Recession-Style Dining Tips

Breaking News: An opossum (more commonly known by the affectionate nickname: “possum”) was spotted by the eagle-eyed John McElhenny of Matter Communications walking down the street in downtown Gloucester last night. It occurred to me that, if John knew what I know about these little critters, he might have snatched that possum right off the street and brought it home to mama for the kind of protein you just can’t buy at Stop ‘n Shop.

My own grandpa was a world-class consumer of possum. Oh, the stories he told. Of course, he was the product of another era: the Great Depression and general resourcefulness compelled people to discover all sorts of culinary delights that would otherwise have gone untasted. So, in honor of our own time of recession, where we are being forced to cancel our vacations to Disney World because we can no longer pay for the trip by refinancing our homes or getting yet another credit card, I want us to consider the possum for the first time since my grandpa’s generation. Your kids will love it, I promise. It might even replace pizza on Friday nights.

Stuffed Possum


bullet 1 possum (whole)
bullet 1 qt. cold water
bullet 1/8 cup salt
bullet 5 beef bouillon cubes
bullet 2 bay leaves
bullet 3 celery stalks (chopped)
bullet 2 onions (sliced)
bullet 1 bag packaged stuffing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak possum in cold salt water for 10 hours. Rinse meat in cold water and refrigerate 2-4 hours. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Stuff possum cavity with prepared packaged stuffing. Close cavity tightly. Place stuffed possum in roasting pan, add water, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, celery and onion. After 2 hours turn meat. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Cook for 1 more hour. Test roast, if not done reduce heat and cook until done.

p.s. Make sure your possum is dead before handling. But not too dead. And for more possum recipes, click HERE. And git to eatin’!


  • When you say “whole possum” just exactly how “whole” do you mean? And just where in downtown was said possum cruising?


  • Thanks, Sarah, for the Friday afternoon read. Alas, somehow I don’t think this recipe will replace your buttermilk cheese in my recipe files. Have wonderful weekend. (PS: Could there be a better picture of the critter than this one?)


  • We have met the enemy, and he is us. -Pogo Possum


  • I never checked but if you say opossum do you actually say oh possum? Or is it like know. It ain’t ka-now.

    I always thought that the “o” was silent. (I just asked a scientist and she said, oh-possum. She’s from the south though so I am not changing my mind.


    • Paul, as far as I know you’re supposed to say o-possum if you call the animal by its full name but no one really does that. Except for science-minded types. Technically I think you’re supposed to spell it ‘possum (with an apostrophe) if you shorten it, but that just feels pretentious. And thanks for the Euell Gibbons tip, Beth. He sounds like a brother in possum-eatin’ fun. By the way, we’re really making full circle here on GMG with the Pogo references (the recent post on Walt Kelly, Pogo’s creator and now possum posts.).


  • O is silent from where I come from and Euell Gibbons has some recipes for this sort of thing as well. 🙂


  • I’m expecting someone to say “Tastes like chicken”.


  • Sandy, I spotted this particular OH-possum walking up the sidewalk on Pleasant Street across from the Cape Ann Museum. It was 9:30 p.m. so he couldn’t have been visiting the museum. He disappeared behind the old Moose Lodge building, where I’m sure his possum posse was waiting. If only I had known the delicious possibilities, I would have been quicker with my burlap sack!


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