Posts Tagged With: farmers


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.

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My background is pretty rustic. My brother is in front of the two room log house we lived in. Behind it, is a clapboard building my father dragged on to the property with horses and a dray to house hunters in the winter. It contained four home-made bunks, a table, and a wood stove. We lived entirely off the land and hunters brought in extra money. We had no indoor plumbing and, at first, no electricity, either.
When I first moved to California, someone invited me to go camping. I wasn’t interested. I LIVED that way. A wood fire holds no romance for one such as me because I disliked stacking wood, the dirt, the chips from my father’s axe that I had to pick up by the wagon load for kindling. Typical kid complaints while we took for granted the whole outdoors and bountiful nature at our feet.
With my recent visit from my old neighbors, I’m reminded of the wonderful things about living poor. I’m grounded, hard working, practical, a conservationist. (That is the word we used before environmentalist became common.) It surprised me that the years could wash away and we could reconnect and feel that we had a lot in common even though Bernice and Marie, each became the wife of farmers, had no higher education, and remained in the same, small community of Hardwood, Mi.
Pat, on the other hand, moved to Indiana and worked in the “big city.” None of us attended college and all of us consider ourselves “successful”, whatever that means. Let us say, we are no longer poor.
I believe we reconnected so easily because we share the same values. Hard work, the importance of family, self sufficiency, and consistency, come to mind. We share attitudes of stick-to-it, never give up, help yourself and above all, be a good neighbor. There was an-I can do anything anyone else can d0-attitude at our house. I feel so fortunate that my folks drilled those values home. As a consequence, we were rich in friends and self satisfaction. I believe I’ve retained those values today and they have held me in good stead.
The biggest difference, as it turns out, is I have good health insurance and have retired. Pat, the city worker, the same. Farmers typically do not have health insurance, and that difference is enormous for Bernice, whose husband died of a long catastrophic illness. She now works, at age 71, in an Indian Casino to pay for her deceased husband’s medical bills that were enormous. Marie, too, a widow, has a low social security income and no medical insurance. She is 78 and typical of the type of salt-of-the-earth, hard working person who needs affordable health insurance. Well, enough said.
I actually meant to blog today about the National Parks, another “camping” venue, but I got carried away with nostalgia. Maybe tomorrow.
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