The Anonymous Widower

Antwerp To Bruges

I took these pictures as my suburban train went between Antwerp Centraal and Bruges stations.

Note.

  • The number of tall houses close to the railway.
  • My train eventually went to Ostend.
  • The route when through the town of Beveren, which gives its name to the Beveren rabbit.
  • Compared to a UK route, like Ipswich to Cambridge, the route wasn’t busy.

When travelling by train in Belgium, the station names are sometimes different on the displays and your tickets, due to Belgium’s languages.

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

After Too Many Foxes And Badgers, Now Too Many Rabbits

This is actually quite an old story from the BBC, but it turned up in today’s Times.

At least though, when compared to foxes and badgers, you can make the buggers work, as after they’ve been strangled and skinned, they make an excellent supper.

The best rabbit I’ve eaten was on the island of Salina, where they are one of the few sources of local fresh meat. In one case, I had rabbit, with the other local delicacy; capers.

I’m sure if foxes and badgers were a source of food, they wouldn’t be such a pest to so many.

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Food, News | , , | Leave a comment

I Like This Poster

Innocent have been using rabbits to advertise.

The Innocent Rabbit

Why do we like rabbits, when they are so destructive? 

For instance, they tend to dig holes in fields, which horses put their feet in and then suffer damage like broken legs.

Give me hares anytime!

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment

Rabbit Casserole

I got this from Nigel Slater at the Guardian.  I made five this evening and the one I ate was very nice.  The other four are now in my freezer.

A sweet, apple-rich stew for a cool autumn evening. A piece of rabbit or chicken on the bone and a decent butcher’s sausage should be enough for each person, leaving you with four pieces of meat to make a soup-stew for tomorrow. To make soup of the leftovers pull the meat off the bones then return it to the remains of the stew and slowly reheat. Make thick toast croutes to put in the bottom of your soup bowls, then ladle the thick beany soup over them. A drizzle of olive oil is a sound finishing touch. If you need more liquid then add a little stock or water as you reheat.

The qualities shown serve four.

  • 250g dried flageolet or haricot beans – I used a large tin of borlotti beans.  Perhaps not as good, but easier.
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 large rabbit or chicken pieces on the bone – I used two diced rabbits from the UK Game company.
  • 4 decent sausages, cut into four – These were Musks gluten free.
  • 2 medium onions
  • 400g dessert apples – Two English Bramleys.
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tbsp flour – Doves Farm gluten-free.
  • a bay leaf or two
  • 500ml cider, stock or, at a push, water – No prizes for guessing I chose the cyder.  Aspalls!
  • 3 tbsp double cream (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar (or more to taste) – Aspalls too!

The method is as follows.

  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain and bring to the boil in fresh, unsalted water. Let them simmer for approximately 40 minutes, checking their progress now and again. How quickly they are ready will depend on the age of your beans. Drain and set aside. I just opened the tin!
  2. Set the oven at 190C/gas mark 5. Warm 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a shallow pan, add the rabbit or chicken pieces and the sausages and let them colour nicely on all sides. While the rabbit or chicken is cooking, peel and roughly chop the onions, core and chop the apples, and remove the rosemary needles from their stems and chop them.
  3. Remove the meat to a plate and add the onions to the pan, letting them soften, then introducing the apple, allowing it to colour on all sides, adding more oil if necessary. Stir in the chopped rosemary, flour, bay leaf, salt and pepper, then the cider or stock. Let the liquid bubble for a couple of minutes, stirring to dissolve any crusty bits from the pan. Stir in the drained, cooked beans.
  4. I put the meat back in now, but the original recipe didn’t say.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, covered with a lid. Check the meat is tender, then stir in the cream if you are using it and the cider vinegar. The sauce should be quite sweet, but if it’s too much so, reduce it by stirring in more cider vinegar. Check the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and cider vinegar as necessary.

Serve in shallow bowls.

I just had one with new potatoes and froze the other four!

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Rabbits

Cuddly!  Aren’t they?  No!  Delicious?  Yes!

There is a report that they do a lot of damage to crops.  As someone who keeps horses they are a nightmare, as what would happen if a horse at speed puts their foot in a rabbit hole and turns over.  They don’t do too much damage to my crops as I don’t really have any, but muntjak do eat all my young trees.

The report says that nunbers are increasing and blames the government for removing rules that allow you to complain about your neighbours, who don’t keep rabbits down.  And as those neighbours are often nebulous government agencies like highways or large corporations like the railways, it is not easy to complain without a big stick.

That may be the case in some areas, but I’m in the middle of nowhere and all then rabbits round here are either mine or my neighbours.

Rabbit numbers are increasing, but they really haven’t got to pest levels yet.  But as they say rabbits breed like well – rabbits!

Could though one of the causes of the increase in rabbits be the ban on hunting?

But you say that you didn’t hunt rabbits with hounds!  No, but you hunted foxes and whereas before the hunting ban, you saw lots of foxes round here, now they are very rare indeed.  I don’t even smell them like I used to in the gateways, where they marked their territories.

So it’s not rocket science to see that if you have less foxes, you might well have more rabbits.

But why are the foxes declining?  The only reason I can think, is that whereas some years ago, if they saw a fox, farmers and gamekeepers would leave him for the hunt, now they make sure he doesn’t get away.

Obviously, it needs a proper study, than just my personal observations.

Another reason for the increase is that years ago, country kids often used to go rabbiting, bring them home and skin them for the pot.  I don’t know whether it’s still legal, but parents don’t let their fourteen-year-olds take out the 4-10 these days!

And talking of the pot!  Rabbits are delicious and good for you!

So let’s make the farmers problem, someone else’s opportunity.  We just need to buy them in the butchers or the supermarket.  I’ll get some today in Waitrose for supper tonight.

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment