Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Like Chicken

Above: Iguana Greeting Card from Hallmark's "fresh ink" Series,
sent to me a few years ago by my sister Peg

Bye O Baby Bunting, Grandpa's Gone A - Hunting
or, Grandpa Carriker's Recipe for Rabbit

by guest blogger Peggy Linn Carriker-Rosenbluth

First, get dressed in long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Be sure to tuck pant legs into socks to prevent ticks. Grandpa Carriker gets down his shotgun and shells. Drive to Cob Station with Grandpa in his old black panel truck. Park the truck and begin walking -- and walking -- and walking. After what seems to be several miles, reach the woods and be sure to stay behind Grandpa. DO NOT TALK, LAUGH, OR (MOST ESPECIALLY) GIGGLE! If you do, Grandpa will tell you that you'll scare away the rabbits. We love the rabbits and think this would be a great plan, but Grandpa is a good shot and after an eternity, he kills a rabbit.

As soon as Grandpa has picked up the rabbit, he has you carry the now dead rabbit. You cry and tell Grandpa that it isn't fair because the rabbits have to eat too. Grandpa is unmoved. You carry the rabbit (which is fuzzy and soft) and sometimes Grandpa will "bag" another rabbit before returning to the panel truck. Grandpa drives the panel truck back home and puts his shotgun away. Then Grandpa goes out into the back yard and starts dressing the rabbit(s). We learn early that dressing a rabbit is not the same things as when we dress the cats up in doll clothes. Dressing the rabbit is done quickly and with little fanfare. Sometimes we keep the rabbit skins to play with but mostly they are thrown away. Once or twice we kept a rabbit's foot, too. Take the now cleaned rabbits in to Grandma Carriker to be prepared.

Grandma Carriker takes the rabbit and dips the pieces in egg and milk and then shakes them in flour. The pieces are then fried in deep lard/shortening until golden brown on all sides. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans prepared with pork/bacon and slow cooked for several hours. Rabbit is eaten with much attention to detail. You eat a bite, spit out a pellet or two of buckshot, then eat the next bite and again spit out a pellet or two and so on until done. Since buckshot is made from lead, it hurts your teeth when bitten. [Not to mention the possibility lead poisoning, which no one ever even thought about in those days!]

When asked by your children years later what rabbit tastes like, just say "chicken."

For more stories and recipes, see my sister's new blog:
Peggy Linn Carriker-Rosenbluth
Friends and Family Recipes

1 comment:

  1. Still makes me cry when I think about killing and eating bunnies (and squirrels). I know it was necessary as G'ma and G'pa Carriker didn't have a lot of money, and better to kill and eat instead of just kill for the joy of killing, but it also still hurts. I can't imagine eating a rabbit or squirrel today but know I could do it if it meant feeding my family. I pray it never comes to that. I prefer to be oblivious to where my meat comes from.