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Ode To A Good Meat.

March 26, 2009

I have ruined an entire species for the husband.

… …

Think about the magnitude of that statement.

There is now an entire species of food running around this planet that the husband will never again indulge in, because of an overzealous attempt to introduce my newly polished culinary abilities to an entirely new (for me) animal. Hubris, thy name is bunny.

Feeling proud and a bit cocky from cooking so many awesome items at my Intermediate Culinary Arts class on Tuesday, I marched myself down to Reading Terminal Market and my friendly neighborhood butcher.  

Would I like my purchase de-boned? No way! I am a PROFESSIONAL cooking student! You can save your de-boning offers for a weaker class of human being.

Rabbit. It’s what’s for dinner.

I even got on-board with my over-arching desire to cook from my cookbooks. How can one fail with Parisian Home Cooking? Armed with the book, plus my step-dad’s sword/knife/bunny cutter, and a bottle of apple brandy (for the sauce, on the sauce, whatever), I was ready to butcher up a rabbit carcass.

Sounds easy? Like boning a chicken? It felt more like boning a cat. Yes, ew’s all around.

There’s not even a good YouTube video out there to show me how it was suppose to turn out, but after successfully getting the front and hind legs off, I was in the hacking-apart-a-rabbit zone. Beyond that zone. Onto a new zone. Zen-like bunny hacking.

So onto the torso. The internet was much more helpful here, with a casual little tib-bit about “cutting the spine with kitchen shears.” End scene. Because no matter how much time I spent leaning over the rabbit, looking at the shears, looking at the rabbit, considering taunting the husband with rabbit spine… I’m not made of strong enough stuff to cut through bone with scissors.

I’m not posting what this poor little guy looked like because it really was a little rough to take and I’m not trying to lose my remaining 2 readers – but if you really have to indulge in my crimes against bunnies, he’s here.

I now have a small amount of jealousy when watching my butcher chop, cut, and customize product right in front of my eyes with the completely appropriate amount of reverence and indifference. In this age of high street supermarket hegemony and discreet dislocation from our food and it’s origins, a good butcher is a rarity – although a reviving breed in my city.

Back to my rabbit. I over cooked his poor little self, and no amount of absolutely crazy-delicious apple brandy white wine mustard sauce with sage could save my little braised rabbit served over Dutch County egg noodles, with some wilted spinach to the side.

And I knew, as the husband looked in my eyes after 50 mins of cutting, cooking, and braising, and said quietly “Maybe we’re just not the type of people that like eating rabbit” that I failed.

So he died in vain. Incredibly, un-tasty vain.

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