In the forties and fifties, my parents lived on NW 6th Place in Gainesville, Florida where my father was early in his career as an English professor. Their neighbors across a sandy back alleyway were Archie and Margie Carr. Archie would soon be recognized throughout the world for his research into sea turtles as well as his vivid writings about his field work in Costa Rica and other parts of Central America. Margie, later known by the more formal Marjorie, had a similar impact on Florida environmental affairs and, singlehandedly, marshaled support to stop the boondoggle Cross Florida Barge Canal.
My memories of them are dear and precious and I particularly remember many evenings over fine food and spirits listening to the Carrs and my parents carry on with maximum hilarity and intelligence. Enveloped by the drone of crickets and summer frogs in pre-air-conditioning days, life could not have been richer.
My father told me that often he would hear Archie shooting in the woods for squirrels and rabbits to feed his enlarging brood of fine children. Now those woods have been developed and shooting would be an imprisonable offense. I suspect this recipe came from those earlier days.
If you are timid about rabbit, try this recipe with chicken.
One cut up rabbit, washed with vinegar and water solution
1 cup, flour
Salt and pepper to your taste
1/2 cup, peanut oil
Heat oil in a Dutch oven, preferably cast-iron
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees
Place flour, salt, and pepper in plastic zippered bag
Shake until meat is coated
Remove from bag, shaking off excess flour mixture
Add to skillet and brown to a crusty golden color on all sides
Add ½ cup of water and 5 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
Cover and place in oven for two hours
After one hour, add ½ cup of port and one pound of mushrooms browned in butter in a separate skillet