Tag Archive: roadkill recycler


During our last venture around Mainland Scotland, Skye and The Orkneys, we called in to see a dear friend of ours – Mother Malarky.

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Mother Malarky - Shamanic Taxidermist, Drum Maker and ForagerMother Malarky was one of my very first roadkill mentors and we always look forward to playing with dead things whenever we get together, be it learning how to taxidermy in her kitchen, skinning moles on the beach or holding impromptu roadkill workshops in a field somewhere!

It was at her house one evening in front of the fire that my beaver-fur bikini-bottom performance art piece “Nice Beaver” was re-named “Kali’s Pants” after it took on a greater spiritual and emotional meaning – and the addition of a pikes jaw bone from the Malarky mantelpiece and a handmade red velvet vulva, lol.  Ahhhh, some friends you just know you can be yourself with. lol.

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Ahhhhhh, Roadkill Squirrel Sausages - TUFTY-TASTIC!Well, one fine day back in October we descended on Ms.Malarky and her beloved fella.  We have always managed to make magic in her kitchen and this time was going to be no different.  Amongst other things, Mother Malarky is a fantastic cook, shamanic drum maker, wild food forager and roadkill recycler.  I have learned many things from her, and on this day, she taught me the fine art of sausage casting!  Yayyyyyy!  I had always wanted to do this, ever since I was a kid watching random folk on the ‘Generation Game’ totally fluffing it up.  Many a time since then I had wanted to make sausages but never had the equipment.  I often make terrines or pie and dumpling fillings out of small random bits of roadkill, but you can just about put ‘anything’ in a sausage.   Ahhhh, happy days, and Ma Malarky has just the tool for the job.

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carol cooking pike sausagesMalarky has now been dubbed The Queen of Roadkill Sausage Making.  Since purchasing her wonderful sausage machine she has just about ‘sausaged’ everything she can get her hands on!  Even Ozzy the cat and her beloved fella have stayed well out of the way!  lol.

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Now…first we had to decide what kind of sausages we wanted to make so we had a rummage in Pandora’s Ice Box.  A mammoth task!  This is a freezer I wish I had, it has more surprises than a ‘Forest Gump’ box of chocolates, everything but the mammoth.  It feels like Christmas opening the lid… well, it does to a dead thing lover like me, lol.  Every time she finds something on the road, and if the law allows, it goes straight into her ‘special’ freezer.   On this day she decided we will make squirrel sausages and she dug three out of the freezer. Two greys and one red.

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A word about Squirrels and the Law….

red+squirrel The red squirrel is a protected species in the UK and is included in Schedules 5 and 6 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) (amended by the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000). It is an offence to intentionally kill or injure a red squirrel or intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy any structure or place a red squirrel uses for shelter or protection, or disturb a red squirrel while it occupies such a place.
Therefore you must be very careful about when and where you fell any trees. See the section on felling advice for more detail.

grey-squirrelThe grey squirrel is regarded as an invasive non-native species following its inclusion under Schedule 9 of the WCA. Grey squirrels are also listed in the IUCN international list of 100 worst invasive non-native species. This highlights the damage that grey squirrels cause to our native flora and fauna; a problem severe enough to be recognised at a level of global significance. As such, the grey squirrel is regarded as a pest species and is afforded no protection under the WCA. Under Schedule 9 of the WCA, it is illegal to release a grey squirrel into the wild, or allow one to escape.

This means if you trap one, you are obliged to humanely dispatch it. You must not let it go as this act would be illegal.

Anyone who carries out, or knowingly causes or permits any of the above acts to occur could be committing an offence.

NOTE: ALL THREE OF THESE WERE ROAD TRAFFIC CASUALTIES.  IF THAT WERE NOT THE CASE WITH THE RED SQUIRRELS I WOULD NOT BE SO STUPID AS TO WRITE THIS BLOG!!

Of course we would rather see these sweet creatures hopping around quite happily alive and kicking, we would rather eat veggies than see them dead, but  this was an exercise in ‘Waste Not Want Not’ guided by our moral code and ethical stance on foraging.  We respect Nature’s delicate balance and Natural Law.  The eating of Red Squirrel could be a controversial issue, but we do “controversial” very well and are both up-to-date on the latest conservation and foraging laws in England and the UK.  We support the various efforts to save the Red.  We still love th grey though, he is still a beautiful creature and can’t help what colour he is.  Ultimately, they both taste pretty much the same!  Life and Nature is all about change at the end of the day!

