Ready for Rabbit?

Rachel Brownlee is a health and nutrition coach who lives with her husband in North Asheville, where they raise chickens and vegetables on an acre plot. She calls herself an "anti-rice cake nutritionist," and works part time with a landscape company called "Dirty Hoe Landscaping." Even though Brownlee used to find the whole idea silly, she operates a blog called "Girl in an Apron." She tries to post a food entry daily, and she plans to someday compile her favorites into a book that conveys her passion. "I am food obsessed," she notes. "It's not just about what the food is, it's also about the experience for me; just being part of it and being excited about it — and hopefully getting other people excited about it."

It's what's for dinner: Grilled rabbit leg, grilled carrots and potato-leek puree, cooked by the author. Photo by Rachel Brownlee

What does Brownlee like to cook? All manner of things — including rabbit.
—Mackensy Lunsford

First, if any of you are still hanging onto remnants of your childhood affection for the Easter bunny, or the Velveteen Rabbit for that matter, please skip this article. Seriously. For the rest of you, it's time to fire up the grill.

I was going about my business buying a dozen eggs at the Saturday farmers market, when my friend came up behind me and said "Rachel, Stephen is selling whole rabbit." Rabbit. At first I hesitated … but why? I suppose it's because I have some sort of emotional attachment to them — the big soft ears, the cute little nose. How can I justify eating a cow 400 times its size without batting an eye?

I started thinking. Rabbits are closer to native food than most all other domesticated meat animals. They are lean. They reproduce efficiently, and with little effort. They have a light environmental footprint. Plus, they've got to taste good … rabbits are a food from the frontier, for goodness sake.

I decided to walk over and check out the scene. There was the rabbit, displayed over a bed of ice, not really looking much like the Easter Bunny at this stage in the game. I thought it over. Almost bought a whole chicken, before switching gears and going for the rabbit. I was uncomfortable with my uncomfortableness around this animal. I needed to dive in! Surely my ancestors did.

Garden buddy: The author and her mixed-breed rescue dog, Micah. TBD

I decided to begin the process with a brine, followed by an herb-rubdown, followed by the heat of the grill, followed by continuous basting with garlic and herb butter.

I am much more comfortable around the subject of rabbit now. After defusing some of my initial fears, I was able to enjoy an incredibly nourishing, mouthwatering and sustainable food. I never in my whole life thought that I would be taking sides with Mr. McGregor and seeking out Peter Rabbit for dinner, but that storybook farmer was onto something.

Grilled Whole Rabbit

Ingredients:

1 young 2-2.5 lb. whole rabbit, skinned and cleaned
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup fresh, chopped rosemary
Sea salt and pepper for rub
2-3 T melted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced

Rabbit prep:

Fill a large bowl 3/4-full with water. Add enough salt to make the water "briny"— about a 1/4 cup. Place the rabbit in the bowl and allow to sit in fridge for a whole day or overnight.

Method:

Remove rabbit from the brine and rinse. Generously rub the rabbit with rosemary, salt and pepper.
Fire up the grill, placing charcoal to one side. When you can hold your hand for 3 to 5 seconds over grill rack, coals are ready. Place the rabbit on the grill, not directly over the pile of coals. Cover grill with lid, turning rabbit occasionally, until fully cooked, but not overcooked. (Meat thermometer should read at least 160-170 in thickest area). Baste with the butter as rabbit cooks. Remove from heat and place on a baking sheet.

*Read your children an alternative storybook this evening, maybe one about a cute little cow or perhaps The Three Little Pigs.

Brownlee serves her grilled rabbit with potato-leek puree and grilled carrots. For the full recipe, visit her blog at www.girlinanapron.blogspot.com

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36 thoughts on “Ready for Rabbit?

  1. Stewart David

    RE: “I was uncomfortable with my uncomfortableness around this animal. I needed to dive in! Surely my ancestors did.”

    Your ancestors may have kept slaves, too. And gone to dogfights. If we look to our ancestors for moral guidance, we can pretty much justify anything.

