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Stories from Bernie's current trip - a mule voyage from Canada to Mexico

Listen to Your Rattle Snake Dinner
October 12, 2008

In the past 5,000 miles of mule travel, including a coast-to-coast mule voyage, I’ve seen a surprising number of rattlesnakes.

Zero. That’s surprising.

This week, I saw 5. Prairie rattle snakes 1 to 4 I encountered between Palco and Hays, Kansas.


Prairie rattler number 3
North of Hays, Kansas

Rattler Number 5 I encountered on my dinner plate.

On a recent evening, the retired college professor who was hosting mule Polly invited me to join a group of friends for a cookout at his carriage barn. On the menu were calf fries and rattle snake. (For the uninitiated, calf fries, or mountain oysters, are what you take from a bull to make him into a steer.)

Cooking was Marvin Pfannenstiel.


Marvin Pfannenstiel

In a moment, you’ll listen to Marvin chopping up and breading a rattler. But before you hear the sound of cleaver on chopping board, I wanted to share this picture guide menu to my new favorite snake recipe. I call it Lost Sea Rattler.


What’s nice about Lost Sea Rattler is that you don’t actually have to cook a snake to enjoy the cammraderie of a bunch of guys frying hunks of meat in boiling oil. After you’ve eaten snake the first time, cat fish looks a lot like Mr. No Shoulders. So get your fryer goin’ and let’s get cooking. Here, in photos, is your recipe.

Lost Sea Rattler (serves a dozen)
Ingredients:
3 medium sized rattle snakes – skinned and gutted
vegetable oil
salt
pepper
moonshine


Step 1: uncoil snake
Be sure snake is skinned before you do this. Dang they’re tough if you forget this step.


Step 2: chop snake
Note the google-eyed moose apron. No, chopping up a Kansas rattler isn’t messy. It’s just hard on your reputation as a host. From now on, folks will wonder what kind of meat you’re serving up…


Before and after
Now heat that oil to 350-degrees and get breadin’


Step 4: bread snake
If you can’t find the Snake and Bake, go for the cracker crumbs


Fried and ready to serve.
Bon appetit!
Note to bachelors: show up with this entrée at your next pot luck and your hosts will forever settle for that bottle of merlot.

Nothing goes better Lost Sea Rattler than with moonshine or rain water. If you’re watching your reputation, go for the iced tea.

Ready to get slicing and dicing? Then click on the audio player below as Marvin explains how to cook a serpent (note: the slamming sound you’re about to hear is Marvin’s cleaver).



Posted Sunday October 12, 2008 by Bernie
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