a cup of water and simmer down until thoroughly cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

SOME FACTS ABOUT STEWED SQUIRREL:

Some Creek Tribal Towns traditionally have stewed squirrel dinners before the first “Stomp Dance” of the season and after the last “Stomp Dance” of the season. The squirrel is considered good medicine for “stick ball” games, therefore, squirrel skin is used to make the ball for the “stick ball” games. Care must be taken that the squirrel is caught before it falls to the ground (after it has been injured or killed in the tree with what ever weapon is used).

A squirrel that falls to the ground is considered “bad medicine” for the ball players and should not be used to make the ball. Medicine prepared by the Tribal Town “medicine man” is usually placed in the ball before the squirrel skin covering is sewed up. It is said that a ball containing good medicine may even have powers to disappear from the sight of the opposing team so that they are not able to score in the game. A good medicine ball may also have the power to hide in the grass in the disguise of a snake or insect. All this is dependent on the powers of the medicine man employed by the Tribal Town and how strictly the players and officials of the stick ball game have followed their ceremonial rules. ❞

Hokti’s Recipe Book of Creek Indian Foods
by Beulah Simms
(privately published, 1970)

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