Persians first began using colored eggs to celebrate spring in 3,000 B.C. Thirteenth century Macedonians were the first Christians on record to use colored eggs in Easter celebrations. Crusaders returning from the Middle East spread the custom of coloring eggs, and Europeans began to use them to celebrate Easter and other warm weather holidays. When I read these things I always wonder how they know? So I went to Snopes, and here is what they have to say about Easter.
The Easter Bunny doesn’t lay eggs, but in ancient times as now, everyone recognizes the bunny as a fertile creature. Tasty, too. I know they don’t have enough fat to sustain life. Certain Indian tribes, stuck on reservations with poor hunting and only rabbits to eat, failed to flourish and could whither away and die. But, the eggs of a chicken, can sustain life. A tip about eggs. Store eggs in the frig for a few days or a week before boiling. They peel easier than fresh eggs.
We had plenty of rabbits on our property when we were kids and my mother browned them in a dry pan with just a wipe of bacon grease. Then she put the lid on to roast them on a slow wood fire. Easier to prepare than plucking a chicken, and just as tasty. We ate plenty of rabbit meat when we were kids, until the rabbits got infected with blisters. That ended it.
Home grown rabbit is bigger and fatter. Milder tasting, but still worth a try on Easter. And, remember, you cook rabbit, not bunnies.
A stuffed rabbit recipe, great for Easter, can replace that lamb shoulder or ham.
2 tsp cooking oil
2 tbsp finely minced onion
1/4 cup finely minced celery
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground dry ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/3 cup chicken broth or rabbit stock
1 rabbit, about 4 to 7 lbs (whole)
1 tbsp soft butter
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp marmalade
2 tsp bottled steak sauce
Heat oil in a small skillet. Add onion and celery, sauté until soft. In a large bowl, mix onion, celery and next 7 ingredients. Spoon into cavity of rabbit, fasten with skewers. Blend butter and paprika, brush on surface of rabbit. Roast, covered, at (350°F) for 50 minutes after juices begin to sizzle. Mix marmalade and steak sauce, spoon over rabbit. Roast uncovered, 20 minutes longer.
Small markets or local backyard farmers have rabbit, (and goat) for sale. It makes a nice change.