Tagged ‘coney’

Conies and rabets and hares (Oh, my!)

August 27th, 2013 by KM Wall

Coneys and rabbits and hares aren’t quite the same thing, although they might be used interchangeably.

Rabbits are technically baby conies.

Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh - his grown-up name should be Coney

Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh – his grown-up name should be Coney

 

Coney from Topsells History of Four-footed Beasts

Coney from Topsell’s History of Four-footed Beasts

Conies may be raised for food use (or for pelt use – rabbit was used to line cloaks, among other things). Hares are wild creatures that are caught (and therefore may have a more ‘gamey ‘ taste).

Hare from Topsell's History of Four-footed Beasts

Hare from Topsell’s History of Four-footed Beasts

How to bake Conies, Rabets, or Hares, with fruit or without fruit.

Season them with Pepper and Salte, Cloves and mace, and so laye them into your paste with Corance or Prunes, great Raisins and if you will: butter and a little vergious.

1591. A.W. A Book of Cookrye

Bunnies, in the 17th century, are bunions and not little woodland creatures at all.

Bugs Bunny - would have had a different name - or a different LOOK- in the 17th century

Bugs Bunny – would have had a different name – or a different LOOK- in the 17th century

Smoared Hare

June 28th, 2013 by KM Wall

Smoared? As in a toasted marshmallow, Hersey bar and Graham cracker S’mored?

Microwave S'more

Microwave S’more

What do s’mores have to do with the 17th century or strawberries?

Nothing. In the 17th century marshmallow is a plant, and neither Hersey nor Graham have been born; hence no bar, no cracker.

Marshmallow plant

Marshmallow plant

Smoring is a cooking technique, one still alive in the American South, as well in other regions.  Smooring is another way to say smothered. Maya Angelou has a recipe that Oprah calls “suffocated chicken”.  What it really is is a very special cross between a stew and a braise.

And delicious, very very tasty good.

A Mallard smoard, or a Hare, or old Cony.

Take a Mallard when it is cleane dressed, washed and trust, and parboyle it in water till it be skumd and purified; then take it up, and put it into a Pipkin with the neck down-ward, and the tayle upward, standing as it were upright;[note: if the neck is pointing down and the tail pointing up, this is not a standing mallard, but a feeding one.]  then fill the Pipkin halfe full with that water, in which the Mallard parboyled, and fill up the other halfe with White Wine;[that is . parboil the dear thing a little longer, then top it off with white wine and keep cooking] then pill and slice thin a good quantitie of Onyons, [that is. peel and slice those onions, thinly] and put them in with whole fine Hearbs, according to the time of the yeare, as Lettice, Strawberry leaves, Violet leaves, Vines leaves, Spinage, Endive, Succorie, and such like, which have no bitter or hard taste, [leafy green additions ; you're looking for a fresh taste. Notice the strawberry LEAVES]-  and a pretty quantitie of Currants and dates sliced; then cover it close, and set it on a gentle fire, and let it stew, and smoare [to smother, to cook in a closed vessel] till the Hearbs and Onyons be soft, and the Mallard enough; then take out the Mallard, and carve it as it were to goe to the Table; then to the Broath put a good lumpe of Butter, Sugar, Cianmon; and if it be in some, so many Goose-berries as will give it a sharpe taste, but in the Winter as much Wine Vinegar; then heate it on the fire, and stirre all well together; then lay the Mallard in a dish with Sippets, and powre all this broth upon it; then trim the Egges of the dish with Sugar, and so serve it up.  And in this manner you may also smoare the hinder parts of a Hare, or a whole old Conie, being trust up close together.

-         Markham, Best ed.p 78.

European rabbit - the young ones are called coneys (think Coney Island, but say it like honey and money

European rabbit – the young ones are called coneys (think Coney Island, but say it like honey and money.

A hare is more like a jack rabbit then a bunny rabbit

A hare is more like a jack rabbit then a bunny rabbith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pipkin is an earthen ware pot, and one of the rabbits in Watership Down.

 

Pipkin_LG

Pipkin – repro from Plimoth Plantation. You’ll need a slightly larger pipkin to hold a rabbit or a duck.


Rabbit Season

October 13th, 2012 by KM Wall

European Hare

American Hare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Hare in New-England is no bigger than our English Rabbets, of the same colour, but withal having yellow and black strokes down the ribs; in Winter they are milk white, and as the Spring approacheth they come to their colour; when the Snow lies upon the ground they are very bitter with feeding upon the bark of Spruce, and the like.”

-  1672.John Josselyn, New-Englands Rarities Discovered. Mass. Hist.ed. p.22.

“Here are great store of Coneys* in these parts, of diverse colors: some white, some black, and some gray. Those towards the southern parts are very small, but those to the north are as big as the English Cony: their ears are very short. For the meat the small rabbit is as good as any that I have eaten of elsewhere.”

*(Rhymes with ‘money’ and ‘honey’. A rabbit is a young coney (like a puppy is a young dog…) no bunnies please, unless you mean bunions.)

1637Thomas Morton, New English Canaan, Dempsey ed. p.76

 

Rabbit season starts the Saturday after Columbus Day – which means in 2012 Duck Season and Rabbit Season start on the same day – today! Rabbits (conies) and hares are not the same animal, although they are often cooked in a  similar fashion.

European rabbit

American rabbit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mallard smoard, or a Hare, or old Cony

Take a Mallard when it is cleane dressed, washed and trust, and parboyle it in water till it be skumd and purified; then take it up, and put it into a Pipkin with the neck down-ward, and the tayle upward, standing as it were upright; then fill the Pipkin halfe full with that water, in which the Mallard parboyled, and fill up the other halfe with White Wine; then pill and slice thin a good quantitie of Onyons, and put them in with whole fine Hearbs, according to the time of the yeare, as Lettice, Strawberry leaves, Violet leaves, Vines leaves, Spinage, Endive, Succorie, and such like, which have no bitter or hard taste, and a pretty quantitie of Currants and ates sliced; then cover it close, and set it on a gentle fire, and let it stew, and smoare (to smother, to cook in a closed vessel) till the Hearbs and Onyons be soft, and the Mallard enough; then take out the Mallard, and carve it as it were to goe to the Table; then to the Broath put a good lumpe of Butter, Sugar, Cianmon; and if it be in some, so many Goose-berries as will give it a sharpe taste, but in the Winter as much Wine Vinegar; then heate it on the fire, and stirre all well together; then lay the Mallard in a dish with Sippets, and powre all this broth upon it; then trim the Egges of the dish with Sugar, and so serve it up. And in this manner you may also smoare the hinder parts of a Hare, or a whole old Conie, being trust up close together.

- Gervase Markham, The English Housewife p. 78.

 

Eastern Cottontail- run quick, like a bunny!

 

 

 

Albrect Durer - A Young Hare

 

 

Two Rabbits in a Landscape

 

 

Coney rhymes with money and honey

April 10th, 2012 by KM Wall

“Here [New England] there are great store of Coneys in these parts, of diverse colors: some white, some black, some gray. Those towards the southern parts are very small, but those to the north are as big as the English Cony: their ears are very short. For the meat the small rabbit is as good as any that I have eaten of elsewhere.”
- Thomas Morton. New English Canaan. 1637. Dempsey ed. p. 76.

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