It has been an interesting week, known as culture week around here.
Monday's session was skinning muskrats and rabbits. I had moose stew at lunch and with the lovely muskrats I had to ask is muskrat stew on the menu? Fortunately it wasn't. One thing about our girls here, they aren't squeamish about dead animals, even rats.
If you look closer at the picture above the dead animals on the table and behind to the right are beaver. The boys actually got to do some moose skinning and there was also drying moose meat on a drying rack over a fire.
We had a couple sessions on skinning beaver. Well, skinning beaver and preparing beaver paws for eating. It is so different around here. At lunch today when I waiting in line to sample the stew a child about 9 was behind me and somewhere around the camp she'd found a baby beaver paw and was holding it like a prized possession. The picture below is a fairly large beaver paw spiked on a stick much like a hot dog ready for roasting over the fire.
I got to roast my own beaver paw, but the picture below is not mine. You can see the beaver paw being roasted close to the flame and you can also see some moose meat hanging to dry and moose bones cooking which will later be opened to eat the marrow. I did try the marrow and it was pretty good.
So, I now have expertise on how to prepare beaver paw. It works best if you get the beaver paw right into the fire close to the coals. You basically let the fur burn off and you want it to get hot enough and the outside burnt enough to hear popping. Then comes the fun part, peeling the burnt skin off. That takes a good 10-15 minutes for one paw. The burnt beaver paw in the picture with a co-worker is the one that I peeled the skin off.
This was yesterday just getting the beaver paw ready for boiling took the whole session. Now, today at lunch, not only was there a 9-year-old with the beaver paw in line behind me, I watched a woman scoop up a beaver paw out of a boil pot into a bowl. I just watched, it looked like a hand being scooped into a bowl. I am so not eating beaver paw.