Fried Turtle

If you were shopping in a grocery store in China, you'd see packages of turtle meat (left) for sale at the meat counter and would love finding it.

Here is an old Ozark recipe for fried turtle meat:

After cleaning the turtle (see previous entry), before frying, parboil the meat until it is tender, easy to stick with fork. When desired tenderness is reached, remove and let cool a bit. Now roll in flour or cornmeal, add favorite seasonings then fry in deep fat.

Caraway Herb Pleasant and Useful

Caraway is an herb used by cooks in nearly all parts of the world, most often used in rye bread and cheeses. Traditional folklore attributes caraway with powers of retaining things -- it was mixed in love potions or fed to homing pigeons for that reason.

Also, it is widely believed that to protect an object from being stolen, sprinkle it with caraway.

As you can see, the caraway plant has fern-like leaves, almost feathery like coriander and fennel. Be aware that although they resemble each other, caraway will not grow well next to fennel.

Traditional 1800s Herb Gardens

Depending on the region the pioneer families lived in, watering a garden was seldom an option.

For some reason, women, apparently on their own or with mother's advice, planted small circular herb gardens outside the kitchen door.

Obviously, gathering herbs for cooking is easier when so close to the kitchen, but another reason might have been the ease with tossing out used water into the herb garden to keep it alive.

A circle of various sizes was divided into eight areas or pieces, like a fruit pie. Skinny narrow paths, just enough to step a foot into, separated each piece. She then planted catnip, thyme, marigolds, chamomile, dandelion, more thyme, more etc. -- whatever his or her favorite herbs happened to be.

I think it is interesting that dandelion was planted. I might have to experiment with dandelion next spring when they are young and tender. Maybe it will be delicious, nutritious, and free for the picking.

Snapping Turtle Preparation

Preparation of snapping turtle meat is essential to enjoying the wonderful taste of the turtle meat. The first thing to do is clean all mud and dirt from dead turtle.  After the turtle as clean as possible, it is now time to cut off the head and toes.
Next step is to place the turtle breast side up on a slab of wood. Pound a spike nail into the breast bone of the turtle.  Make sure the turtle is secure before going to next step.
To skin the turtle, using a sharp knife, start near a front leg and then go to next leg, separating the two pieces at the neck.  Pull skin off each leg, easier if two people work one at each end and pulling against one another.
Use same procedure on hind legs and tail.  Then remove the spike and entrails from the breast bone.
With a hatchet or clever, chop along tenderloin on each side and trim the shell loose.  Trim water fat and discard.
Rinse.  Meat is now ready to cook.