Author Topic: Eating Rabbit  (Read 3865 times)

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Offline anthropositor

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Eating Rabbit
« on: Friday April 16, 2010, 12:37:43 AM »
Some time ago I said I was going to say something about rabbit.  I may actually have said a few words in the Shmooo thread.  I don't remember at the moment.  But now that I have actually eaten one that I raised, I feel more like talking about them.  The handful of rabbits I started with have been very educational for me.  I was gratified to see that they eat the foliage of the Shmooo preferentially, even though they get a considerable variety of weeds and fruits.  My wife, convinced that she was not going to partake until she had her first bite, is now a convert.  And I, only previously having eaten wild rabbit as a youth, roasted over an open fire without any herbs and spices, was unsure that I was going to be enthusiastic.  I need not have worried.  Suffice it to say, it was well beyond my expectations.  I suspect that part of why it was so good may be the home-fermented wine and cider that the rabbits were getting to drink.

Well, my computer has been sluggish all day, and I have recently had a hard time posting here from one WiFi place, so for now I will close and see if this posts.  I am thinking that the big volcanic eruption in Iceland may be the cause of today's sluggishness, but I am no expert in these things.
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Offline Bamawing

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Re: Eating Rabbit
« Reply #1 on: Friday April 16, 2010, 07:43:31 AM »
I'm looking forward to details on this. Ever since my sister's rabbit, a white dwarf that was viscous as the day is long, I've been a huge fan of eating the little buggers.
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Eating Rabbit
« Reply #2 on: Monday April 19, 2010, 08:06:22 PM »
In my youth I frequently left home without leave.  These were sometimes difficult extended trips in which food could get scarce.  I remember thinking, if I could just eat the grass and weeds, I would never be hungry again.  It may be that this was the precursor to the culinary interests which more recently helped me to discover and develop Shmooo.  But the fact is, while I am an opportunistic eater, I am preferentially a carnivore.  This was especially so in those halcyon days in which I was blissfully unaware of my absence of knowledge in nutrition. 

In any case, with the Shmooo, I found myself able to produce far more than my wife and I could consume.  What was worse, no matter how good it tasted and how it agreed with my metabolism, I was not able to transfer these advantages to others in numbers that were particularly satisfying to me.  At the same time, my learning curve flattened out in the second year.  While I knew that I did not want to stop growing it, or eating it fresh, or dried as a spice, it was nowhere near as interesting as it had been when I was learning by leaps and bounds.  And since I had eaten wild rabbit numerous times, roasted over an open fire, the next step seemed natural to me.  Raise rabbits and see how much Shmooo they would eat.  It turns out that they eat it preferentially to other foods.  Oddly, at least to me, they eat the leafy material of the Shmooo plant and pretty much leave the seed stalks alone.  Humans of various tribes seem to favor the seeds, plowing the leaves under.  Before the Shmooo crop was killed by frost in the fall, it comprised around a third of the eclectic rabbit diet.  Even so, they continued to eat it eagerly until it was no longer available.

I have lost one rabbit to a poisonous plant.  The others seem robust and healthy.  They drink my wine and hard cider eagerly, and have a considerable amount of fruit and peelings as well.  On top of that, they eat several grains and finish up with a small amount of conventional rabbit pellets.  The real question now is, what impact would this have on the quality of the meat.

I once raised a Black Angus Calf experimentally in similar fashion about a quarter of a century ago.  My objective was to see if I could replicate Kobe beef without knowing what I was doing.  I can't tell you if it was as good as Kobe beef, which at the time was going for around a hundred dollars a pound, because I have never tasted Kobe beef.  But I have been a steak chef previously and the beef from this experimental steer was the very best that I had ever tasted, including Chateaubriand and Fillet Mignon.

About seven years ago I did the same sort of experimentation with chickens.  These chickens did not taste any better than the most premium chicken available.  My experimentation was not entirely useless, but it did not produce anything of importance.

On New Years Day I dispatched the first rabbit of those which had been exposed to my experimental dietetic regime.  It tasted much, much better than any wild rabbit I had ever eaten.  But bear in mind, the wild rabbits I had eaten were done under Spartan conditions, without herbs and other seasonings. 

The New Years rabbit was done on my Aussie Barbecue with the full complement of spices.  This alone could account for the difference.  But I was certainly heartened.  My wife had sworn that she would not eat rabbit.  Not a bite.  But on New Years, I did induce her to take a single bite.  After that, she enthusiastically consumed her entire half of the rabbit.  She is no longer resistant to eating soft cuddly bunnies.

All this is encouraging, but I have really proven nothing until performing a kind of double blind test with several guests.  Technically it is not a double-blind because I will know which rabbit is the experimental and which is the control.  But the portions will be labeled A and B.  Seasonings, temperature and roasting times will be identical.  While I myself will also partake of the cuisine and come to my own conclusions, none of the guests will witness my reaction or hear my comments.  Nor will anyone else know which rabbit is experimental, and which is commercially grown conventionally.  But that New Years' rabbit gave me reason to be optimistic about the outcome.   
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Eating Rabbit
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday October 13, 2010, 03:40:42 AM »
One would think that as a refugee, I would have immediately begun to consume my rabbits.  I had nine at the time.  I am now down to five, but predatory dogs got the four.  Unfortunate.  Still, I have managed to plant a new No-Till garden.  It is about three hundred square feet at the moment.  Not only is there Shmooo, but also black oil sunflowers, various kinds of beans and other legumes, a variety of black rice which may or may not have time to produce grain heads, since it has only been growing for 2 1/2 months.  My remaining rabbits are consuming a whole array of greens.  I really can't list everything that is growing, because I am doing it Jungle style.  I have planted quite a few kinds of berries and fruit seeds.  Some of them are coming up, but I will have to wait and see what they are.

The black rice is about up to my hip, but no grain heads are developing yet.  The rabbits eat it, but much prefer Shmooo.  Of course, they like the radish greens and Crimson Clover, and the skins of all the fresh fruit I am eating now as a part of my ongoing enzyme research.  WiFi is closing.  Later.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

Pray to the Gods, for the Gods are not unless you pray to them.--Don Marquis