I’m not sure why but there’s just something funny about possums to non-hillbillies. Would you laugh about a Crock-pot Beef Recipe? or a recipe for Lobster Thermidor? But when it comes to great meals like Crock-pot Possum or a Possum Stew some people find something humorous about it.
Well, I don’t know what you think about possums but us hillbillies takes ‘em serious. However, the stereotype of hillbillies eating possum are over exaggerated. The truth is that in most hillbilly homes you’d be lucky to see possum on the table two or three times a week. We always have possum less than three days out of the week at my house.
Once I was in Brooklyn and a guy from Staten Island asked me if it were true that “you people” eat possums. He was dead serious, I suppose he learned all about hillbillies from watching television, he had never been out of New York. With a very serious face I told him that yes, of course we eat possums but not every day. I told him that I went two or three days in a row without getting to eat possum and now that I was working in New York I couldn’t seem to find it in any of the restaurants. I never told him any different.
Where Do Ya Get Your Possum?
Some of the more wealthy (and lazy) hillbillies buy their possums. You can get your possum for the cost of a few shotgun shells. Possums are particularly fond of garbage dumps so a trip to the dump, late at night with beer, flashlights and shotguns can be loads of fun. Think about it, you’re out there working to put dinner on the table but you get to have fun at the same time! If you are a non-hillbilly who lives in a town you probably have possums in your garbage cans. If you can’t shoot a gun where you live take your son, or some buddies, out on garbage night with some baseball bats.
A lot of the newer generation is depending more on road kill possums (If you go this route make sure the critter aint too ripe). With all the roads being built through the hills road kill possums have become more and more common. Every day fewer people are hitting the garbage dumps and hillsides with shotguns and flashlights and turning to the easy road kill. As a result the most common possum meal is now sausage.
We often hear about how technology has made people more lazy and here is yet another sad case. Today more hillbillies are ready to grab that free easy meal on the roadside instead of chasing it down and shooting it themselves. The sad thing is the loss of culture and tradition. How much longer will the joyous day when a man takes his son out to shoot his first possum be with us? Will future hillbilly boys be denied this rite of passage?
Skinning Gutting And Cleaning Your Possum?
Once you get your possum to the house you’re going to have to clean it. Yep, fur, blood and guts.
Most fancy city slickers, like the one in the picture on the right, are shocked when they find out they have to skin the possum. If you need lessons on how to skin a possum or if you don’t want to get your hands dirty then you should probably just go to Wal-Mart or someplace and buy yourself some Possum Treat, that way all you have to do is open up a can and you’re eating possum.
Once you get your possum skinned out and cleaned you will need:
8 Big Taters
2 big spoons of butter
1 big spoon of sugar
a pinch or two of salt
Thyme, marjoram or pepper to taste
1 cooking pot with a good tight lid
Put the possum in the pot with just enough water to keep it from burning, cover with a good tight lid. Possums take longer to cook than taters so wait until your possum has stewed for about an hour before you add the taters to the pot. Place the taters along the sides of the possum and mix in sugar, salt and your choice of thyme, marjoram or pepper to taste.
Every 15 minutes or so take off the lid and baste the possum with the juices. By now the possums own fat will have rendered and the water will now make some delicious possum gravy.
When the possum is tender and the meat falls off the bones mix a little flour, if needed, to the water/possum fat and tater mixture.
Possum Cooking Alternate Method
Poke your possum with a big sharp stick and hold it over the campfire or coal stove until it is crispy.
Written by David Slone, Copyright 2008 all rights reserved and may not be copied or republished in any way without express permission.