Monday, May 18, 2009

Rabbit, anyone?

So last week I wandered down to the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU to check out their special collections. Its a pretty snazzy joint. I'm writing a chapter about Danish food, and I found a woman who emigrated straight from Denmark to the sagebrush plains outlying Salt Lake City. She was rather poor, and she ended up subsisting on "fried jack rabbit and boiled wheat mush" for more than a year. This was in the early 1860s. So then, as I told you last time, I repaired to the online database of historic cookbooks from MSU, and found this suggestion for rabbits:

Rabbit-- Put it down to a sharp clear fire; dredge it lightly and carefully with flour; take care to have it frothy and of a fine light brown; boil the liver with parsley while the rabbit is rasting; when tender, chop them together; put half the mixture into melted butter, use the other half for garnish, divided into little hillocks. Cut off the head, divide it, and lay half on each side of the dish. A fine well-grown and well hung warren rabbit, dressed as a hare, will eat very much like it.

This comes to us from J.M. Sanderson in The Complete Cook circa 1861. Can't you just imagine half of a smiling rabbit head looking up at you from your plate? He didn't say what happens with the ears. What would you suggest? Leave them on? Use them as a bed for a cold jello salad?