Lucky Rabbit Stew


Back in January Lucky dropped a fresh killed rabbit on the front porch.  It’s not the first one she’s caught, but it’s the first one I found on the porch before Chili did.  If Chili gets to them first, there’s nothing left but little bits of fur and bone for me to find.  This time I got there first, so waste not, want not.

rabbit
a present from Lucky

When I got the rabbit skinned out and gutted I had to throw away one front leg and the upper body.  Lucky did a little too much chewing on those parts for me to save.  It was kind of an old rabbit, but old is fine for stewing.

Rabbit Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 rabbit cut into pieces
  • 3 cubed potatoes
  • 2 cubed stalks of celery
  • 2 cubed carrots
  • 1 diced onion
  • ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of corn starch

Directions

Throw everything but the corn starch into a crock pot and cover with water. Let it cook on high for four hours.

Take the rabbit out and let it cool.  Debone the rabbit and cut the meat into bite size pieces.  Cutting into bite sized pieces is important because an old rabbit will be kind of stringy, not tough but stringy, and you want bite sized.  Put the meat back in the crock pot and let the pot start to bubble again.

Take a cup of the broth out and stir two heaping teaspoons of corn starch into the cup of broth until there are no lumps.  Pour the broth back in the crop pot, stir thoroughly, and cook on high for another two hours.

Serves four people.

Even with part of the rabbit missing, this stew made enough for me to have three meals.  And it was very tasty if I do say so myself.  Thanks Lucky.

Bon Appétit…

The Water’s Up


In February we got some serious rain and lots of melting snow.  On February 22nd the creek hit its peak for the year…so far.  It’s been up and down a couple of times since then but that’s the highest it’s been.  It got there overnight, so it was actually down about eight inches before it got light enough for me to get some pictures.

Here’s a picture of the riffle below the trailer last October.  The water was about as low as I’ve ever seen it.  It wasn’t even running over the rocks at this point because we had a serious drought last summer:

low water in october

Here’s a picture from close to the same spot on February 22nd.  I had to take this from a little farther away since the spot where I stood for the first picture was about waist deep at the time.  Notice the creek is a little higher:

high water in February

To get the full effect you have to hear the water boiling around the trees and over the rocks.  A little video will help with that.  I took this from a little farther upstream but you can still recognize the distinctive sycamore trees:

The view from the back deck showed a lot more water than usual, but the birds didn’t seem to mind.  These house finches were doing their best to intimidate the lone chickadee:

high water birds

I’ve seen the creek a lot higher, but this was a spectacle for sure.  Later…

Fried Puffball


A few years back I was taking the dogs for a bike ride down to Bear Creek.  We were walking along the edge of the woods and spotted a young puffball mushroom.  You can see from the oak leaves, this one was about the size of a grapefruit.  They get bigger than a basketball.  I picked the puffball and carried it home.  The next morning Mom, Dad, and I had delicious fried mushroom for breakfast.

Puffball

When you’re preparing a puffball to cook, first make sure it has a uniform smooth white texture inside.  If the inside looks like the gills from a mushroom cap throw it out.   It’s not a puffball.  If it’s some shade of yellow, brown, or purple inside throw it out.  It’s started to turn and you don’t want to eat it.  If you have any doubt in your mind that this is a puffball throw it out.  Mushrooms can be deadly if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Once you’re sure you have a nice fresh puffball, wash the outside with clear cool water.  Some people peel off the outer layer but I just wash the mushroom thoroughly.  Once the puffball is clean, cut it into slices about ¼ inch thick.  Some people like to batter mushroom slices.  You can slosh them around in egg and milk and then dip them in cracker crumbs if you like.  I prefer just to fry them as is.

Get some butter melting in a frying pan.  When it’s ready, drop in your mushroom slices and cook until the slices turn a golden brown, turning them at least once.  I eat puffball slices like a pancake, but with butter, salt, and pepper.  Some people like them sweet with some syrup or powdered sugar.  Give them a try, and see how you like them best.

Bon Appétit…

Itis


Tonsillitis, appendicitis, arthritis, bronchitis, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, dermatitis, colitis, otitis, urethritis, sinusitis, and on and on.  Itis means inflammation.

Just pick your body part, add inflammation, and you’ve got your favorite itis.  The tonsils and appendix are just useless bits that natural selection hasn’t discarded yet.  That means their itis can be cured by removing them.  Alas, the other itis require in situ cures and that’s a real pain, pardon the pun.  Too bad Indiana and Wisconsin can’t cure democratitis by removing the useless bits 🙂

Getting Started


My daughter talked me into doing this so you can blame Cortney when you get the chance.  I’m going to try writing about things that take place down at the creek.  That’s Laughery Creek in southern Indiana.  Laughery Creek feeds into the Ohio River about 14 miles east-north-east of my place, but that’s as the crow flies.  It’s at least three times that far if you follow the creek as it snakes around the hills to get to the river.

I’ve lived here for a little over six months now, but Mom & Dad lived here for over 20 years after Dad retired.  Before Mom & Dad retired down here, we camped in this same spot as a family since I was in grade school.  Since I  have 10 grandkids, who all love to come down here and wade in the creek, that’s obviously been a long time.

It’s just me and the dogs now.  Lucky is a Jack Russell mix.  She’ll be 6 years old in July.  She’s not intimidated by anything.  Lucky likes to get into fights with ground hogs, or anything else that can’t climb a tree or crawl down a hole to get away.  That has its upside though.  She dropped a fresh killed rabbit on the front porch in January and I had rabbit stew for three meals.

Chili is a Boxer/Mastiff mix.  She was one year old in January.  I really look forward to the day she has less energy than a tasmanian devil.  Chili is endowed with the tail of destruction.  Her tail is like a wrecking ball with hair.  Chili’s tail may be the one thing that does intimidate Lucky.

I threaten the girls with Korean recipes from time to time, but they’re good company on a cold night.  If they’d just quit dragging dead deer parts up into the yard!

That’s enough to get started.  Hope I didn’t bore anybody.  Later…