Chicks, bunnies & tulips, oh my!
Apr 7, 2012 / 5:00 am
Well, here we are, already at Easter. It’s good to know that spring is under way, and I feel like it’s time to celebrate and let loose. I watch my dogs get spring scents in their nostrils and their tails perk up, like they have inhaled a tonic. It seems children at Easter are the same, as they run and hunt for Easter eggs. Adults should have a dose of that, too.
Easter is a celebration that rates of the same magnitude as Christmas – there is much to be done for it to be heralded in with the appropriate amount of fanfare and indulgence. Whether you are celebrating the end of Lent or planning an Easter Egg hunt for the kids, it is and should be a big deal. Those just don’t materialize overnight!
Are you feeling like I am, that it seems you just put away the Christmas decorations and here you are trying to find a pastel-coloured tablecloth and napkin rings that match the tulips you bought? Does it irk you that you can’t decide which sheets to put in the spare bedroom so that it looks bright and springy? Well, the one saving grace is the reward that awaits us at the end of all the agonizing decisions… chocolate!
I am not trying to make light of what many consider to be a serious occasion but I must say that I for one enjoy the frivolity of Easter. Bunnytails and fuzzy chicks make me smile, and chocolate makes me smile even more. Jelly beans are one of the four Easter goodie food groups and that is not a bad thing either. It is the one time of year when the theme overrides the issue of quality; you can have just as much fun eating “peeps” as you can savouring artisanal chocolate bunnies made from estate cocoa beans and flavoured with some exotic spice (see last week’s column for more on peeps). And, if you have to hunt for your Easter “loot”, then that is one more reason to enjoy every morsel, in celebration of following directions or solving the riddle given. (One year when I was a kid we had a poem whose rhymes gave hints on where to find the eggs – it included a quote from MacBeth that was to lead us to the eggs hidden in the washing machine!)
So, I may not get everything all ready for spring by this weekend, but I certainly plan to sample a jelly bean or two, and I promise to savour a chocolate bunny on Sunday night (eating the ears last, of course.) Next week there will still be time to work on the garden plan and dig the hole for the new quince tree, and the ironing of those lighter weight blouses can wait till after the company has left. I will watch the dogs bounce in the new grass and I might even check in the washing machine to see if the Easter Bunny remembered a long-ago hiding place. I hope you have the chance to take the time for such frivolous celebrations of life this weekend – you deserve it too!
Bunnies, yummy! In a almond cream sauce with a touch of Dijon, I love it!
I say this with respect to the animal Kingdom, but animals like bunnies have been eaten for many years, way before they became pets. So let’s try to go old school on this issue and have a great Easter meal. We have many countries with millions of people in this world without enough food, and we are actually debating to keep those bunnies for pets. Out of respect for all the people without enough food in the world I say let’s eat responsibly. Make sure your meat comes from a source that is thinking about sustainability and then you can feel good about whatever you eat.
Happy Easter from a chef…
Hassenpfeffer in a Creamy Almond Sauce
- 1 rabbit, skinned, cleaned, and cut into 8 pieces
- olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 2 cups white wine
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup of toasted almonds
- 1 to 2 cups of 35% cream
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven.
- Sprinkle four, salt and pepper over the rabbit pieces.
- Brown rabbit pieces on all sides. Add additional oil as necessary; transfer to a tray when nice and brown - do not burn.
- In the same pot, cook the onion, celery, carrot and rosemary over medium heat until softened. Add wine and let it reduce a touch then add the broth and return the rabbit to the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes with the cream, Dijon and almonds. Remove the rabbit and let the sauce reduce to desired texture, not too thick!
- Return rabbit to pot and turn to coat with sauce. Heat through and serve with roasted potatoes and spring veggies.
Read more Happy Gourmand articles
- A foodie kind of day in the Okanagan May 11
- A day in the life of an Okanagan foodie May 4
- Slow and sweet Apr 27
- Do you have to eat dirt on Earth Day? Apr 20
- Recipes across the miles Apr 13
- Haggis, neeps & tatties Apr 6
- Foolish food Mar 30
- Good food, good friends Mar 23
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