    For nonviolent recipes, visit http://www.vegcooking.com

    For nonviolent recipies, visit http://www.vegcooking.com

  2. Stewart David

    Micah, the author’s adorable rescue dog, has a lot of meat on her. If Ms. Brownlee has an old family recipe around for dog stew, will that be in next week’s issue?

  3. Rachel Brownlee

    Chris Masterjohn, (writer for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and guest writer for Medical Hypotheses), reviews Joel Fuhrman’s book on plant based diets. Here is an excerpt, “The solution is to drop the ideological opposition to animal products and recognize that both animal and plant products—when in their unrefined state, produced under natural conditions, grown in well-tended soil, and prepared and consumed according to the traditions on which our ancestors thrived for millennia—can make important nutritional contributions to the diet. Some people may do well on a diet centered on plant products if they also carefully take advantage of certain nutrient-dense animal products; but for many others this approach will not work. Restricting polyunsaturated oils and supporting the body’s own antioxidant defense systems with the vitamins and minerals it needs would by itself likely provide many of the benefits that Fuhrman observes in his practice while simultaneously allowing us to take advantage of the rich nutrition contained in traditional animal products as well.”

  4. Betty Cloer Wallace

    FRIED SQUIRRELS WITH GRAVY AND BISCUITS
    (Compliments of Green Bough Grange)

    Shoot a clutch or two of squirrels. Skin them. Test to see if they are fryer squirrels or boiler squirrels. (Use the fryers for this recipe. Save the boilers to process later for dumplings or pot pies.)*

    Cut the fryer squirrels into pieces and soak overnight in cold salt water in refrigerator.

    Dredge the squirrel pieces by shaking in a paper bag with flour (a handful per squirrel) seasoned with salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon of each per squirrel).

    Heat fatty shortening (preferably including bacon grease) in a cast iron frying pan to a depth of a scant inch.

    Place dredged squirrel pieces in the hot grease. If the grease crackles, it is the right temperature.

    Brown squirrel pieces gently on both sides. Cover with lid and cook on low heat until tender (about 30 minutes).

    Remove squirrel pieces and keep warm in warming oven or wrapped in aluminum foil.

    Scrape pan drippings from bottom of frying pan and stir the browned bits amongst the remaining grease. On very low heat, lightly sprinkle the frying pan grease with flour until the flour is slightly browned and pasty.

    Slowly add 2-3 cups warm whole milk to the pan and stir continuously until gravy begins to thicken and bubble.

    Serve with light, fluffy biscuits.

    *Notes for the uninitiated: (1) Squirrels should be the meaty mast-eating woodland gray squirrels, not the small red boomers, and certainly not ground squirrels. (2) Your local squirrel population will depend upon the availability of woodland mast. Do not reduce the squirrel population beyond the capability of mast production to replenish the squirrel-mast balance or you will be sorry next year. (3) Use a shotgun. Buckshot is easy to pick out of the meat. Anything else is overkill and will do too much damage. (4) A clutch of squirrels equals the number of squirrel tails you can clutch securely in one hand. A good rule of thumb is 1-2 squirrels per hungry person. (5) After skinning but before cutting up the squirrel carcasses, press a knife blade flat against the leg bone to see if the bone will bend. If it does, you have a young fryer squirrel. If it does not, you have a boiler squirrel that will be good for squirrel-and-dumplings or for squirrel pot pies. This sorting procedure for squirrels is similar to chicken grading. (6) Cook the squirrel heads, too. You can extract the brains with your pinky finger and experience a real delicacy, or you may use a small utensil of some sort. Enjoy.

  5. Dana Nagle

    It seems Mr. David is hunting for a dog recipe. He should be informed that consumption of herbivorous animals is recommended over that of omnivores and carnivores. The toxicity increases as it moves up the food chain. Plus, humans and dogs have a 10,000 year history of mutually beneficial co-habitation as companions, making it seem highly unlikely that Ms Brownlee would share the same desire to consume her dog friend as Mr. David seems to have.