Here is a well-informed page relating to Foraging and the Law by ‘Roadkill Chef’ and friend – Fergus Drennan – Wild Man Wild Food.

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Okay, that said, let’s get on with some sausage making!! Yayyyyyy!!!

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me and malarky making squirrel sausagesIt was hard and cold work de-fleshing the tiny squirrel bones, but the meat is easier to work and mince when frozen, so prepping took a while. We added ‘red’ things (smoked paprika & sundried tomatoes) seeing as there was a tiny amount of Red Tufty in the mix, and to give the finished bangers a red colour.  Eventually we got to putting all the mixture through the machine and into the castings, which were actually made of Collagen and pretty easy to work with. This bit was fun and I found it hard in the midst of my enthusiasm to work slowly, lol. I wanted full speed and maximum comedy – just like the old days watching the Generation Game! Anyhow, Ms. Malarky reined me in and we produced a huge amount of wonderful sausages that were absolutely TUFTY TASTIC!  Hence, the name was born.

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close up pike sausage in the panThe following morning we were treated to some of her POACHED PIKE sausage for breakfast with homemade chestnut bread and damson sauce. They were absolutely delicious. If you don’t know already, a pike is a predatory fish found in the UK and is not eaten much these days. Sometimes, it can be a bit ‘bottom-of-the-river’ tasting and has bones as vicious as its teeth! But, these sausages were soooo delicate in texture and flavour, poached to perfection.

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One day, when I have the kitchen space, I will definitely acquire a sausage machine!

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RECIPES TO FOLLOW… you won’t be disappointed!

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Not long after we made Roadkill Sausages for the Beyond Production team whilst filming the ‘Food’ episode for ‘FORBIDDEN’ on the Discovery Channel.

The photographer Jonathan Mcgee has an eye for capturing the moment and a fab sense of humour, lol.

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carol and me sausage making for discovery channel.

Beyond Productions logo     Discovery Channel logo

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TUFTY-TASTIC RED SQUIRREL SAUSAGES – Sun-dried Tomato and Smoked Paprika.  (Gluten Free)

PRE-POACHED PIKE SAUSAGES – With Methy Leaf and Thyme.  (Gluten Free)

PHOTO GALLERY

On our recent trip to Scotland and beyond!   Preparing black birds in Malarkys kitchen for the artwork "Till Death Do Us Part"   "Kali's Pants" - aka - "Nice Beaver" Performance art piece   Scraping a snakeskin - Taxidermy workshop in a field somewhere   Outdoor Roadkill bunny workshop

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A recent story in the press about me has gone ballistic all over the internet! 

Pregnant Woman Develops Bizarre Craving for Roadkill

As a result there have been many comments relating to these stories that have been quite abusive and unpleasant – mostly by people who do not question the media, believe everything they read and have a tendency to react before thinking.

An appetite for Feral Fusion – all good food if you know what you are doing!!

Now… I don’t mind the odd slating for being who I am, or doing what I do, and if being willing to put up with the odd verbal bashing means I get a chance to spark a reaction that can change the way people interact with the world… then I’ll keep doing it!

….but it does hurts a little when huge waves of hate and anger roll up on my shore due to deliberate misquoting and poor reporting in general – especially when aimed at my unborn child or my ability to be a good mother.  These individuals don’t know me, or where I am coming from, or how careful I REALLY am!

Japanese Gyoza – Roadkill Dumplings!

I know, I know, “If you dance with the devil…” and all that, I’ll get what I deserve…  Whatever!!  I’ll continue to be the authentic me and take on the chin whatever comes at me!  After all, it is only the ego that gets bruised by words.  I will live my life as I see fit, hopefully inspire and encourage others to do the same.  Let’s see where this dance with the media takes me – I have to question, ” is it all happening for a reason??”  I hope so.  Maybe lots of ‘good’ will come out of this – whatever ‘good’ is – question everything my friends.

 

The actual story goes kinda like this…

I was originally contacted by a UK news agency by email while I was doing a two month road trip in America recently.  They saw me on “Come Dine With Me” (A UK TV show) and they wanted to do a follow up story.  I said I would speak to them upon my return late October.  It was an amazing 6000 mile road trip in an old VW camper. As always a culinary trip – although trying to avoid sugar and refined carbs was a bit tough.  We love being in the States.  Our trip included the iconic Burning Man Festival and eleven National Parks.  Beautiful country and amazingly friendly people.   God bless America!

