Cheap and Easy Student Recipe: Beer-Battered Squirrel


    As exam season approaches and we race to finish our final essays and labs, it’s important that we remember to take time to take care of ourselves and stay healthy.  Part of a healthy lifestyle is a healthy diet, and as students, not enough of us take the time or effort to ensure that we’re eating a balanced diet of fresh, local ingredients.  Oftentimes, it can be difficult to achieve this on our student budgets of Tim’s Roll-Up-the-Rim coupons, and the change that we steal from all those bake sales in the ARC. Why would they just leave it out there with a note that says “for the ophans“? Guess what, they’re not here right now!
Anyway, here’s a great recipe idea to get you through exams satiated and on budget.
    Here in Kingston, we’re fortunate enough to have an abundant supply of fresh meat right on our doorsteps, and on our driveways and on the sidewalks and in the parks and rummaging through our garbage, and raising their families in the ceilings of our houses.  I’m talking squirrel meat – ‘chicken of the trashcan’!
    A perfect recipe for after St. Patty’s is this old classic that has been passed down in my family for generations, but with a convenient college twist: beer-battered squirrel.
Here’s what you’ll need:
 1 medium to large-sized squirrel (who are we kidding, this is Kingston, they’re all large)

    And that’s it!  You may ask, what about seasoning? A marinade, perhaps?  Where’s the beer?  That’s the beauty of our bushy-tailed friends/neighbours/housemates; they marinade themselves!  All week they’ve been feasting off of our scraps, taking pizza crusts and wing bones out of our garbages, lapping up the gallons of spilled beer from the sidewalks and rooftops of Aberdeen.  They do all the work themselves, and we’re left with plump, juicy, flavourful meat ripe for the harvest.  
    In terms of preparation, skinning the squirrel is always an option.  Or you could just cook it intact with the skin, hair, and all; just be sure the leave a window open to get that burnt hair smell out of your house.  You’ll want to cook the squirrel until the meat has turned from a living blood-red squirrel to a dead greyish-beige.  That’s generally 6 minutes a side on the stove, or 12 minutes in the microwave, or 10 minutes in the oven (flipping it over halfway through).  You’ll know it’s ready when you can smell the aromas of the pizza, wings, and beer wafting out from the tender meat. And there it is, just like the beer-battered squirrel that my mother used to make!  Except this time, the beer-batter is on the inside.  And it’s not really batter, so much as just beer inside a squirrel.  Oh well.  Happy feasting!