  6. donna price

    Due to Mr. David’s rather unsavory comments, I believe it would do him a world of good if he partook with gratitude, in some local, humanely raised, grass fed, nutrient dense protein…instead of heavily processed, pretend-meat products like tofurky, not-dogs and fakin’ bacon. He may discover that he’d be a much happier individual.
    I also beleive it’s fair to say that our ancestors were much healthier than our current population!!

  7. Ken Hanke

    I am definitely in the omnivore category, but like Woody Allen I don’t eat rodent.

  8. entopticon

    Perhaps Stewart David’s vegangelical rage wouldn’t be so completely out of hand if he managed to get a little more tryptophan in his diet. Tryptophan is the building material for serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is essential for a feeling of well being. Vegetarians are often very low in it, because the best sources for it are animal protein. Tryptophan is the one amino acid chain that isn’t swept up by insulin, and that is part of the reason why so many vegans have such severe sugar cravings. When they spike their system with insulin, the small amount of tryptophan in their systems has an easier time making through the blood-brain barrier because there is less competition, so that they can get a much needed, temporary serotonin boost.

    Or maybe Stewart’s endless rage comes from a diet induced loss of brain mass. Oxford University scientists found astonishingly high rates of brain mass loss among vegans. They theorize that the extreme losses among brain mass in vegans may be due to vitamin B12 deficiencies. B12 is only found naturally in animal foods. In studies, a frightening 92% of all vegans tested had dangerous B12 deficiencies.

    But then again, extremely increased risk of neurodegenerative disease was also found in a long term study of people who eat tofu two or more times a week, so maybe that would explain some of Stewart’s issues.

    Of course, it is hard to reduce Stewart’s issues to any one thing. What is it that makes a man so far gone that he starts posting ridiculous nonsense about killing on recipe articles, or showing up to book signings at Malaprops to picket independent cookbooks? Would he appreciate people picketing a vegetarian cookbook? Of course not, but at this point he is too lost in the glassy-eyed haze of vegangelical propaganda to see his own hypocrisy. Not much chance that someone that far gone will ever make it back to the world of reason.

  9. Stewart David

    Interesting how I ask a simple question and some vitriolic carnivores go on long and nasty rants. Such anger! I can only surmise it comes from guilt.

    Some cultures eat dogs and cats; others won’t eat cows and pigs, etc. It seems like a fair question to ask people where they draw the line. Who they eat, who they won’t eat, and why.

  10. Stewart David

    Entopticon,

    I’ve lost my brain mass? Want to compare IQ’s?

    I know better than to argue with someone who is afraid to use his/her own name, so I’ll stop now. Here’s something for you to read that might help expain your rage:

    The correlation between people who eat meat and violence

    http://www.celestialhealing.net/mentalveg2.htm

  11. entopticon

    Golly Stewart… you just asked a simple question, while comparing meat eaters to slave owners and claiming that they are immoral and violent…. why on Earth would anybody be bothered by that? Nah, you don’t have some pretty severe anger issues. Not at all. Normal, sane people show up to small bookstores with picket signs at book signings for cookbooks and write ridiculous articles to the local paper every month comparing meat eaters to murderers and slave owners. Nah, nothing vitriolic about that. (?!?!?!?!?)

    The truly hilarious thing is that you really are so outlandishly lost in the rabidly myopic fanaticism of your vegangelical crusade that you are completely oblivious to the offensive extremes of your misplaced, vitriolic hyperbole.

    Ironically, the truth is that if you want to save rabbits, the best thing that you could do is to eat meat! Every year, billions of small animals, including rabbits, die horrible deaths, ripped apart at the seams to grow the vegetables that you enjoy. On top of that, vegetable farming wipes out entire ecosystems, killing immeasurable numbers of small animals, so that you can eat your veggies. Unfortunately, studies show that organic farms are often responsible for far more loss of small animals than conventional farms because the lower yields mean more loss of habitat:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505102553.htm

    Of course, conventional farming has all sorts of long term environmental problems. Fortunately, there is another option…. eat sustainably raised meat along with your vegetables and you will save the lives of countless small animals. The meat from one cow might last you a whole year, but countless animals will die to put a fully vegetarian diet on your plate all year long. And whereas the land used to grow the shallow-rooted staples of the vegan diet will wipe out entire ecosystems, sustainably raised meat massively increases biodiversity and exponentially increases the vitality of the soil.

