Moose Balls

Yeah, I’d eat Bullwinkle.

Thanks saltywisdom.wordpress.com. Cool blog, BTW

Thanks saltywisdom.wordpress.com. Cool blog, BTW

(What are Rocky and Bullwinkle doing in that picture?)

But anyway, I’d definitely eat Bullwinkle.

Here’s how this is relevant. My most recent dangerous cooking was with some real moose. Our cottage is very close to the Wahta Mohawk First Nations Reserve.

Wahta

(Love the Seven Generations philosophy. I was taught in a First Nations Education course that every decision should take into account how it will affect seven generations into the future, or 200 years, and also that seven generations of the past have brought you to this point, so that history should be respected)

Anyway. Here I was, driving through the reserve with my daughter, when I happened to see a sign for “Moose Pie.”

I couldn’t resist. The guy (whose name I forget, I am completely Alzheimer-ish when it comes to names) was super friendly, which was no surprise to me since I have a close friend who lives on the Kanesatake Mohawk Reserve in Quebec, and anyone I’ve ever met through her has been extremely welcoming. Yes, I’m generalizing, but here’s one example — we went to her house once and got lost (“There are no streetlights and everyone chooses whatever number they want for their house so they’re not in order, but go over the hill, turn left at the baseball diamond…”). We regrouped at the ice cream shop and some strangers heard us talking about what we should do. They asked, “Who are you looking for?” We told them, and they said, “Follow us,” and drove us right to their house.

My friend went on to become a lawyer who works with First Nations communities, and she just got back from a trip to Baffin Island.

Thanks Wikipedia

Thanks Wikipedia

Now that’s North. While she was there she posted pictures from the grocery store — a bag of flour for $14, a box of chicken burgers for $23, and some Frosted Flakes, also for the bargain price of $14.

She brought back some seal meat and just might guest post. This makes me quite excited.

Anyway. Friendly-moose-guy. Moose-guy told me he was a foodie and he was very excited about my blog. He hooked me up with a pie, cooked by a Grandmother who is writing her own cookbook (Grandmother might be literal in this case, but can also mean a wise elder in First Nations traditions which are more matriarchal than ours, I believe.)

This makes me very excited too. Because the moose pie was amazing.

Moose Pie IMG_6958 IMG_6959

I wish I could share the recipe so that you could re-create it. Hopefully you’ll get it after she finishes the cookbook! The gravy was rich, and because it was moose, it wasn’t as fatty as beef — more hearty. It did not taste “gamey” at all. And don’t you just love mention of the “Ugly Crust” on the label? I make ugly crusts too — insider tip: if you’re too lazy to make your own crust, just buy two store-bought ones and slap one flattened on top as your upper crust. I doubt this was her technique, but you’re welcome for the time-saver.

Friendly moose guy also hooked me up with “moose burger meat,” which was just ground moose, as far as I knew. My parents were coming over, so I took my friend’s husband’s advice and turned them into “Moose Balls.” Don’t you just love it when your parents ask you if what they’re eating are actual moose cajones? Just me? If you want to be boring and can’t get your hooves on any moose, you could also try this recipe with regular old ground beef.

Swiss Moose Balls

– 1 small packet of ground Bullwinkle (I don’t think it had a weight on it, but let’s say about two softballs worth)

– 2C garlic croutons, ground to breadcrumbs in a food processor

– 1 handful of parmesan

– 1 egg

– 3 turns of the salt shaker

– swiss cheese, cut into small cubes

– (Wish I’d had a jalapeño and some chopped fresh parsley to add, but I didn’t)

– Prosciutto, 1/2 slice for each ball

Directions: Preheat to 400. Mix meat, egg, breadcrumbs, parm, salt, and herbs/peppers. Roll into small moose cajones, each one surrounding a small cube of swiss cheese. Brown each ball in a frying pan over med-high heat. Bake 10-15 minutes, until cheese begins to gently bubble out. Wrap each ball carefully in prosciutto and secure with a toothpick.

