Weaving Community

Molly and AikoMolly wouldn’t get out of the car.  Hannah and I were in eastern Washington visiting Tara at 3-Bells Ranch and Molly, The Courageous Snake Finder, decided she would very much like a vacation to the Land of Somewhere Else.

As we were packing to leave, Hannah, who’d been praising Molly all weekend for her bright spirit, teasing that we’d like to take her home, found Molly waiting in the car. Molly pretended that she didn’t hear us tell her that she had to get out; that although we’d love to take her, Tara needed her.  She was, after all, a Very Brave Animal, highly prized and valued on the ranch. Molly sighed.  She needed a vacation…really she did.

Connecting With Each Other

Pondering the events of our excursion, it became clear to me that in order to survive in this rapidly changing world, we need to consider each other in more ways than ever before. As Tara turns her property into production growing hay and raising beef and rabbit I’m reminded that rising expenses, prohibitive fuel costs, and erratic consumer spending conspire to challenge us in ways that force both connection and creativity.

It’s the very thing that inspired this blog.

Buying close to home or from one another is a key principle of sustainability. When you click through from one of the ads on these pages, Hannah and I make a small commission on the sale that helps support us and this blog.  It’s just that direct.

Rural people understand what it takes. Patronizing and hiring friends and community members is a no-brainer. Not necessarily so in the cities, where selection is vast and people are used to sussing out ‘the best for the least.’ Sustaining those you care about, those you know, those you trust is the nucleus of community.

I bought and cooked some of Tara’s rabbit meat, knowing how the rabbits were raised and butchered; knowing that ultimately, they served to help her survive. I prepared that rabbit in a totally different spirit than I do the meat I buy in the store.  Although I buy organic and give thanks for the life that nourishes mine, I knew intimately the source of this food.  I could make conscious connection to all the elements, all the effort, that went into getting it to my table.

Rabbit Coq Au Vin ala Libby

One 3-4 pound domestic rabbit

2 large onions, chopped

3 cloves crushed garlic

Mushrooms, as many as you want

Flour for dredging (I used a gluten free mixture)

1 tsp salt

Pepper (as much as you like)

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 c. sake (Japanese white wine)

Olive Oil for browning, maybe 3 tablespoons

1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut rabbit as you would a chicken; wash well and pat dry.  Mix flour, salt, pepper and paprika together and dredge rabbit in flour mixture.  Heat cast iron dutch oven; add olive oil (don’t let it get too hot); brown rabbit pieces; turning once.  (If the pot isn’t big enough, brown what it will hold and remove to platter until all pieces are browned and ready).

When all pieces are browned, return to cast iron pot, add garlic, chopped onion and sake.  Cover and bake for 1.5 – 2 hours, checking occasionally to add more moisture (water, sake or chicken broth if you like).  You should maintain 2 – 3 inches of liquid in the pot.

When rabbit is fork tender, remove from pot with slotted spoon.  Make a gravy by adding sour cream to pan drippings and whisk until smooth, adding a little of the dredging flour if you like thicker gravy. Season to taste. Add rabbit pieces back to the sour cream gravy and serve the whole thing over rice or noodles.  If you want a fancier presentation, spoon cooked rice or noodles onto a serving platter, top with rabbit pieces, pour sour cream gravy over the whole thing, sprinkle with shredded fresh parsley and a little paprika.  Delicious!


This Changing World

We all need to face the possibility that things are not going to return to ‘normal’ in this country, maybe even the world.  By ‘normal’ I mean before 9/11.  That event, whatever you may think or know about it, was a turning point that woke us up to facts and fictions that are still unfolding.  The economic collapse that we’re in was predicted; the events of the last decade follow a well-worn pattern, and although we don’t have all the pieces, we all sense that ‘something wicked this way comes.’

Sounds spooky, doesn’t it?  I waffle between fear and the thrill of possibility.  I know that all births are preceded by transition, and that transition is a touch and go time that can last moments or millenniums.  I sense that we’re in a big one and that’s really all I need to know.

Replacing fear thoughts with hope isn’t enough though. Action is what matters on the ground.  Connecting to each other, forming community, supporting one another’s endeavors, talking over the dimensions of change we see (or think we see), being open to new ways and willing to prune the dead weight…these are the steps that help midwife change.

Those of us that operate on the edge may not know what the next footfall will bring, but we are all pathfinding.  We are leaving footprints for others who might pass this way and need to find their way.

libby.tara.finding coordinates2
Tara and Libby trying to find their coordinates in an uncertain world.

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2 thoughts on “Weaving Community”

  1. I love the pic at the end…one looking one way, the other looking the other as they try and find their way through the frontier of What’s Coming Next…

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