    But then you have never been one to let small inconveniences like the facts get in the way of your vegangelical crusade. It is truly haunting how similar your methods and hyperbolic rhetoric about murder and immorality are to the right to lifer evangelicals. Like them, you are so blinded with fanatically religious certainty in your cause that there is no room left for reason.

  12. katie conrad

    To suggest that vegans have a loss of brain mass shows…a loss of brain mass?

    I mean, really, you’ll eat what you want, but you can’t really believe the nonsense you are spewing.

    Albert Einstein said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

    Da Vinci was a vegan. As were and are many other brilliant people.

  13. Stewart David

    Entopticon,

    You are a master at distorting the facts, there is no sense in having a conversation with you. Get a grip! All that meat is making you so aggressive and delusional!

  14. Rachel Brownlee

    Hey Stewart,
    Check out my March recipe for Portabella Sprout burgers….I think they may be right up your alley!

    girlinanapron.blogspot.com/2010/03/portabella-sprout-burgers.html

    Cheers!

  15. Stewart David

    Thanks, Rachel. I’ll check out the recipe.

    Your dog is truly adorable, yet there are people in Asheville who would enjoy eating here. I’m not sure how you’d feel about that.

    I’d love to sit down sometime and have a real discussion as to how you decide which animals to eat and which to pet.

    Mackenzie, you’d be most welcome to join in. I’d really like a better understand as to how people decide to draw the line. Or if there are no lines, and any animal, treated in any manner, if fair game because might makes right, period. Like in the case of foie gras, for instance.

    But this isn’t the forum to have the discussion, too much noise and vitriol. If either of you ever want to talk, get in touch. I’m easy to find. Thanks!

  16. Stewart David

    Entopticon,

    As you are well aware, the scientific evidence that eating animal products is unhealthy is overwhelming. You do a good job of quoting junk/discredited science that says otherwise, but scientists/medical professionals know the truth. Even the ultra conservative American Dietetic Association is in agreement: “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.”

    Cholesterol comes only from animal products, and America has a cholesterol crisis. Diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and a myriad of other dis-eases are also associated with eating flesh, dairy products and eggs.

    We already had this discussion after my article “Greenwashed: How local is “locally raised” food?” in which I exposed the false claims of those who say that eating meat is environmentally-friendly.

    http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2009/070109greenwashed

    You have way too much time on your hands to want to go through this again.

    All credible environmental scientists and environmental groups point out that everyone should eat less meat. I’ll go with what the scientists have to say.

    Regarding your nasty attacks and disinformation campaign waged at me, it just shows what kind of person you are. You apparently have no compassion for animals, human or non-human.

    This is my last post, I knew better. Your unwillingness to identify yourself makes me suspect that you are a meat industry shill. I’m easy to find, and anyone who wants to have a meaningful, respectful dialogue about how our food choices affect the animals, the planet, the hungry, and our bodies can get in touch with me directly.

  17. Rachel Brownlee

    I am intrigued by all of these comments and how they have so clearly demonstrated the strong connection between what we choose to eat and it’s social, spiritual, and moral implications. I am drawn to the topic of food for this very reason. I was drawn to the rabbit for this very reason. Exploring a lost connection with food can be very healing for some, myself included. Others may view this exploration differently.
    It is interesting to note all of the references to food in the Bible, and other religious texts, and how refraining from specific foods distinguished different religious tribes from others. We have a long history of seperation on this topic!
    I applaude the passion! I was a passionate vegetarian for almost a decade, with time spent as a vegan. I have vegan friends. I have Jewish friends. I have friends of different ethnic backgrounds, and I am grateful for the diversity. If you ask any one of them, they may say they are glad to have my perspective as part of their lives, even though we may not agree, there is a mutual respect in our differences.
    My career is based on health. If a vegan lifestyle proves as a truly healthy decision for someone, I honor that full heartedly.
    I would like to add that stress has become one of my main concerns for individual’s fitness, and I promote healthy means to eliminate it’s degenerative power on the body.
    Perhaps it is time to metaphorically break bread with one another, whatever the bread may represent to each of us.

