Sunday, August 19, 2018

Crazy Cute Cali's

The New Zealand is a breed of rabbit, which despite the name, is American in origin. The breed originated in California, possibly from rabbits imported from New Zealand. New Zealand rabbits are available in five ARBA-recognized colors: white, red, black, blue, and broken (color mingled with white). Crossbreeding can result in many different combinations of the three basic pigmentations. The most common of these variations are gold tipped steel and chestnut agouti. They average 10 to 12 lb (5 kg) with the does being slightly larger than the bucks. New Zealands are bred for meat, pelts, show, and laboratory uses, being the most used rabbit breed both for meat production and animal testing. They are also bred as pet rabbits.
“New Zealand rabbit.” Wikipedia, 19 August. 2018  
Accessed 19 August, 2018.

So, remember back in high school when you learned about dominant and recessive genes? Yeah, I'm thinking either Bucky or Betty - or maybe both - aren't quite all what they appear to be. In Betty's last bunny batch, we ended up with quite the surprise. One, then two tiny black bunnies bumping around in the nest box. But then looking a little closer to get a head count, what did we find? Do we have some recessive genes at work here? Looks like we have two black NZ's and four crazy-cute Californians!

photos by Tim Severn

Friday, January 5, 2018

Recipe 1

From my friend Elaine...

Oven-Braised Rabbit with Gravy
Rice pilaf, cranberry relish, and corn muffins with honey complete this meal.

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 rabbits, cut up
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrot
1 cup sliced celery
1 medium sliced onion
2 tablespoons fresh parsley - or - 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 large bay leaf
1 cup rabbit stock or chicken broth
1 cup white wine (for yourself to drink, or use in place of rabbit/chicken stock)
3 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large plastic food storage bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Shake to mix. Add rabbit pieces and shake to coat. Reserve excess flour mixture. In Dutch oven, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Add coated rabbit pieces,  brown well on all sides and remove from heat. Add all remaining ingredients except milk and remaining flour mixture. Cover, and bake until rabbit pieces are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

With slotted spoon, transfer rabbit pieces and vegetables to heated serving platter. Set this aside and keep it warm. Discard bay leaf. In a small bowl, blend 2 to 3 tablespoons of the remaining flour mix into milk to form a this paste. Blend a small amount of milk into cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Add additional milk mixture if thicker gravy is desired. Cook and stir to desired consistency. Serve gravy with rabbit and vegetables.