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I feel much more nearly human – rabbit in a habanero cider gravy, spinach, duck soup

Last night was wonderful! Right before the end of work, I had a friend give me a ring to tell me he was in the area and would I like company.

So he came over and cooked for me.

So let me try to tell you what he cooked, oh man!

He took my lil ole thawed rabbit and cut it into sections. Then he dredged it in flour that had been generously seasoned with basil, smoked paprika, savory, thyme, and black pepper. Fried the rabbit. and then we set that aside.

Then we took leeks, which had been sliced in half lengthwise, cut into half-circles less than a quarter inch thick all the way up – white and green parts – and then thoroughly cleaned, and fried them in the oil, too. and then set aside.

Next, he put in a whole container of portobella mushrooms, which had been cleaned and the tips of the stems trimmed but whole, and then once that started releasing juice, he added some five or six cloves of garlic, chopped roughly, and the flesh only of one habanero pepper – and cooked until the garlic was just browning and luscious. He added the leeks, cooked for a little bit together, and then put them back in the bowl on the side.

Then he made gravy with more of the seasoned flour, oil, a bottle of Wood Chuck dark brown cider, and some chicken stock. He added the veggies back tot he gravy and then added the rabbit. We set that to simmer, on pretty high heat for simmering, while I made turmeric rice.

So good.


Other recent successful experiments in food have included:

Spinach of yum
Clean and remove stems from spinach.

Saute some garlic and a purple onion, sliced thinly but long enough to have texture, and once that is going decently, add all the spinach. When wilted, add unagi sauce. Crack two eggs into the pan – scramble all about.

Best Duck Soup Ever
I had gotten the duck carcass after the last time my family went out for peking duck, and it had been sitting in my freezer. Then I found a little shop where I got half a roast duck for $7 – including the head. Woot!

So I ate up the meat and skins and put the residue in my stock pot with the frozen carcass.

Then I added the base of a bunch of celery, the base of a head of napa cabbage, some carrots, a lot of garlic, some black peppercorns, a bay leaf, some five spice powder, and some red onion. And water. Cook cook cook. Then I removed some of the goodie so I could fit in even more water and make more broth because my pot was pretty packed with goodie. Cook cook cook. Let sit over night. Cook cook cook (boiling at least 20 minutes). Let cook enough to work with. Strain through cheesecloth.

Then I heated the stock back up to boiling and added baby bok choi, some long strands of oniony stuff from the asian grocery, and a bundle of buckwheat soba noodles.

It was so good – it didn’t even need the seasoning adjusted at all.

Food Planning

food I have
lamb roast leftovers
beef leftovers (just a small amount)
beef roast leftovers (sliced thin)
rabbit puppy

salad greens (new ones)

3 bananas
2 apples

possible meals
– with steak (with the small beef leftovers) and grilled onions (and peppers?) and cheese (buy blue cheese?)

Pasta and Asparagus as suggested in comments on a previous entry
– buy blue cheese!
– spinach? maybe
– with fried pieces of puppy rabbit?

Lamb curry
– maybe a couple potatoes

– sliced beef leftovers
– black pepper stir fry sauce I picked up
– potatoes cut like for au gratin
– onions, peppers, fresh herbs

Lamb and Zucchini over pasta

Other possible recipes for puppy

Now to schedule those.

Moot – rabbit – Darfur talk – University City Dining Days

*a little background*
So you all know Lord of the Rings, right? And you know that gatherings of Ents were called ent moots, of course. Well, so, some friends of mine (all fans of the movies (books too, but we met on account of the movies) made by Peter Jackson. Those sure were some beautiful movies) used to have monthly gatherings so that they could cook for friends and have lively fannish dinner conversations. This is a post about one of those gatherings.


I love moot so much. I ended up sneaking into this month’s moot just because I couldn’t stay away (and needed to procrastinate a paper, but we won’t talk about that). And I love the hosts: [redacted], [redacted], and Molly (Cause, hah!, you live there, now!).

Okay… so the decision making process involved in going down there was a wee bit insane, but the great part of being there Friday night was going to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. I tell yah – next time I might bring a cooler. I have butter! Butter that has flavour and taste and infinite sexiness. I was lusting over the heavy cream, but it would never have survived the 2 1/2 hour drive in the baking sun. I did almost leave my butter behind, but I remembered before I got on the highway and before the other evil people stole it and turned it into sammiches.

So here’s where I brag about the awesome cookliness of [redacted-host] –

Lunch was around 2:30ish. Two kinds of pasta – carbonara and an awesome meaty & mushroomy sauce. OMG, I need the carbonara recipe – so good. With bread! A huge loaf of bread! And some of the butter of joy – and butter of garlic – and oil. but not all at the same time.