  18. TokyoTaos

    I am a grass-fed, free-range small-amounts-of meat eater and am happy with my choices. Vegetarians however don’t need to eat meat to get B12 – both eggs and fish have plenty of the nutrient.

  19. entopticon

    As you are well aware, the scientific evidence that eating animal products is unhealthy is overwhelming. You do a good job of quoting junk/discredited science that says otherwise, but scientists/medical professionals know the truth.

    As you are entirely unaware, your claims that animal products are unhealthy are absolute nonsense that has been debunked over and over again. You do a poor job of arguing your case, because you have no real case. I most certainly have not cited “junk/discredited science” and I have absolutely no problem proving it….

    From a Web MD article on a peer reviewed study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

    “They found that 92% of the vegans they studied — those who ate the strictest vegetarian diet, which shuns all animal products, including milk and eggs — had vitamin B12 deficiency. But two in three people who followed a vegetarian diet that included milk and eggs as their only animal foods also were deficient. Only 5% of those who consumed meats had vitamin B12 deficiency.”
    http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030618/vegetarian-diet-b12-deficiency

    On vegetarianism and brain degeneration:

    “Scientists at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, recently discovered that changing to a vegetarian diet could be bad for our brains – with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage”
    http://healthfreedoms.org/2010/02/22/vegetarians-have-smaller-brains/

    A peer reviewed study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on tofu consumption causing neurodegenerative disease:

    “Results: Poor cognitive test performance, enlargement of ventricles and low brain weight were each significantly and independently associated with higher midlife tofu consumption. A similar association of midlife tofu intake with poor late life cognitive test scores was also observed among wives of cohort members, using the husband’s answers to food frequency questions as proxy for the wife’s consumption. Statistically significant associations were consistently demonstrated in linear and logistic multivariate regression models. Odds ratios comparing endpoints among “high-high” with “low-low” consumers were mostly in the range of 1.6 to 2.0.

    Conclusions: In this population, higher midlife tofu consumption was independently associated with indicators of cognitive impairment and brain atrophy in late life.”

    On veganism causing rickets because of the lack of vitamin D:

    “Vegan and macrobiotic diets have led to the return of rickets in Britain, according to experts. They say cases among children are rising, more than 50 years after the disease was virtually eradicated by better health and nutrition.”
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/4562.php

    Cholesterol comes only from animal products, and America has a cholesterol crisis.

    As a matter of fact, there is a mountain of evidence showing that saturated fat DOES NOT cause heart disease. Most recently, a meta-analysis of many studies on the issue, spanning an astounding 347,747 test subjects, found that there was absolutely no connection between heart disease and saturated fat whatsoever:
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/91/3/535

    We already had this discussion after my article “Greenwashed

    Yes, and as always, you lost the argument because the facts are not on your side.

    You have way too much time on your hands to want to go through this again.

    The fact that the outlandishly hypocritical irony of that is completely lost on you is completely lost on you. I am not the one showing up to picket cookbooks and writing a letter to the editor every month about how evil meat eaters are.

    All credible environmental scientists and environmental groups point out that everyone should eat less meat. I’ll go with what the scientists have to say.

    You are a liar. That is absolute nonsense, and you know it, because I have directed you to renowned environmentalists that disagree with you on multiple occasions. As a matter of fact, many prominent environmental scientists feel that grassfed ruminants are an essential, extremely powerful tool for massively increasing soil vitality, preventing erosion and water runoff, increasing biodiversity, and reversing climate change by sequestering carbon with the increased organic material.

    For example:

    “According to a recent Scientific American article “Future Farming: A Return to Roots?” production of high-input, annual crops such as corn and soybeans release carbon at a rate of about 1,000 pounds per acre, while perennial grasslands can store carbon at roughly the same rate. Therefore, converting half the U.S. corn and soy acreage to pasture might cut carbon emissions by as much as 144 trillion pounds —and that’s not even counting the reduced use of fossil fuels for vehicles, machinery, fertilizers and pesticides that would also result.