Rocky Mountain Oysters – Bulls Testicles – Wyoming

It just happened that I was 5 months pregnant upon my return and extremely happy and the reporter jumped on that opportunity for a sensational story, despite my ‘very’ verbal reservations.  The headlines have been along the lines of, “I have suddenly got cravings for roadkill”. In truth, many people know that I have been eating roadkill for years and I love it. Obviously they wanted to elaborate and say that my eating of traffic casualties was caused by pregnancy cravings!  What tosh!  Lol. …but it certainly made a great story – it has almost gone ‘viral’.  Such a big reaction to little ol’ me and my little life!

I think I’m going to need a bigger BBQ! Roadkill Mule deer, Utah.

What exactly is in our meat… supermarket or otherwise?

My roadside culinary habits have been filled with much more caution if anything (of course the reporter knew that, but that’s boring news!) and my partner does the roadside examinations and butchery at the mo.  I have been trying to conceive for some time and being an ‘older’ mum, taking every step I can to be super healthy – especially with regards to my diet.  I’ve driven my friends nuts by being so fussy, lol.  I do not take chances with my unborn child and despite other people’s ignorance in this matter, claiming that I am harming him, the truth is quite the contrary. Well chosen, roadkill is, without doubt, better than most supermarket meat and equal to the very best of (very expensive) meat in the shops.

When I can afford it, I only eat organic meat.  Yes, that includes roadkill as I consider this free range food to be pesticide, growth hormone, antibiotic and cruelty free!  Unlike most supermarket meat.   I was misquoted in a way that made it sound like eating roadkill was unhealthy – which of course it isn’t, so long as know what you’re doing and have a good working knowledge of the animal you’re eating and any possible diseases it may carry.  I have years of experience and if there is the slightest doubt as to whether it is not fresh or free of disease…I will not touch it!  I am never too proud to refuse the advice and knowledge offered by someone who knows more than me!

(The proof of the pudding is that I’ve been doing this regularly for over five years and I’ve never had a funny tummy from any of the food from the road – and neither have my dinner party guests!).

The contestants on CDWM – Harrogate

Also, I would hardly have appeared on a UK TV show serving up gourmet roadkill to random dinner guests in front of six million viewers (first broadcasting)  had I not had the confidence in what I was doing.  My eating roadkill has hardly been a secret, however, I got much slating because the article didn’t mention that either. They just made it out to be a sudden thing – which made me sound like a silly ‘15 minutes of fame’ thrill seeker to the people who had already seen me on the telly!  Pah!!

COME DINE WITH ME – ROAD-KILL THRILLS in HAIRY HARROGATE – 3 min clip!

Soooo…how do you know if a carcass is fresh and edible?

 

It is not only about how the animal looks and smells, whether the eyes are still in, how rigid the flesh is, whether the skin moves freely or whether its fleas have not yet abandoned a sinking ship!  Body and touch temperature are not always a great indicator, because different global regions have different climates. Also, changes in weather can make a difference to what bugs are around and the speed of decomposition.  Only pick up ‘clean’ hits that have ‘bounced’ to the side of the road. Then cut any bruised bits out – if any.  Rupturing of the animal’s organs and any broken bones have to be taken into consideration too as these can taint / poison the meat.

Obviously, don’t pick up something thats been run over a couple of times!!  It is essential to research the kinds of diseases certain wild animals can catch and what signs to look for.

… As you can see, you need to know what you’re doing, but it’s not rocket science!!  If in doubt, ask someone else or leave it for something else to chow down on.  Hopefully it will be eaten before numerous passing cars turn it into tarmac-jam!

I love my nomadic lifestyle.  I am one of the freest people I know and eating wild food makes me feel more at one with the environment and not separate from it.  I will share my knowledge with anyone who genuinely wants to learn more about living a simple life, appreciative of, and connected to, nature.  I am very open and honest about my life choices. And here’s the bonus, if you’ve yet to recognise it – You don’t have to work nearly as hard in life to make so much taxable money to have a cosy home, clothe and entertain yourself and eat well and healthily – Now with the state of the world economy as it is – surely this is appealing to many of you!

Maybe, one day, those angry people out there who live sanitary lives, too afraid to eat anything unless it has been pumped full of antibiotics, steroids and preservatives then shrink-wrapped in plastic will look to hunter/gatherers like us for survival tips when the world economy goes even more tits-up.

… or as one reader quoted “if there is a zombie apocalypse or something” lol!

Who knows eh?

…in a supermarket near you?

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