Yesterday was the second annual Traditional Skills Day event at Prairie Farm schools. It is such a fun day, with classes on everything from beekeeping, cheese making, solar ovens, baking homemade bread...you name it, it is pretty much offered there. It's a busy, wonderful day.
It's also a tad exhausting, with all the enthusiasm going on. I need to recover from it still, I think! So many ideas are a'percolating in my little brain, it's enough to wear a girl out.
I taught two classes, one on raising meat rabbits and the other on keeping backyard chickens. I even demonstrated rabbit butchering, as caught on film here:
Don't ask me what my hair was doing at that moment. Yikes.
Anyway, nobody ran screaming out of the room, either in reaction to scary hair or disemboweled bunny, which was gratifying. The bummer was, while cleaning out the lovely beast, I accidentally knicked the bowel and bob's your uncle, I had inedible meat. Gaaaaaaaah. I hate it when that happens, but I am extremely reluctant to introduce my insides to Mr. E Coli and his brethren. So, it was poached rabbit for the chickens this morning. The girls were delighted. I was still a little disgusted. It smelled really, really good...but likely would have killed me, so hey, all things considered, it wasn't a total loss. Folks in the class got to see what can go wrong, and what to do about it. (Namely, don't eat it. Good lesson to know.)
The chicken class went much more swimmingly. Gretel the bantam cochin came along and was her usual cute self. She is a very cuddly chicken, and seemed to like looking at everyone. I got to show off pictures of my very pink chicken house, which always makes me happy. Go, Pink!
And then there was the chili cook-off lunch, which involved me trying far too many kinds of chili. (Okay, that was fairly delightful--nothing like roasting your tastebuds for fun.) I brought along my Green Rabbit Chili, which was a hit. I've always been partial to it, so it was nice to see other people scraping out the crock pot for the last little bits of greeny goodness. I found someone's smokey hot brisket in this incredible rich sauce...holey moley. Next time I am faced with a brisket and don't know what to do with it, I'm going to try to recreate that beauty.
There was only one downside to the day: I am now lusting after goats. You know, the only thing (aside from sugar, coffee and grain) that I don't produce myself are the dairy product family. I definitely don't have room for a cow, but a couple small goats....hmmmmm. Okay, yes, my cranky old lady neighbor would have a fit. I don't really care too much about that, honestly (yes, I know--I am mean) but I don't know if I have the room for them. Or the willingness to secure them in a Fort Knox-like area. I think I may have to do a little more research on that idea...but oh, I would like them so. Little lady goats to milk, who will eat the overgrown brush and such around my little yard. Oh, Temptation, why do you haunt me so??
I know you are all wondering about that Green Rabbit Chili, so here's the recipe. It's kind of like posole, so you could make it using pork instead and it would be equally fantastic. I warn you in advance, it is a three-day-chili. Yes, you really do need to wait three days for it to be really, really good.
Green Rabbit Chili
You will need: one rabbit, cleaned and dressed and ready for cooking; one bottle of good beer; 1/2 cup flour; 2 tablespoons dried minced onions, one tablespoon dried minced garlic; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon ground black pepper; 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground corriander; 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper; 1 large can hominy; 1 large can green enchilada sauce; 1 tiny can green salsa; 1 tiny can chopped green chiles; 1 jalepeno pepper, finely diced (I used dried jalepenos from my garden); 1 quart water.
Day 1: Place the rabbit in the crockpot, pour the bottle of beer over it. Set on low for 8 hours. Remove rabbit, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Pop into the fridge overnight.
Day 2: Pick all the rabbit meat off the bones and shred it with a fork. Add dried spices and flour, mix around to coat the meat. Pop into the crockpot. Add the hominy, enchilada sauce, salsa, water, green chiles and jalepeno pepper. Stir to combine. Set crockpot on low, cook for 8 hours. When done, allow to cool slightly and then put it in the fridge.
Day 3: Reheat chili to eating temperature. Serve with your favorite chili fixings (diced onion, cheese, sour cream, etc.) and a slab of yummy cornbread. This is spicy, but not really hot. You can always tailor the amount of cayenne pepper and jalepeno to suit your level of heat, or provide some bottled hot sauce for those folks who like to sweat while they eat.