    That’s enough carbon sequestration to offset the emissions from all the cars, trucks and other vehicles on the planet!”
    http://www.wellsphere.com/green-living-article/grassfed-beef-can-solve-global-warming/839390

    Regarding your nasty attacks and disinformation campaign waged at me, it just shows what kind of person you are.

    Stewart, you are one of the nastiest, sanctimonious, self-righteous blowhards that I have ever encountered, and your hypocrisy is legendary. I am certainly not the only person that feels that way here. When you call those who disagree with you immoral, murdering, uncompassionate slave owners, and then turn around and whine about how people are nasty to you, it is absolutely mind-boggling. Here’s news for you: calling everyone who disagrees with you virtually every horrible thing that you can think of is NOT respectful.

    You apparently have no compassion for animals, human or non-human.

    How dare you? Above I gave a detailed, irrefutable argument for how you could save countless animals by eating grassfed ruminants instead of an all vegetarian diet, and you have the nerve to say that I don’t care about animals?!? Your self-righteous blather is absolutely unconscionable. And you think I am the nasty one? Shame on you.

    Again, studies incontrovertibly show that farming vegetables massively decreases biodiversity by taking away habitat, decreasing soil vitality, causing erosion by growing shallow rooted annuals instead of deep-rooted perennial grasses, and causing water runoff destroying the water tables that animals depend on (the water runoff of a plowed field is not much better than a parking lot). Conversely, sustainably pasturing ruminants massively increases biodiversity by increasing soil vitality, stopping erosion, stopping water runoff, and living in harmony with the environment rather than taking habitat away.

    If you want to save the lives of rabbits, eat some grassfed meat instead of an all vegetable diet. No matter how you slice it, that’s the truth.

    Your unwillingness to identify yourself makes me suspect that you are a meat industry shill.

    Yeah, that’s it, I disagree with your vegangelical poppycock so I must work for the meat industry, and you are just so important that the meat industry hired me to create a profile on a small liberal weekly in rural Appalachia, and post lots of posts on all different subjects to make it look real, just so that I would be ready to defame you, because you are the center of the universe after all.

    Our stomachs produce hydrochloric acid, which is for digesting meat and only found in creatures that eat meat. Our pancreas produces a range of enzymes specifically for eating both animals and plants. Our colons are longer than a carnivore’s and shorter than an herbivore’s, because we are omnivores. Lump it.

  20. entopticon

    Vegetarians however don’t need to eat meat to get B12 – both eggs and fish have plenty of the nutrient.

    TokyoTaos, that is definitely not true. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that an astounding two thirds of all vegetarians who eat milk and eggs have very serious B12 deficiencies! An even more terrifying 92% of all vegans were found to have very serious B12 deficiencies, which leads to all sorts of health nightmares because it is essential for the healthy formation of blood cells and the functioning of the brain and nervous system.

    Fish is meat, and it can be a fine source of B12.

    From an article on an American Journal of CLinical Nutrtion study:

    “They found that 92% of the vegans they studied — those who ate the strictest vegetarian diet, which shuns all animal products, including milk and eggs — had vitamin B12 deficiency. But two in three people who followed a vegetarian diet that included milk and eggs as their only animal foods also were deficient. Only 5% of those who consumed meats had vitamin B12 deficiency.

  21. entopticon

    Get a grip! All that meat is making you so aggressive and delusional!

    You really need to invest in a mirror Stewart. Your hypocrisy is absolutely outlandish. I am not the one showing up to picket cookbook book signings with angry signs about murder and atrocity. That’s all you.

  22. entopticon

    To suggest that vegans have a loss of brain mass shows…a loss of brain mass?

    Um, no, research out of Oxford University shows that vegan diets are associated with dramatically increased (six times the norm!) loss of brain matter.

    I mean, really, you’ll eat what you want, but you can’t really believe the nonsense you are spewing.

