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Monday, September 23, 2013

Snake Crossing leads to a Tasty Treat

Here in Southern Illinois the beauty is one that attracts many. The thing that many do not think about is the fact that this beauty hides creatures that are more undesirable. Snakes love the cool rocks and when the weather begins to change the snakes begin to move. One section of a road here in southern Illinois near Union County is closed for a period of time for snakes to migrate. The snake road found in the Shawnee National Forest runs about 3 miles long and stays closed a period of 2 months. The snakes and amphibians who have enjoyed the summer swamp habitats and are now ready to return to their winter hibernation habitats in the bluff rocks.

My friend recently ran into this little beauty in her own back yard. I am not sure how I would react if I had met this friend but I must say that the snake had better stay calm because I am afraid I would not have.

I feel myself that this tasty snack of a snake would be better for me to run into rather than the dark slithery snake above.

1 can crescent rolls
Flour, for dusting
4 tablespoons spicy mustard
10 ounces thinly sliced ham
10 ounces thinly sliced salami
10 ounces bologna
12 ounces Monterey Jack, grated
Liquid food coloring
3 egg yolks
2 whole cloves
2 small pimiento-stuffed olives
1 (1-inch) strips jarred roasted red peppers
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Grease the foil and set aside.
Dust a flat surface lightly with flour. Spread out the crescent dough — do not separate. Pinch together the seams so that you have 1 piece of dough. Roll out to make a large rectangle. Make sure the dough is not stuck to the surface at all.
Brush the dough with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Layer the meats down the center of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on either end. You can feel free to use your favorite cold cuts.
Top the meats with the cheese. Fold 1 side of the dough over the filling, lengthwise. Then, fold the other 1/2 over and press the seal the filling inside. Take 1 egg yolk, and beat lightly with a fork. Brush the egg yolk over the top of the dough. The yolk will act as the glue to hold. Fold the dough in 1/2 again lengthwise. Pinch the seam with your fingers to seal. Press the outside of the dough to make sure everything is sealed tight and to make an even thickness for the body of your snake. Taper 1 end of the dough to form a tail shape. Form the other end into a head shape.
Beat the 2 remaining egg yolks together. Transfer to 3 separate small bowls. Add some food coloring to each bowl — whatever colors you like! Using a clean paintbrush, "paint" the snake with the egg yolk/food coloring mixture.
Transfer the snake to the foil lined sheet tray. Form into an "s" shape so it looks like the snake is slithering. Insert 2 cloves into the head to look like nostrils and 2 stuffed olives for eyes. Create a mouth or tongue with the roasted red peppers. Bake the snake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

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