Posts Tagged With: recipes


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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When my grand kids were little and a trail of ants appeared on the counter top, I’d take swipe at them and eat them, just to watch their wide-eyed  horror.  Those were the days when American ants were still arriving unwanted in my house.  Now I wish I could find an American ant. Those that occasionally rummage through crumbs on my counter  taste putrid;  they are South American invaders. Even touching them, or  squishing them with a paper towel, or rag, sends up an offensive odor.  American ants taste like pepper.  The first  ants I tried came chocolate covered in a jar, thus my foray into ant eating.  And, today, after launching a petition with, I thought about something I used to  tell my grand kids:  If you want to get rid of something, like these ants, just make them a food source and they’ll disappear.

During the hippy 60’s I tried dandelion weeds, chamomile, purslane, and other kinds of non-essential wild plants using as my guide Euell Gibbons book, Stalking The Wild Asparagus. It was fun and not a permanent part of my cooking. But, like solar cooking, maybe it should be, methinks.

I used the internet to search for recipes for invasive plants.  Only one website actually provided a number of decent appetizing recipes.

This  recipe for  stuffed Garlic Mustard Leaves came from the website above.

Stuffed Garlic Mustard Leaves
Submitted by Alex Streat, The Garlic Mustard Cook’s Challenge 2001

20 medium garlic mustard leaves, washed and dried on paper towels
5 wooden spoonfuls of cooked sausage
4 wooden spoonfuls of cooked rice
2 Tbsp chopped garlic mustard leaves
1 Tbsp lemon juice

I had no clue what garlic mustard looked like until I saw this picture. It grows all over Washington State and Oregon. It adapted well  to the lush tall tree understory in the Thousand Trails parks where we stayed. Now that I know what it is, I’ll try recipes using garlic mustard leaves when we return to Washington State.  Japanese knotweed,  and other invaders that mostly populate the East and South, sounded pretty tasty.

Most of  the recipes I found  were for  invasivores, a new word to me, which means invasive tilapia, carp, rusty crayfish, tiger snails, feral pigs, rabbits and so on.  Fish and meat.

The rest of what I learned on my forage was mind-boggling.

Invasive species have contributed directly to the decline of 42 percent of the threatened and endangered mammal and ocean species in the U.S. (Travaglini, 2009).

To date, over 5,000 alien plants have invaded the natural areas of North America (Tallamy, 2007).

Non-indigenous weeds are spreading and invading approximately 700,000 hectares of U.S. wildlife habitat per year (Pimentel, et al 2005).

The estimated damage from invasive species worldwide totals more than $1.4 trillion – 5 percent of the global economy (Pimentel, et al 2001).

The annual cost to the United States economy is estimated at $120 billion a year (Travaglini, 2009).

I complained about the Australian plant, pampas grass?  Australians  are fighting with Florida invaders, pond apple, in their country. Floridians love pond apple and the Australians hate it because it is wiping out their sweet melaleuca  berry trees. Such irony.

The above website lists invasive species that are edible, but the recipes are no longer available from the site.

Now a word about my petition. I received a call from a friend who is a scientist. She told me an environmental scientist friend of hers explained why she  would not sign my petition to halt the sale of non-native invasive species by our nurseries;  because it is too non-specific in its wording and does not address how it could be fairly implemented.

The petition is not a law. gives you 75 characters to state your petition. If it gets enough interest, it can then be pedaled to a congress person to turn it into a bill. The study for the bill would help define the language used and be vetted for legality. It is just a first step in the  process. And, I’ve had a huge education about invasive species since starting it. Most invaders get here by accident, commerce, trade, transportation. Not through nurseries. Yet not selling them can have a beneficial impact. I would never have bought pampas grass if I had known what a monster it was. I would have bought something else to decorate that spot.

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If you’ve kind of forgotten the New Orleans Saints big victory in the Super Bowl this year, the people of Opelousa did not. For starters, I noticed this sign on a local business window-
We happened to be camped close to Devery’s house where last night’s party was long, and joyous and loud. But we didn’t mind. So, today, we went to a local parade honoring Opelousas’ Native Son, Devery Henderson.

The admiring little kids, cheering their idol, were seeing the possibilities for their future as they watched Devery himself out on the street throwing beads to everyone.

He came up to an ederly woman sitting near us and placed beads around her neck. A talented player and a nice guy.

After the parade we ate at the Palace Cafe which is next door to Jim Bowie’s boyhood home. A 300 year old oak tree stands in front of the place and is known as the Jim Bowie Tree. I paced it off and the roots alone spread 30 feet along the sidewalk.

The visitor center has information about Bowie and his part in the battle at the Alamo.This set of knives, donated to their museum, was made from drawings of Bowie Knives. Jim’s brother developed the knives, Jim made them famous.

Yams are grown in this part of Louisiana and celebrated with a Yambili every October with music, a recipe contest and good food. Getting ready for it in Vieux Village, I admired these painted guitars.

The promised recipe from Tony Chachere’s book:  Yam Candle Cakes
5 cups grated raw yams
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oil
4 eggs separated
1/2 tsp cinnaomon
2 1/2  tsps nutmeg
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking soda diluted with 2/3rds cup water
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins
i cup cane syrup
1/2 cup coconut
8 to 10 empty soup cans.
Cook yams with 1 1/2 cups sugar about 3 minutes. Cool and add vanilla. Set aside. Cream remaining sugar with oil. Add egg yolks and spice. Sift some of the flour into a bowl and mix. Continue adding flour until all has been blended. Mix soda with water and add to batter along with salt, nuts, raisins, syrup and coconut.Stir in yam mixture. Beat egg whites and fold into batter. Pour batter into well greased cans, leaving 3/4 space for rising. Bake at 350* for one hour. Yields 60 servings.
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