By Teri Cayton
The Parsons Advocate
I had a very “exciting” beginning to this week. I had to rescue Katy Kat from a baby opossum, which took a trip in a bucket to the forest where it belongs. She does not like to come inside when the weather is pretty, so I have been setting her food outside the door while I get ready for work each morning. Well, I did that Monday morning and as I was getting it to put back in the house, I opened the door and saw a naked tail run behind a flower pot.
My first thought was it was a big rat, YUCK. I poked around until I could see it and found out it was a baby opossum. I got a bucket and shushed him into it with a stick and then put a pot on top to hold him in. We took a short trip to a local wooded area and he was set free. Momma Said, “Live and let live.” I had no reason to kill the little thing so it will hopefully live a full and productive life in a place where it will not come into contact with anyone.
The American opossum is a very intimidating looking creature. They have 50 razor sharp teeth and their little hands or feet or whatever they are called have like 7 or 8 toes, for whatever reason I don’t know, they have a prehensile tail that can grasp branches and they are the only marsupial (pouched mammal) in North America or Canada.
They are more closely related to a kangaroo than a rat despite their appearance because of their pouch. The gestation of the young is only 11 to 13 days and then they move to the pouch and continue to grow. When they get big enough they will come out and ride on momma’s back. Momma Said, “This mother really can’t get her children off her back.”
Asian Cucumber Salad
- 2 English cucumbers (the long skinny ones) sliced ⅜-inch thick
- 1 CUP julienned carrots
- ⅓ CUP roasted salted peanuts chopped
- 2 TABLESPOONS chopped fresh mint or cilantro
- 3 TABLESPOONS seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1½ TEASPOONS soy sauce
- 1½ TEASPOONS sugar
- ½ CLOVE garlic minced (about ½ teaspoon)
- 1 TABLESPOON pickled ginger julienned
- PINCH or two crushed red pepper flakes
- 4-1/2 TEASPOONS vegetable oil
- Start by salting the cucumber. Toss the cucumber slices in salt and let them sit in a colander over a bowl for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse the slices with fresh water and let them drain again before drying well on clean kitchen towel. Pre-salting will help keep them crispy in the salad.
- Make the dressing by whisking the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and pickled ginger together in a large bowl to dissolve the sugar. Whisk in the vegetable oil.
- Add the cucumbers and carrots to the bowl and toss to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Stir in the peanuts and cilantro. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve cool as a terrific side dish or salad starter.