Following the emotional roller coaster that is last week, I’m trying to collect myself and prepare for another busy week. Uncle Kevin’s wake went well, and I was honored and touched to know that the blog post I wrote about him was read out loud as part of a very touching celebration of life service on Saturday. On top of an absolutely amazing week reuniting with old friends and making new ones because of the AgChat Conference, I’m tuckered out.
So, I decided I needed to take an easy day today, to unwind and relax. I slept in, I went for a run, and I started prepping for the week. Now, a common feature of my blog lately has been my periodic trips to Manhattan, KS to hang out with Jodi Oleen and her rancher husband, Brandon. Some of my low-key relaxation today featured prepping for my upcoming trip out there for Labor Day Weekend.
And this trip will have a fun little twist.Jodi and Brandon have done a great job introducing me to the life they know. Jodi has put a lot of work into getting me started on my horse education. Brandon recruited one of his friends to teach me how to two-step. Now, I’m taking a bit of my world out there to return the favor. This Labor Day Weekend, I’ll be fixing some rabbit meat for the Oleens!
I haven’t raised rabbits for years; I sold out when I developed a severe allergy to the same furry critters that I loved so much. When my friend Jan Hoadley of SlowMoneyFarm offered up some rabbit meat in exchange for a ride from the airport to the hotel for AgChat…well, I couldn’t say no. I told Jodi about it, and we decided that we needed to make this a bloggable experience. Back when I raised rabbits, there was always someone better at cooking (read: grown-up foodies) to prepare them…so, this would be a first for me, too.
I would be introducing my friends, an employee of Kansas Pork and her cattle rancher husband, to rabbits.
Now, rabbits are lean. Very lean. Usually you have to rely on a low-and-slow, high-moisture means for preparing it. When done right, rabbit absolutely delicious. So, today I put aside some time to whisk together a marinade for the rabbits, that will also serve as a sauce and moisture source in the roasting process. Rabbit has a similar taste to lean chicken, and is equally good at carrying flavor. So, I went with a lemon-rosemary marinade (using SlowMoneyFarms rosemary!).
I’m not a food blogger, so bear with me on this. If it works out, maybe I’ll do more of this stuff. This is a slightly modified version of a recipe from a friend.
Lemon Rosemary Marinade
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup lemon juice (or two larger lemons, juiced)
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary (fresh or dry)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons black pepper
Salt as desired
So, I whisked all these ingredients together and had a beautiful-smelling, rich, creamy-textured flavor powerhouse. (I did NOT expect lemon juice and olive oil to turn creamy when whipped together, but you learn something new everyday!) It’s currently sitting in the fridge, because I wasn’t entirely sure I’d have time to put it together one night after work before heading out to Manhattan on Friday. Since the rabbit isn’t quite ready for the marinade yet, I’m glad I had time to do the marinade today in preparation for a busy week.
I’m excited to see how this turns out. I’m hoping for the best, as I don’t want to ruin two good friends on the beauty that is rabbit meat! If this marinade does well, I’ll have to try it with other white meats, maybe even fish. I love lemon and rosemary together, so my adventure into marinades may be a good learning experience.
Have you ever had rabbit? How was it prepared? Did you like it? Let me know! It would be useful to know as I prepare to introduce my pork- and beef-loving friends to this lean, tender, white meat!