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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


A lady by the name of Agnes Routh contacted me years ago when I had my Herb & Vitamin shop in Linville and said she had a cookbook that she had put together herself and wanted me to have a copy. She had signed it as follows-"To Adele, hope you enjoy this as much as I have reading your column over the years."-Agnes Routh.
 I do know that she had a home in Land Harbors but I have not heard from her since. Her cookbook is a large spiral bound collection of years worth of collecting recipes from all areas of life. I treasure it beyond words and would like to share with you one of my columns that she had included in her book which I had submitted to the Avery Journal years ago. If anybody out there knows of this lady please share your information with me.

"This article was taken from the Avery Journal, Newland, NC and I thought it was amusing and also priceless, as where else would you find these mountain recipes!"-Agnes Routh

"The sport of game hunting is perhaps more active in the South than any other part of our country. It is bred down through the generations and has been a way of life and of supplying meat for the table for hundreds of years.
If you've never eaten a stewed squirrel which was prepared by your grandmother on a wood stove, not to mention the delectable cake of cornbread in the oven, and a pot of soupy rice-just waiting for a pat of butter and a lump of sugar-warming on the back of the stove, then you've certainly missed out on what the mountaineers experienced growing up in the Southern Appalachian mountains.
Following are game recipes which the cook can use to create savory dishes from the rewards of the hunt.

I fondly remember my great uncle, Thomas Wright, bringing my grandmother wild squirrels (shot and cleaned of course), which she would promptly put in a pot and the ending result was something out of the ordinary. I can taste the delicious and tender meat just thinking about it. If he brought more than she could use, she put the extra in a milk carton, covered them with water, and put them in the freezer.

2 young squirrels-dressed
1 1/2 tsp. lard
1 qt. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
dash of red pepper
2 tsp. flour

Cut each squirrel into 8 pieces. Brown in large pot in lard until lightly browned. Add water and seasonings; stir well. Cover and bring to a boil. Add a small amount of hot liquid to flour, stirring to make a paste. Add to pot; stirring until blended. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour or until squirrel is tender.

The raccoon is a carnivorous mammal, found throughout North America. It was a much used food during the pioneer days and is still considered good game by many people today. Coons feed on fruits, vegetables, fish, frogs, birds, and other small animals. It is related to the Asian Panda. The meat is dark and the fat strong in flavor and odor. To improve the flavor of a dressed raccoon, wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate for 5 to 6 days.

1 dressed raccoon (4 to 5 lb.)
4 tsp. salt
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 cup seedless raisins
2 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 3/4 cups peeled, diced apples
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp. pepper

From the raccoon remove the waxy nodules, commonly referred to as "kernals" from under each fat leg and on either side of the spine in the small of the back. Wash thoroughly and dry.
Remove part of the fat, leaving just enough to cover the carcass in a thin layer. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt inside body. Fill with a mixture of 2 tsp. salt and remaining ingredients except pepper. Skewer the vent by inserting several toothpicks through the skin from side-to-side. Lace with string, tying the ends securely. Fasten both the hind legs and the forelegs with toothpicks and string. If there are any lean parts on the outside of the body, fasten a small piece of the surplus fat to this part with a toothpick.
Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon salt and pepper. Place on side on greased rack in shallow baking pan and roast in preheated slow oven (325) degrees for 45 minutes per pound. Turn when half done. Serves 6 to 8.

The glossy black bear of our region enjoys berries, fruit, vegetables, honey and small game. The flesh is rich, sweet, and delicious. It should be hung and marinated to get the best results.

Mix 1 cup vinegar and 1 qt. of dry white wine. Add 2 sliced onions, 2 sliced carrots, 1 bunch of coursely chopped celery, 1 large clove mashed garlic, 2 bay leaves, 16 bruised peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, boil 1 minute then cool. Turn the meat occasionally during the marinating.

Marinate a 4 1/2 lb. slice of bear loin for at least 24 hours, dry it well. Rub a mashed clove of garlic on a heated platter. Make a paste of 3 Tbsp. butter, 3 Tbsp. finely minced chives, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cover the platter with this paste and add a thick layer of onion smothered in butter. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, and a little paprika. Keep the platter hot. Sear the bear steak well on both sides over a high flame. Reduce the flame and broil to desired doneness, basting frequently with melted butter. Dust the steak with salt and pepper and serve on the platter, topped with mushroom caps sauted in brown butter and sprinkle with parsley.

"Every creatures stalks some other, and catches it, and is caught." ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

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