Moose balls IMG_6969 IMG_6970 IMG_6972

Results: Delicious! I have to admit that I was worried this might not work out, because when I thawed the meat it smelled like a moose had given birth in the kitchen. But then somehow after I had cooked it, the flavour was not the same as the smell. These moose balls were drier than beef meatballs — I’ve found this to be true of other wild meats in the past (they tend to work out more than penned animals I guess?). But they weren’t off-puttingly dry. Apparently wild meats are healthier than farmed meats because of their natural diets, as well. I would count my visit to friendly-moose-guy a huge success and will be visiting on a more regular basis. Rating: 5/5 Yums for the moose pie, and 3/5 for the moose balls.

Oh, and I almost forgot about Bullwinkle! Here’s how my thoughts were going at the start of this post. I was thinking about how some people don’t like the idea of eating non-farmed animals, and I don’t love it either. I couldn’t shoot anything myself, and I do find animals in the wild beautiful and a treat to catch a glimpse of. But it’s hypocritical that I’d eat a cow or chicken or pig rather than other types of meat, just because other animals might be too cute or pretty or free. And yes, it’s also hypocritical that I eat meat that I couldn’t kill, but if I’m going to be hypocritical, I might as well go all-in. So I was thinking that I would start this post by playing the devil’s advocate — by saying that I had eaten a really cute cartoon character, because I have not become vegetarian.

But I don’t even like Bullwinkle. He’s annoying and outdated. I’d totally eat him without a second thought, even if that picture does make him seem like a partier. So my whole premise backfired.

Question: What cartoon character would you eat?

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Mike @ Gentleman Homestead
    September 10, 2014

    Nice! I can’t say that I’ve ever tasted moose, or elk, or any other big game animal. Glad I can live vicariously here.

    I also used to have some reservations about taking and eating wild game. However, science backs up our homo sapien omnivorous instincts and I have since learned a lot about how individual trees, entire forests, and yes, even prey animals are much more successful and actually thrive when they are managed.

    Us humans have come in and fundamentally altered almost every ecosystem in the world. For example, by eradicating or displacing the wolf and bear population over the past century, the white tail deer population exploded to the point where in many places (like around here) they are almost starving. There are too many deer and not enough food. Very few can reach their full potential in size, territorial habits, etc. Since we’re predators, it’s good for us (yay protein!), and it’s actually good for the deer population, to cull some and try to bring them back into balance. Let alone the fact I’d much rather eat venison stew than have my car totaled on a dark, deserted county road thanks to Bambi.

    Similarly, most green hippy eco-environmentalist extremists, do much more harm than good by saying that all wilderness everywhere must remain completely untouched forever and ever. In the history of our world, that has never been the case. Back in the day, before early humans were such a force on our environment, there were myriads of huge herds of things that would browse, trample, and even destroy large portions of forest regularly during their migrations. Those guys are now mostly gone. Fast forward a little to the Native Americans, and they used to regularly use controlled fires to help along the natural forest cycle of death and regrowth. Leaving things to their own devices, after we have screwed up the natural balance of things, is part of the reason why there are such enormous and destructive wildfires in places like Colorado.

    All signs point to careful management being better for the environment.

    Including eating moose balls.

    BTW, that’s my Joanna’s pet name for me.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 10, 2014

      Thanks for such an informative comment … um … Mr. Balls?

      Here is some very anecdotal evidence supporting your claim that careful management helps the environment to thrive. This summer we planted identical kale plants at opposite ends of our luxurious 40ft deep backyard. Initially, the plants that got some extra sun started growing a little bushier, so those were the ones I harvested leaves from. As I harvested (and possibly due to the extra sun) they continued to thrive, even though they often looked barren after I had finished with them. Now they must be two feet taller and far wider than their sister plants at the other end. Amazing to me that the ones I snatched leaves from did so well.

      On the wild game front, I hope the hunting license people actually know what they’re doing to strike a good balance. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could trust them? It might do us some good if they hired First Nations people.

      • Leave a Reply

        Mike @ Gentleman Homestead
        September 10, 2014

        I love stopping by to drop a little self-righteous ranting, along with testicle jokes.

