Done seems Muskrat Suppers are a popular wintertime fundraiser for churches & volunteer fire departments alike, particularly in downriver Detroit. Now ya’d reckon’ that’d be a southern thing since so many of us good folk moved up that way in the ’30 & 40’s to work in the automotive and bomber plants… and I ain’t one to shy away from a good rat! But no sir. They’re actually of polish origin, which I done ran across fer the first time at Dom Polski’s in Wyandotte, just a holler down from Detroit. And old tellin’ has it that durin’ the depression, the Bishop of Detroit declared muskrats to be fish since they live in the water, so Catholics could eat’em on Fridays. Weren’t no problem if you was Baptist.
- 3-4 good muskrats, git rid of the fat and glands
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 1/2 bunch celery, chopped up
- 4 onions, chopped op
- 1/2 lb oleo, yep that much
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 21 oz canned tomato soup (2 standard cans & it’sworth springin’ fer the fancy Campbell’s Soup over them cheaper store brands)
To cook up yer rats:
Saute bacon, celery, onions, oleo, and cayenne pepper together for 10 minutes.
Put yer rats in bottom of a pan you can cover tightly (yer gonna wanna cook up a double batch so use that roaster ya cook yer turkeyz in).
Pour sautéed mixture over the rats, and then pour on the tomato soup (Don’t add water to the soup).
Bake, covered, for 2 1/2 hours at 350 or until done.
Serve with cabbage, a good dippin’ bread to soak up the drippin’s and an ice-cold Natty or a hearty Blatz.