After airing a feature about how squirrels were appreciated for both their contributions to the ecosystem and for their tastiness, Steve Alexander received requests for squirrel recipes. He found them, from squirrel stew to squirrel enchiladas, in cookbooks from a Catholic church in Kaskaskia, Illinois, perhaps the only inhabited part of the state that is located west of the Mississippi. Once east of the river in the far southwestern tip of the state, Kaskaskia was severed when the river cut a new channel in 1881. Most of its 7,000 residents left, and the 50 or so that remain are mostly farmers. But the church that dates back to the 1600s remains, and cookbooks were published to mark its 300th anniversary. Kaskaskia native Emily Lyons talked with Steve about the area history, and about the recipe books — which are for sale; just search for Kaskaskia church cookbook and you’ll find them, or just call the church (618-615-5747) and leave a message.
Our observance of National Squirrel Appreciation Day led to a wealth of history and food recipes dating back to French settlers from the 1700s