This isn't to scare anybody but last April I saw a news report that said there were alligators in Kennett, Mo.
I know we usually think of alligators a lot further south than that.
In fact, I saw several gators while on a guided swamp tour in Mississippi a few years ago.
This news story I saw told that about 50 alligators might be roaming around the Bootheel town or in ditches. They were sold to residents a couple of years ago by a mysterious "alligator man" who was not identified. At that time, the baby alligators were probably six to eight inches in length.
City police theorize that the residents may have grown tired of the pets and released them.
A few of the alligators were captured last spring They had grown to be about three feet long.
At that size they could be considered dangerous to small animals, according to locals.
Well, now all that has set me to thinking.
What if some of those alligators make it through the winter and are just waiting for some hot summer days to start stirring around..
It takes several years, but a male reptile can grow 14 feet in length and weigh 1,000 pounds.
However, females grow considerably smaller at about nine feet in length.
No, it isn't likely they could survive.
They prefer freshwater but have been known to exist in swamps, rivers, ponds and brackish waters.
They are found from Brownsville, Texas on the US-Mexican border to Florida and all the way north to North Carolina.
Alligators are harvested for their skin and meat.
And that brings me to cooking.
While pursuing recipes on the Internet, I found a recipe for alligator stew.
First you need a four quart cooking pot.
And you will need about 1/2 cup cooking oil and 1 quart alligator meat, cut into small pieces about 1/2 inch thick.
Then add chopped vegetables; 1/2 cup chopped oinions, 1/2 cup diced bell peppers or banana peppers.
1/2 cup chopped celery, 2 tbsp. minched parsley
And two 10 oz cans diced tomatoes. If you prefer cajun stew, use tomatoes with green chilies or
1/2 spoon cayenne pepper.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover pot and cook over low to medium heat for about an hour until meat is tender.
Serve over hot cooked rice (three cups).
One other thought about food.
The National Chicken Council projected there would be 12.3 million fewer chicken wings consumed during Super Bowl XLV11.
However, the council said there would be 1.23 billion wings consumed on Super Sunday.
And they would cost more due to fewer chickens raised, due to higher feed costs.
That was a blow to those fans who make it a tradition to eat chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday.
Actually, it didn't matter to me.
I don't like chicken wings anyway.
As far as alligator stew, I don't know.
I've never eaten any.
I have cooked and eaten deer stew, turtle meat, wild rabbit and wild turkey,
I allow as how alligator stew might not be so bad.