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The Joy of Cooking – Vintage and Untamed

May 13, 2012

I’d been on the hunt for about a year or so for an old, pre-1980’s edition of The Joy of Cooking. And by hunt I mean, I’ve mentioned to a few people to keep their eyes out, and I poke around whenever we happen to be in an antique or used book store. Needless to say I wasnt trying too hard. But my sweet momma happened upon a copy on her recent trip to Nashville, lo and behold it was sitting under my nose waiting for me this whole time over at Book Man Book Woman in Hillsboro Village.

The main reason I was interested in the older version, was a) the nostalgia and smell of an old, well-loved cookbook and b) the unique cooking instructions and recipes that have since been removed from the newer editions.

Below are some of the highlights that are no longer printed in this classic cook book. These are not necessarily vegetarian friendly highlights, as most of the “lost in newer edition” techniques and tips involve instructions on preparing wild game. And I’m not just talking deer and rabbit. Needless to say, I feel our odds of surviving a zombie apocalypse have just gone  a few big notches. All the interesting excerpts below aside, it really is a lovely standard cookbook which I highly recommend. I’ve just very much enjoyed the following sections that would make both Bear Grylls and Anthony Bourdain very proud.

I recommend clicking on the pictures below to expand and get a better view…

I will start you off first with the sweet note written by the original gifter of this book. It really doesn’t get much better than a book signed by “Maud”. Maud, if you are reading this, I am sorry your giftee trashed this book, but I sure am happy to have it.

Opossum, Bear, Raccoon, Woodchuck, Beaver, Beaver Tail, Peccary (skunk pig), Wild Boar & Venison

“Gray squirrels are the preferred ones; red squirrels are small and quite gamey in flavor”

How to skin a squirrel…

“When rabbit or hare is young and fresh the cleft in the lip is narrow, the claws smooth and sharp.”

How to skin a rabbit..

Beaver: “use young animals only”
Beaver tail: “roast over coals or simmer until tender”
Peccary: “immediately after killing, remove the musk gland in the middle of the back”

Bear: “if marinated at least 24 hours in an oil-based marinade, all bear, except black bear, is edible”

and one last one for good measure – Sautéed Brains.
“Calf, sheep, lamb, pork and beef brains are listed in order of preference”

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