    You should really take your own advice. I linked to peer reviewed scientific literature (above) to support my claim, and you offer nothing but anecdotal baloney. Your argument is about as logical as the claim that since Hitler was a vegetarian, vegetarianism must be bad.

    Albert Einstein said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

    Da Vinci was a vegan. As were and are many other brilliant people.

    Einstein was a nutritionist? You might as well quote Stephen Hawking about Lady Gaga.

    Davinci may or may not have been a vegetarian, but there is absolutely no evidence that he was a vegan. Either way, it has nothing to do with the verity of the research that I cited.

    Some people may do well on a vegetarian diet, and others do not. If it works for you, great. My point was that Stewart’s endless claims that his is the only right way are not supported by science or reason. I was a vegetarian for years, and it is not a good diet for me. For many of us, animal protein is an important part of a healthy diet.

  23. entopticon

    Entopticon, I’ve lost my brain mass?”

    I can’t answer that for you, but according to research, it is six times more likely for you than someone who eats meat.

    Want to compare IQ’s?

    Could you possibly be any more immature? You act like an impetuous 12 year old. That seems to be a vegan thing. What your IQ is, or mine, has absolutely no bearing on the matter whatsoever. I am smarter than some, and not as smart as others. I managed to get an advanced degree from an ivy league university, so I suppose I’m not the dullest crayon in the box.

    I know better than to argue with someone who is afraid to use his/her own name, so I’ll stop now.

    …And then you went on to make three more posts. Honesty and continuity of reason are clearly very low priorities for you.

  24. Betty Cloer Wallace

    FRIED COUNTRY HAM AND RED-EYE GRAVY
    (Compliments of Green Bough Grange)

    Country-cured* ham slices, 1/4” to 1/2” thick
    Fresh strong black coffee (for red-eye gravy)
    Buttermilk biscuits (made ahead and kept warm)

    In a large cast-iron frying pan, fry ham slices on low heat 2-3 minutes on each side, being careful not to overcook. When the ham first starts sizzling, it is already done, so remove it immediately and place on warm plates.

    Turn up heat slightly under frying pan and scrape loose the crusty ham drippings with a spatula. Pour a cup of hot coffee into the hot skillet and stir as it simmers for a minute or so. Small “red eyes” of grease will appear throughout the gravy.

    Pour gravy into small individual bowls on each plate of ham for sopping (dunking) buttermilk biscuits.

    Enjoy.

    *As free-range (pastured) hogs reach maturity, feed them extra grain for a month or so before slaughter. After the first freeze of winter, process hams by dry-curing in cold storage for several months, preferably in an airy outside shed.

    To dry-cure, rub the fresh ham (entire hind leg) with a thick mixture of coarse salt, black pepper, and brown sugar, being sure to coat completely the raw surface of the thigh. Place it flat, covered in a bed of salt for several weeks. Then, place it in a cloth sack and hang it from a rafter hook with the thigh up and hock down (as a hog walks), allowing good air circulation all around it. The coating will form a thick crust that gradually seasons and preserves the moist meat.

    When ready to cook, slice the ham crosswise beginning at the center. Each slice should include a rim of fat or else you’ll have to add a spoonful of grease to your frying pan.

    Dry-cured ham is fully aged with moisture preserved, but it does not taste salty as does ham that has been wet-cured in vats of brine.

  25. Stewart David

    Hey Rachel,

    Thanks for your response. Since you mentioned religion, I wanted to pass along the website of the Christian Vegetarian Association, http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/default.htm.

    Their excellent booklet, “Would Jesus Eat Meat Today?” is thought provoking. I think it’s great when people make conscious choices about what they eat; so many people pay little attention to the implications of their food choices.

  26. Stewart David

    Hi again Rachel,

    You mentioned having Jewish friends. I thought you’d be interested in seeing the Mountain Xpress review of Eternal Treblinka, Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust.
    http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2007/0605latestword.php/

    I’m proud to say that I was profiled in this important book, written by Holocaust historian Dr. Charles Patterson. It has been translated into many languages and is available at the library if you are interested in reading it. Here’s more info on the book: http://www.powerfulbook.com/

    My ethnic background contributed to my becoming a vegan. Knowing that family members were killed simply because they were different translated into my seeing that animals are routinely killed simply because they are different. I just don’t believe that might makes right; I think social justice must include the animals.

