Jackrabbit for dinner?

I was upstairs last week when I heard a loud knocking noise outside. I ran quickly to the door as a pesky flicker bird has been drilling holes in our wooden shingles lately. As I opened the door I yelled, "Stop! Stop!" and clapped my hands loudly to scare him away. The bird was gone but two men were walking quickly away from the porch. I scared them with my yelling, but they scared me, too. It was a couple of guys selling meat. You know the pitch: "there's only one box of beef steaks left and we'll sell it to you for half-price." I didn't buy any, but it might have been better than our Easter dinner last weekend.

I was really looking for something unique for the main course on Easter Sunday - something that shouts out "Fish Springs!" No, we won't eat a wild horse or a coyote, but how about a rabbit? No, not the Easter bunny, but a jackrabbit. These long-eared hares are native to Fish Springs, and they certainly are plentiful. We see four or five of them on the road every day. Some are on the run - and some have been run over. Problem is, you've got to know how to cook a jackrabbit or it will taste awful. I've only cooked two of them and one was delicious, but the other was terrible.

No one would eat the jackrabbit that I cooked for Christmas dinner when we first moved to Fish Springs 25 years ago. I thought with all that jumping around in the sagebrush, the rabbit meat would be tough. So, I decided to tenderize it with various marinades. I tenderized the heck out of it and the meat got mushy like liver. Yuck. It's a good thing we also cooked a turkey.

A couple years after that fiasco I tried it again. First I asked a Native American friend of mine just how she cooked jackrabbits. No problem. After seasoning and flouring the meat, she fried it fast in hot oil and then put a lid on the frying pan, turned the heat to low and let it braise awhile until fully cooked. That made it tender, juicy and scrumptious, and one of the best game meats I've ever tasted. I wonder how a flicker bird would taste?

Special numbers: Have you got any "lucky numbers?" For Jo Lane residents Miriam and Gerry Hutchinson, the numbers 201.02 keep coming up during the past three months. That may not be so lucky though as $201.02 is the amount of their monthly natural gas bill.

The Hutchinson's furnace, hot water heater and clothes dryer are all gas appliances and in each of the past three months they've used exactly the same amount of natural gas - 139 therms for a cost of exactly $201.02 each month. Their meter is read electronically outside of their yard and Miriam thought there must be a mistake so she called the gas company to come out and examine it. Lo and behold, everything checked out OK.

Just a coincidence? Miriam has never bought a lottery ticket but thinks she just might do it this month - and she has a few special numbers already in mind.

n Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.


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