        There might be other reasons why your kale prefer that spot but you likely could be right. We have seven mature apple trees in our back yard that have been completely neglected for at least ten years. I’m slowly pruning them down to where they should be to help production. Too much energy is going into new thickets of branches and leaves, and not enough into the fruit. Plus they are shading out everything underneath them, so nothing else can grow there. That’s OK if it were part of a natural succession and there was a larger overstory tree growing nearby and ready to take over when the apple trees choke each other out and die… but there’s not since it’s in our mowed yard… and I’d rather help it keep on producing apples.

        It should be Dr. Balls.

        • Leave a Reply

          Ann Allchin
          September 10, 2014

          Sir Balls-a-lot? I feel as though I might have just lost my mom as a loyal reader, but testicle jokes are kind of worth it. Good luck with dem apples!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    September 10, 2014

    lol…I’m still giggling from your final thoughts on eating Bullwinkle. I would definitely hunt, kill, skin, gut, braise, grill, and boil Jar Jar Binks. I don’t even know what that type of creature would taste like but I’d eat him just to save all humans from ever having to listen to him. Sure he’d beg, “Me soo serry Berger Nurd, me can’t stop me from sownding annoying” but I’d have ear plugs and his pleas for mercy would fall to the wayside. Whoa! I’m getting a bit carried away lol.

    Great article, I was looking forward to seeing what you were going to do with the Moose meat….also I really like the prosciutto idea. Glad the meat didn’t taste too game’ish. I some relatives up North who hunt so I’ve been fortunate enough to have Moose, deer, (and bear soon), and other wild critters on a number of occasions. It can be so “hit and miss” when it comes to the flavor. Most of the time it’s been “hit” but a few times the meat tasted funkier than a James Brown album lol. And if I may be so bold as to pass along a meatball tip that might work wonders for this or any other future meatball recipe of yours….instead of using egg and dry breadcrumb as your binder – soak fresh bread in milk (I like to use 10% cream). Discard the excess milk and mush the soaked bread in with the meat mixture. Not only does it work well as a binder, it also keeps the meatball a lot more moist than dry breadcrumbs.

    Anywhooo, great article, great recipe, and also delicious looking moose meat pie too! Cheers!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 11, 2014

      Love your milk and bread trick! Who doesn’t have milk and bread kicking around their kitchen? Handy AND tasty.

      Now I want Jar Jar to be my next dangerous food. It’d be tricky to catch him, though. He probably lives under water solely for the purpose of personal security (somehow I think lots of other people wouldn’t mind getting their hands on his gangly ol’ neck).

  3. Leave a Reply

    Marni
    September 11, 2014

    As usual… Awesome read, great info AND FUNNY. Frosted Flakes $14.. Wowzers. Thanks for the Moose Balls recipe. My hubby would love to make this.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 11, 2014

      Thanks! I felt a bit scatterbrained on this post but so goes my brain at times. 🙂

  4. Leave a Reply

    Christina
    September 11, 2014

    Ann, we have chickens into our yard but we cannot eat them, even if someone else kills them!! We prefer the store bought!(almost irrelevant)!! Anyway, I would love to eat Gaston (a l’orange) from the duck family, since I always hated him, as a child!! I will definitely try your moose balls, since even at the moment of writing this, I feel their taste in my mouth!! Thanks for all the good laughs!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 11, 2014

      Can’t believe I have two bloggie buds who keep chickens (actually three, but two are related). I guess I serve a chicken-keeping demographic. Ha! I don’t know Gaston, but now you’ve made me crave duck. Quack quack!

  5. Leave a Reply

    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite
    September 14, 2014

    The fact that my husband can write such eloquent and well thought out comments clearly illustrates he’s getting too much sleep. Like right now. I should wake him and hand him the baby.

    I just have one question…when are you going to eat Rocky??

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 14, 2014

      There are plenty of Rockys running around in our yard as we speak, and they’re probably in season — quite chubby at the moment. If you were around here I might bake you one in a pie because you’d be too tired to notice there was a fluffy tail stuck between your teeth.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite
    September 14, 2014

    Oh and I would eat Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. Because he’d be mighty tasty. I’d let him sing me a song first though, ya know, dinner and a show…

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 14, 2014

      Sebastian is my second-favourite food. And I bet he’d taste like jerk, too — Jamaican.

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