    My first job out of college was for an environmental organization, and my interest in healing the planet also played into the equation.

    While health wasn’t an issue at the time I changed my diet, the results have been astounding. When I was 30 my cholesterol was over 200. I’m now 60 and my cholesterol is 135, and I’m also 20 pounds lighter.

  27. entopticon

    Welcome to the bunnycaust. Because eating grilled rabbit is just like the holocaust after all.

    And then of course there’s the broccolicaust. Because eating broccoli is just like the holocaust too. What a tragedy.

    And damn the breatharians and their air-o-caust. Damn them. Damn them all to hell.

  28. Imladris Farm

    Great article, Rachel!

    A couple of random thoughts – first and foremost, kudos to Stephen at East Fork Farm, the supplier of that (and many other wonderful) rabbit(s). Stephen and Dawn offer their rabbit (and other products) at both the North Asheville Tailgate Market and the Asheville City Market.

    I’d also like to offer other rabbit recipes, available on our website, http://www.imladrisfarm.com. Grilling is *my* favorite way to prepare it, but rabbit is a very flexible ingredient.

    Last, I’d like to remind Ken that rabbit is not a rodent – not even close, actually. At the risk of getting too technical, rabbits are lagomorphs, and only related to rodents in that they are both mammals. Additionally, the scavenger/carrion diet that much of the rodent order follows isn’t present in rabbits. They consume grass, leaves, bark, etc, which results in a very clean, palatable meat.

    Walter Harrill
    Imladris Farm

  29. Rachel Brownlee

    Great to hear from you Walter! I so enjoyed looking at your beautiful website and equally catching recipes. And thank you for the education on lagomorphs! Fantastic! Do you sell your meat in Asheville?

    And Stewart, it is very nice to hear about your journey to better health! Congrats!

  30. entopticon

    If you haven’t tried Walter’s delicious jams, you are missing out.

  31. Imladris Farm

    Thanks to you both!

    Yes, Rachel, we do – at the North Asheville Market also, and at our street cart location on Wall Street – but for the best experience, come visit the farm! We do farm tours all the time!

    Walter Harrill
    http://www.imladrisfarm.com

  32. entopticon

    Thanks to you Walter. We are very fortunate to live in an area with such wonderful food products as your jams.

    I like to take Imladris Farm blueberry jam and use it as the base for a simple blueberry-chipotle sauce that I usually use as a braising sauce and/or topping for Sunburst trout (another local treasure) or salmon from my friends Robbie, Steve, and Heidi, who sell their catch from Alaska here in Asheville during the year. It’s also a great topping for cornmeal crusted local catfish (wonderful local product as well) which is another favorite.

    Recently I made a blueberry-chipotle ratatouille and served it topped with a piece of Steve and Heidi’s salmon that had been braised in the blueberry-chipotle sauce. Delicious.

    Thanks to the Xpress article, I just discovered another wonderful local product, Firie Habenero hot sauce, which I think will make a particularly good accompaniment to Walter’s jam for a tart, sweet, and hot cooking and/or topping sauce. The Firie Habenero sauce has a pronounced smokiness that seems like it will be just perfect for it. I will definitely give it a try soon.

  33. Imladris Farm

    All I can say is…where are you and what time is dinner – grin!

  34. entopticon

    You and your family are always welcome here for dinner :)

    Tonight I cornmeal crusted some catfish and served it with a gastrique made from Imladris Berry Best Jam. To make the gastrique, you just need to reduce equal parts jam, vinegar (I used cassis red wine vinegar) and wine or water (I used wine), and reduce it till syrupy. I added a few drops of Firie Hanero sauce for an extra kick, which is not traditional, but very yummy if you like spice.

    There’s no question that the gastrique would be wonderful with rabbit, which is actually known to pair particularly well with fruit.

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