By Matthew David Brozik and Lauren Krueger
Meat provides protein, vitamins, and other essential nutrients that do exist in plants and minerals, but not in quantities large enough for you to survive on just leaves and pebbles. For example: It would take fourteen bowls of delicious Rock Soup (above) to provide the nutritional wallop found in just one serving of scrumptious Pteriyaki Pterodactyl Wings (below)!
The urge to consume flesh is primal. When you spy a Microceratops feeding on a low branch of a Sciadopitys verticillata and find yourself salivating, chances are good that you’re not drooling for your own beakful of woody cone. Your body is telling you to sneak up behind that graceful small-horned and frilled creature, one of the hundreds of thousands that populate this glorious planet, slip your hands around its slender neck, strangle, and serve!
Hunting meat is relatively straightforward, with but a few minor variations on a fairly simple theme. Preparing meat for consumption can be as uncomplicated as slow-roasting an unskinned, unseasoned Titanoboa over a spit (the tender meat will fall right off the 40 to 50 feet of reticulated vertebrae)… or as elaborate as assembling and baking the many-layered Barylambda Pastitsio. (Somewhere in the middle is dusting Moschops chops with sea salt and cracked black pepper and grilling them in your backyard or driveway fire pit.)
Of course, cavemen and cavewomen also should not—indeed, can not—subsist on meat alone, either… but more on this later. For now, sharpen your incisors and tie on your Alocasia-leaf bib. It’s time for gastronomic pleasures of the flesh.
RECIPE: Pteriyaki Pterodactyl Wings
These easy pteriyaki wings are marinated overnight, then baked for a fast and tasty appetizer or main dish.
• ⅓ cup water
• ¼ tsp pepper
• ⅓ cup soy sauce
• ¼ cup brown sugar (e.g., white sugar mixed with dirt)
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar (e.g., sour wine/wine made from sour grapes with some balsam in it)
• ½ tsp ginger
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced, tops included(!)
• 16 pterodactyl wings, separated at the joints; wing tips and toes should be discarded (or may be saved for stock), but both the propatagium and brachiopatagium should be left intact
Combine water, pepper, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar, and ginger in a large shell. Gently heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. (If your cave is warmer than your fire, do not remove from heat.) Stir in green onions.
Place pterodactyl wings in a large sealable animal bladder. Pour in the pteriyaki marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal. Turn bladder to distribute the marinade over the wings. Bury under snow or ice 12 hours or overnight.
Line a second shell with foil.*
Place pterodactyl wings over a fire and dress with the bladder marinade. Cover wings with more foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes to crisp up the skin.
A tasty alternative to traditional pteriyaki wings is to try them “buffalo” style: Roast a medium-sized female buffalo over a spit for 12 hours, then carefully peel back the skin, making sure there are no tears.** Next, make a paste of the spiciest plants in your pantry, and apply to the pterodactyl wings. Wrap each wing in buffalo skin, and deep fry for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain on absorbent mats, and serve with a creamy Roquefort. Buffalo pterodactyl wings make a great snack for cavemen watching the game.*** Actually, one wing feeds a crowd.
HEALTH TIP: Carrion, My Wayward Son (or: Do You Want Flies With That?)
It is the business of life to keep on living. Mother Nature helps out where she can, providing useful—if sometimes oblique—clues to enable survival, available to all but the most oblivious of her children. For instance: Most creatures can detect and discern among a great variety of odors, each indicating something different, such as the approach of a snowstorm, or whether two socks make a matched pair, or the current time.
Another thing Mother Nature has done to ensure the survival of Earth’s creatures is give us an innate sense of the edibility of different items we might try to consume triggered by the color of those items. In general, things that are shades of red, orange, or yellow are especially edible, with the exception of tomatoes and the Sun. Meat that comes from red animals—such as the Trilophodon, the Moeritherium, and the Phenacodus—is particularly tasty, and even more so when served with a red wine. Green vegetation (grass, moss, lichen) is typically adequately appetizing, as are green lizards, including the green dinosaurs (e.g., Allosaurus, Megalosaurus, Immaturosaurus). Blue or purple meat, such as that of Saltasuarus or Eustreptospondylus, is to be avoided.
The meat of any animal covered in or surrounded by flies, especially if the creature is already dead and possibly has been for some time, should never be eaten, as it will do considerably worse to you than just turn you green. One can consume the flies themselves, however, without any hesitation. Even bluebottles.
*If you do not already have a quantity of malleable, reflective foil, consider making wings another time and, in the meantime, dedicating the better part of every day for several weeks to flattening a large shiny rock to no thicker than a plant leaf.
**That is, tears in the skin. Peeling a buffalo will not produce tears in your eyes like peeling an onion will.
***Preparing to hunt it, that is.
An excerpt from GOOROO’S PRO-MAGNON KITCHEN –– now available on NOOK.