Wednesday Weisblog: Raccoon, it’s what’s for dinner.

Jimmy Naifeh

Jimmy Naifeh

Although former Tennessee House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh’s term has come to an end, he fully intends to continue a rather unusual tradition started by his late father, Oney Naifeh.

Each year, they have their annual raccoon barbeque.

That’s right … on an annual basis, some of the state’s most influential politicians and their friends get together, kill some raccoons and cook ’em over an open fire.

According to The Tennessean, it has become a much-anticipated event that is attended by both sides of the political fence. For example, Governor Bresden is expected to be there, while Republican House Speaker Kent Williams (Naifeh’s successor) says, “I wouldn’t miss it … it’s just a good gathering.”

This year’s event will be without one regular attendee, legendary singer Isaac Hayes, who passed away last August. He always attended despite his refusal to eat the main course of the evening. His reasoning for not eating the raccoon?

“He’s got hands,” he said.

Being the thorough journalist I am, I researched some of the ways people suggest cooking raccoon, and what it tastes like. Below are some of the better responses:

Raccoons are a little greasy but still taste good. Just like groundhogs, the younger they are the more tender they are.

Raccoon has been on my table for many years. I enjoy them roasted just like a Yankee pot roast, either in gravy or a red sauce.

Boil the tar out of them, then BBQ them and it will pass for pork BBQ.

*These raccoon recipes are provided as a free public service by Weis Words Writing.


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