The ever-excellent mushroom schtuff in a pastry thingy
dill pancakes with lemon creme fraiche and lox
Savoury shortbread with feta and pesto
Shrimps on skewers (kinda scampi-ish)


And then there was dinner – which we all kind of looked at with only marginal interest because we had been slightly indiscreet at lunch, but still – so good!

Lil nut crusted goat cheese circles, salad-ish goodness, and more bread!

Poached salmon with an incredibly rich and orgasmic sauce (orange and saffron sabayon).

Then we voted to skip the chicken course.

Ices – it was a lemon ginger ice that started to burn after about four spoonfuls.

Dessert was mostly the marvelous fresh strawberries from the farmers market with fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce (which [redacted-living with hosts] made to just the perfect consistency. But there was also bread pudding with caramelly nut sauce and a raisin sauce.

Wow… so full.


And then I came home and called up [redacted-ex] so that I could twist her arm into trying the “rabbit” I had thawed. Turns out that it most likely really is rabbit… an easier guess to make when I realized that the meat still had bones (argh!). The back legs were longer and more muscled than the front legs. If it were a dog, it would have had to be some kind of wee little thing like a Maltese or some such. Instead of trying to do anything civilized like cutting all the meat off, I just took it apart, grabbed the meat off the ribcage and then pitched those bones because they looked like they would have been awkward, and then split the spine in a couple points to make for smaller pieces. Then I made this recipe, Rabbit with Mustard Sauce, and I think it turned out quite well. My food aesthetics tell me that I probably should have made rice to put it on, but otherwise, all went well.

Cooking tip of the day: When you have to mix cornstarch with water, don’t fiddle around with a bowl and a whisk – just put the water and cornstarch in a small jar and shake.

So I saved the extra sauce because it was so tasty. What am I going to do with this rich mustard sauce (rich, wow, it tasted like there were egg yolks in it!)? My only idea so far is putting it over/in a mushroom rissotto.


Food for people in the area –

There is a dinner with speakers on Darfur

Will We Let Darfur Be the Next Rwanda?

The White Dog Cafe
June 20, 2005
Table Talk Dinner 6 PM

3420 Sansom Street
Call 215-386-9224 for Reservations

Honor U.N. World Refugee Day
Presenting speakers from The Darfur Alert! Coalition:

Dr. Jerry Ehrlich, a local pediatrician, who treated children in refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan with Doctors Without Borders will show slides and discuss life in the camps and children’s drawings depicting the brutality they survived.

Dr. Ibrahim Imam, a medical doctor, an immigrant from northern Darfur and a member of the Western Sudanese Association will provide historical context for understanding the genocide in Darfur and also discuss his experience as a medical examiner of massacre sites in Darfur .

Stephanie Nyombayire, a Rwandan and a student at Swarthmore College and an active member of Swarthmore Sudan and the Genocide Intervention Fund, recently traveled to the eastern border of Chad where 200,000 Darfurians have taken refuge. She will speak about genocide in Rwanda, what she witnessed in the refugee camps in Chad and Swarthmore’s 100 Days of Action Campaign. www.genocideinterventionfund.org

Rev. Isaac Miller, the rector of The Church of the Advocate and a founding member of The Darfur Alert! Coalition will describe the necessity of taking action now and specify what we can do to stop the killing in Darfur and get relief for the refugees.

Table Talks at 6 PM include a three course dinner, followed by the speakers and discussion from 7:30 – 9 PM. $38/person includes tax and gratuity. Reservations with advance payment required by giving a credit card number over the phone or by sending a check.
Senior citizens (over 65) and full time students: $30 with advanced notification. Student stand-by: Call between 4 – 5:30pm the day of the event for $20 dinner at 6pm.

Call 215-386-9224 for Reservations

Darfur Alert! a Philadelphia area coalition, focuses on the tragedy of the Darfur people, and alerts the community to act on their behalf.


Anyone want to join me for the University City Dining Days? There are several places on the $20 and $25 lists that appeal:

University City restaurants will participate in a special dining extravaganza Wednesday, June 23- Thursday, June 30, 2005. The promotion will offer three-course special dinners at the lower-than-usual prix-fixe prices of $20, $25 and $30 at various University City restaurants. Participating restaurants include:

Smokey Joes

Bubble House
Ecco Qui
Vientiane Cafe
World Cafe Live
Restaurant School
Zocalo Restaurant

New Deck (two dine)
Penne Restaurant and Wine Bar
Strikes Bowling Lounge (two dine)
White Dog Cafe

Prices are for dinner only and do not include tax, gratuity or alcohol. Reservations are recommended and should be made directly through the participating restaurant. For more information, visit http://www.ucityphila.org.