You see, I was reading this piece about the outcry over plans to slaughter Grey Squirrels - how they are to be bludgeoned to death in order to save the poor, endangered little Red Squirrel from extinction (or worse, only being able to live in Scotland), and it got me thinking.
Don't get me wrong, I've never really been a big fan of squirrels anyway - personally I think that far from being cutesy, bright-eyed little fellas with an entertaining way of grasping their nuts, they are in fact sinister, evil little members of the rat family with a bushy tail and a good PR company. So obviously, the problem's with the 'senseless killing' bit. But then, the brainwave hit me.
We're in a credit crunch, and we're told that the price of everything has risen quite steeply. Loss of income, loss of jobs and so on mean that we're all tightening our belts. And here, folks, is a perfect antidote to the problem of not being able to afford meat in the weekly shop. Just pop down to your local park, set a few traps, and you have a delicious meal on your plate. Squirrel probably even tastes like chicken. Of course, you still have to despatch your rodent - here I'd recommend sticking with the bludgeoning, ideally using a steak mallet, because 1: it'll help tenderise your meat for later, and 2: it's enormous fun.
And there's a second benefit as well. As we know, Nanny has given us a telling off this very day, entreating us to eat less fat - less butter, low-fat cheese and the like - and to eat leaner meat. Well, how much leaner do you want? Squirrels are free-range, eat an organic acorn-based diet, and given the amount of amusing scampering around they do, I doubt there's much fat on them. Job done.
There you go. A solution to the food crisis, the credit crunch, improved public health and a better environment for the native Red Squirrel.
No, no, don't thank me. In fact, I'll even give you a recipe to start with. Bon appetit.
- First, take your squirrel and bludgeon it for the oven.
- Bludgeon it some more. Feels good, doesn't it?
- Peel and disembowel your squirrel (purist torturers may wish to do this before the bludgeoning, as it can improve the flavour).
- Wrap in greasepoof paper with two garlic cloves, a sprig of rosemary, two slices of onion and shredded fieldmouse to taste.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes at Gas Mark 6.
- Remove from the oven, and leave to rest for ten minutes.
- Open the greaseproof paper, and inhale deeply.
- Throw it away and order a Pizza.