Just for Fun. . .
Mo Possum Dad, Mo' Possum
10 May 2005
Last week I went into the feed room at the barn,
and when I turned-on the lights, I saw a huge she-Possum working to
get into the feed. Possum’s are very bad news to horses as their
poop causes EPM (Equine
Protozoal Myeloencephalitis), an often-fatal horse-disease.
I’m used to critters scurrying-away when
surprised, but this she-Possum just glanced at me, dismissed any
threat, and went back to work on the feed bin. I grabbed a broom
and swung at this giant prehistoric rodent, but all she did was turn
towards me with her reptilian red eyes, open her mouth to reveal her
sharp teeth and hiss at me! I was able to use the broom to insist
that she leave the barn, but she threatened me the whole way. I
also have a beef with the barn cats (see “Tiger”)
but I guess I understand as this Possum was bigger than both of them
Anyway, this Possum encounter reminded me of my
first up-close Possum encounter 14-years ago when the kids were 5 and
6 years old.
Our Cousin Hazel has been a great help to us in
preserving Colonial American family traditions, teaching us how to
kill bullfrogs at night with a sharp stick (their legs dance in the
pan!), and how to wrestle giant catfish, how to shoot guns, and
re-live our American heritage. More about that in later
installments. . . .
During her work with the
Burleson Family Research Group, she located some authentic 16th-century
Colonial American recipes from old family documents. We thought it
would be great fun to serve the young-uns an authentic Colonial
American meal, replete with stoneground cornbread and fresh
gingerbread. The only thing missing was the entrée.
Winner of the "It's not my job" award.
|I suggested that I grab a
road-kill Possum. They really do “play possum” and freeze,
especially with oncoming vehicles, and the roads are
littered with them. This is my favorite possum picture, the
winner of the “It’s not my job” award:
In the original
plan, I was to take a road-kill in the house and announce
that we was havin’ possum, and then cook-up some Chuck Roast
as Pseudo-Possum. After some searching we discovered that
Cousin Drewell worked with a lady who sold wonderful eatin’
possums, a rare and precious delicacy.
As I’m sure you know, you have to feed them persimmons
or the meat tastes gamey. You can pack them in dry ice and
ship them Fedex. They make a great gift.
The only problem was that the possum was
frozen solid. It was skinned and cleaned, but it still had it’s
long curly tail coiled-up like a spring. The head was the worst, with it’s beady eyes intact and
his pointy cone-shaped snout revealing rows of sharp teeth. I
thought that the first person to eat one of these must have been
really, really hungry. We looked up some
Possum recipes, and off-we-went!
Mr. Possum was frozen hard as a rock and I was unable
to remove the head, even with a sharp cleaver. It barely fit into
the microware (and besides, I was concerned that the head might
explode), so we put him face-down in a large stew pot. I’ll
never forget seeing the back-feet and curly rat-tail hanging out of
By morning he had cooked down, and we
picked-out the bones, skull and tail. and had delicious open-faced
hot possum sandwiches with homemade possum gravy.
The kids loved it (they were only 5 and 6 at
the time), and they said “Mo’ Possum Dad, Mo’ Possum”.