The Joy of Cooking – Irma Rombauer (1931) … Meet the middle-aged, middle-class woman who traps, butchers and eats squirrels in her Seattle backyard — Her reason: Squirrel is the ultimate local meat (27th January 2012) …

The Joy of Cooking – Irma Rombauer (1931) … Meet the middle-aged, middle-class woman who traps, butchers and eats squirrels in her Seattle backyard — Her reason: Squirrel is the ultimate local meat (27th January 2012) …
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Eating wild squirrel and other game has long been a part of the diet in rural America. But Ms Vorass is taking the age-old practice out of the backwoods and bringing it to the big city.

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…..item 1)…. Mail Online … www.dailymail.co.uk … Meet the middle-aged, middle-class woman who traps, butchers and eats squirrels in her Seattle backyard

By MICHAEL ZENNIE
Last updated at 9:13 PM on 27th January 2012

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092809/Melany-Vorass-ur…

Melany Vorass is a 49-year-old college-educated woman living in a middle-class neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.

And in the backyard of her quiet neighborhood home, she traps, drowns and butchers squirrels for her dinner table — one of her family’s principle sources of meat.

Ms Vorass is part of a growing crowd of city-dwellers who are ‘foragers’ — living off of greens picked from public parks, fish caught from local streams and mushrooms plucked from nearby forests
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img code photo … Associated Press

i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/27/article-2092809-117D9C…

Food for though: Grey squirrels (left) are trapped, slaughtered and butchered (right) by Melany Vorass and served for dinner

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img code photo …

i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/27/article-2092809-117D9C…

Food for though: Grey squirrels (left) are trapped, slaughtered and butchered (right) by Melany Vorass and served for dinner

Associated Press
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img code photo …. Melany Vorass

i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/27/article-2092809-117D9B…

Urban forager: Melany Vorass middle class woman who has begun finding her own food in the city of Seattle, including by eating squirrel

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Eating wild squirrel and other game has long been a part of the diet in rural America. But Ms Vorass is taking the age-old practice out of the backwoods and bringing it to the big city.

Her reason: Squirrel is the ultimate local meat.

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‘I admit I enjoy a juicy cut of prime rib over squirrel, but I find I can no longer eat it without experiencing some feelings of guilt,’ she wrote on her blog.

Ms Vorass believes commercial meat is unethical. Cows are raised on inhumane feedlots, butchered in inhumane ways and fed rations of unhealthy and environmentally-damaging antibiotics and feed, she says on her blog Essential Bread.
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img code photo … Ms Vorass cuts the squirrel into pieces like a chicken

i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/27/article-2092809-117D9D…

Ready for the fryer: Ms Vorass cuts the squirrel into pieces like a chicken before cooking it

Associated Press
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‘I know how out there it sounds. But the alternative is to close your eyes and eat what comes on a Styrofoam tray,’ she told the Seattle Times.

——-SQUIRREL: IT TASTES NOTHING LIKE CHICKEN

Squirrel can be tough and somewhat greasy and gamey so it’s best to braise, boil or stew it. Soaking it in a simple salt brine will also help tenderize the meat. But otherwise, it’s not difficult to prepare.

Food safety dictates that it’s best to cook to 165 degrees to kill a possible bacterial contamination. And steer clear of the brains — scientists believe they could carry Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, the human form of mad cow disease.

**** Cooking suggestions:

….. Brunswick stew

….. Mulligan stew

….. Braise meat and remove from bones for ‘squirrel-ritos’ — burrito filling

Her urban foraging isn’t just limited to squirrels. In her backyard, she plants a garden every year and raises chickens and goats.

She picks also dandelion greens and other ‘weeds’ for salads and occasionally she and her husband catch trout in a local lake.

Ms Vorass began trapping squirrels as a way to get the pesty critters out of her backyard and away from her garden — which they were terrorizing.

Her husband set up a metal ‘Have-A-Heart’ live trap and started releasing them in a nearby park.

But then an irate neighbor complained that the was just dumping their problems somewhere else.

About that time, Ms Vorass discovered a recipe for squirrel and instructions on how to skin the rodents in an old Joy of Cooking cookbook.

The classic American cooking was first published in the height of the Great Depression and for many years contained recipes for all manner of wild animals — from rabbits to opossums.
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img code photo …. Melany Vorass is a 49-year-old college-educated woman

i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/27/article-2092809-117D9D…

Not backwoods cuisine: Melany Vorass often makes squirrel risotto – risotto di rodentia

Associated Press

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As for the actual killing, Ms Vorass says she thought long and hard about quickest the most humane way to off her captured prey.

—— HOW TO COOK SQUIRREL RISOTTO – RISOTTO DI RODENTIA

Making Ms Vorass’ risotto di rodentia is little more difficult than adding chicken to a simple risotto. Just cook it a little longer.

1) Cut hind legs and loins off squirrel.
2) Saute onions, then add squirrel pieces and brown on both sides.
3) Then add white wine, arborio rice and salt, pepper and any spices.
4) When alcohol has cooked off, cover and bake in 350-degree oven for two hours or until meat is tender.

After a squirrel is caught in a live trap baited with peanut butter and crackers, she drowns it and then cuts its throat so it bleeds out to ensure its dead before she butchers it.

She says it’s a quicker, cleaner death than befalls many squirrels when they are run over by cars or torn apart by predators.

Drowning is the fastest way Ms Vorass has found to off the squirrels yet, since firing a gun in Seattle is strictly forbidden.

However, she’s experimenting with a ‘Rat Zapper’ that electrocutes the squirrel almost instantly.

With the squirrel dead – now comes the hard part — skinning it.

