3 Annotations

Will  •  Link

A sweet and tasty meat. Rabbits were generally persecuted as farm pests, but I have read of some warrens on common ground being managed as a source of meat.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

a method:DESCRIPTION: Rabbit stewed in wine and flavoured with nutmeg & lemon.

A Hare Hashed.
Cut it out in quarters, chine it, and lay it in Clarret, mixed with three parts of water, and parboyl it, then slice the flesh in thin pieces, and lay it on your stew pan, let this be off the Body, but the legs wings, and head whole, almost cover it with some of the liquor it was boyled in, add some Butter, sliced Nutmeg, the juce of Lemon, and a little beaten Ginger, serve it upon sippets, Garnish it with Lemon, and sliced Onion.
http://www.godecookery.com/engrec/engrec18.html

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I remember eating delicious rabbit stew once, with blackcurrant jelly, and just once, before the myxanatosis virus was inflicted on this traditional food which had sustained so many during WWII.

Rabbit warrens were farmed, just like other agriculture. This is a description from my local rag about Ditsworthy Warren House, Sheepstor on Dartmoor:

"Hidden underground lie the remains of the “warren” - a labyrinth of small man-made stone and earth tunnels or “pillow mounds” that were once home to many thousands of rabbits, bred and fed for their meat and fur. At one time Ditsworthy Warren was said to be the largest commercial warren in England with 1,100 acres. The Dartmoor landscape certainly lent itself to the task, offering plenty of space for burrowing bunnies, while keeping them well away from crop farmers who considered them to be vermin.

"Now preserved by a Grade II listing, the foundations of the house are believed to date back to the 16th century or earlier. It served as a home for generations of rabbit keepers and their families through the centuries, and in the paddock at the back of the house you can still see some of the old stone kennels where the dogs that worked on the warren lived. The last keeper moved out in 1947.

"Rabbit meat, originally a delicacy reserved for the privileged, became a reasonably priced staple of the British diet, especially during and after WWII, so it wasn’t an obvious time to quit. But some may say the Ditsworthy rabbit keepers got out in the nick of time; six years later the European myxomatosis epidemic killed off millions of British rabbits, both wild and farmed."

Talk about ingratitude!

https://www.devonlive.com/news/history/abandoned-…

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References

Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.

1660

  • Jan
  • Sep

1661

1662

1663

1664

  • Sep

1666

  • Aug

1667

  • Jan