Yeah, I’d eat Bullwinkle.
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
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?