Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Traditional Pispiza Recipe

Residents of the pispiza village are out of their burrows doing what prairie dogs to, primarily eating, others are lookouts. Big ones, little ones having brunch. A shot rings out.

I bought my pispiza shooter when the Ruger 10/22 first came on the marker in the early 1970s. It was purchased for $50. It is stock, original, wood is dinged up and the trigger lost its color. When I come across Sharp-tailed grouse, it becomes my siyaka shooter.

I’m particular when comes to .22 bullets. I prefer solid lead bullets for less meat damage. Now, one uses any .22 shells that one can buy or trade for in these days of ammo shortage.

Using a mounted 4X scope on the rifle, moving small pispizas are disregarded. Going for a headshot, the standing lookouts are going in the oven. At least two are needed for a meal, two quarters for each diner, along with mashed potatoes, peas and coffee. Pispiza drippings are put on the potatoes.

After shooting five pispizas, two were head-shot, the rest were gut, lung and tail shots. Some of the village residents were dusty from missed shots.

Using some of my stacked, dried grey cottonwood, a small fire was prepared using this local paper and matches. Good fire-starters such as gasoline, barbeque lighter fluid, and diesel fuel leave an aftertaste on the meat.

After placing a pispiza body on an iron pitchfork, it is singed in the fire while tossing it. Using a knife (It doesn’t have to be sharp.), the burnt fur is scraped off.

I like to use a 4” knife that’s sharp on one side. I’m not one of the boys who uses anything. I suppose one can use a dagger for butchering. I saw one used once in a Los Angeles city for processing a pond duck. But that’s for a future recipe.

The singed pispiza is gutted, starting from the anus to the throat, along the stomach. The heart, stomach and lungs are given to your suŋka. The head is removed. I like to get my brother-in-law with the big mouth to bite it off.

The pispiza is quartered, each quarter has a paw attached. Once the quarters are washed and cleaned, one has several choices: keep it in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking, freeze it for a snowy day, or cook it immediately. If you choose to cook immediately, be sure to have anti-diarrhea medication nearby, as it is very fresh meat. Otherwise, one could be lining up at the outhouse with more pages from this local paper.

How it’s prepared and cooked depends on who’s going to eat the pispiza. Broiling in silver paper or baking in the oven works with everybody, including kids. Marinating in Worcestershire sauce overnight works. Marinating in red wine also works, especially for your picky sister-in-law. Red wine takes out the perceived “wild” taste. Cook the pispiza until it’s done.

Ingredients and tools needed:

Two pispizas, two quarters for each diner

Sighted-in .22 caliber rifle


Dried cottonwood firewood

Iron pitchfork for singeing over the fire

Knife to scrape fur and gut

Salt and pepper

Optional: Worcestershire sauce or red wine

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