Squirrel hides are tough. The best way to skin a squirrel is to cut part of it free and step on the tail to tear it from the body. If the tail breaks, Ms Vorass as a simple solution: Pliers.

On her blog, she offers detailed, graphic instructions on how to do this properly.

Once the squirrel is skinned and gutted, she gives it a truly middle class treatment: braised in white wine with mushrooms and risotto.

Squirrel is tougher and darker than rabbit and somewhat greasy.

It does not taste like chicken.

Squirrel is actually richer than beef in some ways — higher in fat and cholesterol. However, it’s dramatically lower in saturated fats and higher in polyunsaturated, so-called ‘good’ fats.

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…..item 2)…. JOY OF COOKING … A listing of the American editions

www.cookbkjj.com/college/joy.htm

1931
[November 30]
First Edition

Author: Irma Rombauer
Supporting Cast: Mazie Whyte, Marion Rombauer

Illustrator: Marion Rombauer
Pages: 396
Copies published: 3,000
Copies sold: Eventually all 3,000 copies were sold.

Overview: Irma Rombauer first published THE JOY OF COOKING in 1936, for an initial investment of ,000; with A.C. Clayton (a company which had never published a book before but printed labels for fancy St. Louis shoe companies and for Listerine).

She included casual culinary chat with recipes (narrated paragraphs including ingredients and instructions intermingled) in a book designed and illustrated by her daughter, Marion Rombauer. The mix of these elements stirred the beginnings of a loyal readership and represented a split from the domestic science/home economist cooking tradition. Irma Rombauer’s emphasis was on fun and flavor for the average cook.

Note: A Facsimile reprint of this edition, with a new foreword by Edgar Rombauer was done in 1998. Click here for specific information.
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…..item 3)… The online home of the Joy of Cooking … JOY HISTORY … 1931 EDITION

www.thejoykitchen.com/history.lasso?tag=1931

The self published book that started it all.

THE JOY OF COOKING
A COMPILATION OF RELIABLE RECIPES WITH A CASUAL CULINARY CHAT

Author: Irma Rombauer
Illustrated by: Marion Rombauer
Published by: Irma Rombauer
Printed by: A.C. Clayton (St. Louis, MO)

Irma Rombauer first published 3,000 copies of The Joy of Cooking in 1931, for an initial investment of ,000. Her casual and familiar prose put the reader at ease, earning the love and loyalty from Depression-era women who were having to take the place of professional cooks they could no longer afford. The tone and approach to cooking was joyful and quite a departure from the home keeping and cookery books of the day, most of which were written by home economists.

Marion Rombauer, Irma’s daughter, designed and illustrated the book in addition to testing recipes. Her recollection of printing the first edition, the "Little Joy" as they called it in later years, are as follows:

"How naïve and straightforward was our approach to publishing! We simply called in a printer. I remember the Saturday morning she arrived, laden with washable cover fabrics, type and paper samples. In a few hours all decisions were made, and shortly afterwards we signed a contract for 3,000 copies complete with mailing cartons and individualized stickers. Then came the new experience of galleys, proofreading and preparing an index." Modern woman is faced with tasks almost as diversified as St. Martha’s, and cooking is not the least of the problems she must meet with intelligence and understanding.

In this book every effort has been made to add variety and interest to everyday fare, as well as to provide dishes for special occasions. The hundreds of tested recipes given are both old and new. The old ones have withstood the test of timethe new ones have been added through careful selection. Experienced cooks in search of novel recipes and ideas will find many to interest them. Inexperienced cooks cannot fail to make successful soufflés, pies, cakes, soups, gravies, etc., if they follow the clear instructions given on these subjects. The Zeitgeist is reflected in the Chapter on Leftovers and in many other practical suggestions.

The cover of the book may be cleaned with a moist cloth. .00
Luckily for JOY collectors, a facsimile of the 1931 edition was printed in 1997.

——TESTIMONIALS AND CRITICAL ACCLAIM:

…..Mrs. Rombauer successfully imparts the feeling that cooking never is nor should be a dull task. A thoroughly practical cookbook, well indexed and including old and honored recipes as well as the newest fads and fancies. —Marguerite Martyn, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

…..Inexperienced cooks find it a splendid teacher. —Mrs. W. H. Dempsey, Alton, Illinois

…..I have yet to find any as practical from every standpoint as The Joy of Cooking. It is reliable, contains unusual and original dishes and menus, and best of all, its outstanding virtue is economy. —Rita Ross,
Household Club Program, KSD Broadcasting Station

…..I take the book to bed with me because it is such fun to plan for the next day and be entertained at the same time. —Jean Wagoner, Indianapolis, Indiana

…..Women in business with little time to give to the all-important kitchen will find this complete cookbook most satisfactory. —Laura Stith Corbitt, St. Louis, Missouri

…..The fact that it was written with one eye on the pocket-book and one on the bathroom scales will appeal to all young and old housekeepers. —Louis K. Adam, Chicago, Illinois

COLLECTOR’S VALUES: 0-,000
Please read about cookbook collecting in the Kitchen Table Forums to learn more.

A FACSIMILE OF THE FIRST EDITION
THE JOY OF COOKING

1998

With a Foreword by Edgar R. Rombauer
Printed by: Simon and Schuster/Scribner

Luckily for JOY fans and collectors, a facsimile of the 1931 edition was printed in 1998. This is a perfect copy of the first edition and reveals why the Joy of Cooking has become a legacy of learning and pleasure for generations of users.

The Foreword by Irma s son, Edgar Rombauer, is full of information about the writing of the little book (as it was often referred to by the family), and Irma’s quest to find a publisher.

COLLECTOR’S VALUES: Available new. Not a collector’s item.
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