I love Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I order from them a good bit. I also order from Sow True Seeds in Asheville, Southern Exposure Seeds in Virginia and Heavenly Seeds in South Carolina. I used to order from Johnny Seeds, but they’ve become too “hybrid” and commercial for my tastes.
From Baker Creek I ordered:
- Topepo Rosso Pepper
- Jarrahdale Pumpkin
- Cherokee White Eagle Corn
- Red Kuri Squash (Hokkaido)
- Crapaudine Beet
- Monachelle di Trevio Bean (Angelini Family Selection)
- Pusa Asita Black Carrot
- Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash
- Purple of Sicily Cauliflower
- Black Futsu Squash
I saved seeds from Bob (a Jarrahdale pumpkin), his friends (Futsu squash) and the Pennsylvania Crookneck which I will start in the greenhouse, but I do not know if they’ll germinate or not so I ordered these as back-ups.
We will set up a separate area for the squash and pumpkins so that they can vine out and grow like they do without interfering with the rest of the garden.
From Sow True, I’ll definitely get October Beans and from Southern Exposure, White Velvet Okra. I like to get as much as I can from Sow True, but there are varieties that I want (listed above) that Sow True did not offer. I like that Baker Creek is sourcing out seeds from all over the world to preserve them. The Pusa Asita Black Carrot (a true purple variety) is one example, as are the Monachelle di Trevio Bean. I purposely search for Italian heirloom varieties. I am not Italian, but I like to cook with Italian ingredients. That comes from living for so long in the North End of Boston.
While my one recent goal (tanning hides) did not go so well (I will return to that in time), I’d like to get better at saving seeds.
As expected, we lost some baby rabbits due to the extreme cold. One doe lost her whole litter so I rebred her. Now she’s on second chance. I’ve got numerous does on second chance. Many of them did not build sufficient nests. If they cannot successfully raise a litter after two tries, then into the soup pot they’ll go. Mulligatawny soup is too good to keep non-producing does and their hides will be the best for tanning. Mature hides work better than hides from young rabbits.
Speaking of the Mulligatawny Soup, I did not photograph it last night. Wally ate it all (which means it was good!) so here’s the recipe:
Spellcast Farm Rabbit Mulligatawny Soup
Based off a recipe from Bon Appetite
Printable Recipe: Rabbit Mulligatawny Soup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont Penang Curry
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 large or 2 small Spellcast Farm whole rabbits
- Carrots, celery, onion and bay leaves to make your stock
- 3 stalks celery, with leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 11 cups rabbit stock
- Salt & pepper, freshly ground
- 2/3 cup orzo or long grain rice
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced (tart)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
- 2/3 cup whipping cream, warmed
- Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
- Lightly toasted sliced almonds, to garnish
First make your stock: in a large stock pan, put the rabbit(s), a couple of whole carrots, celery sticks and onions, two bay leaves, salt, pepper and enough water to cover the rabbits. Bring to a boil and then simmer for several hours, skimming the top of froth if necessary.
- After a several hour simmer, pour the contents of the pot into a large colander over a very large bowl to strain the solids from the stock.
- Allow the rabbit to cool and then remove the meat from the bones. Feed the carrots, celery and onions to your pigs (if you have any) or dogs (if they’ll eat them) otherwise compost them and dispose of the bones.**
- Combine garlic and spices.
- Melt butter in the stock pot you stewed the rabbit in and over medium-high heat and add garlic, celery, onion, carrot and spice mixture and blend well.
- Add a small ladle of stock and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender.
- Add rabbit.
- Stir in remaining stock and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
- Add orzo or rice to soup and continue cooking 15 minutes.
- Blend in apples and yogurt. Simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice, then blend in cream.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Pour into heated soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley and almonds.
**Note, you could stew the rabbit(s) right in the soup, however, since rabbit bones are notoriously hard to completely remove from a dish, I made the stock with the rabbit first and drained it into a colander in an attempt to keep all bones out of the soup. If you used a chicken (which I do not recommend) bones would not be so much of a problem.
Wally has to work today which sucks. On the agenda is packaging up 12-13 rabbits (half of the last batch) and making him a good supper including homemade buttermilk (homemade cultured!) biscuits and cleaning the house which very much needs it! This house is so easy to clean! Our former house was close to impossible to clean, so I did not do it so much. This house is a snap! That’s partially because a good part of the farm is now kept outside where it belongs!
It is not supposed to get above 39 degrees today, but at least it will be sunny. Tomorrow is a bit warmer and then next week, rain and clouds most of the week. Yuck.
I may be making my first attempt at using our greenhouse to photograph a model in today. We will see if that works out or not.
Until later …