Thursday, December 18, 2008
Turtle Soup and Fried Rabbit
No, there are no recipes, but, there are stories. Dad loved to bring home strange food, and would find the recipes for Mom in Gourmet. One time, there was a snapping turtle. I don't know how Papa got the turtle, but there it was, and he wanted Mom to make turtle soup. Dotsy remembers that the turtle hung on the clothes line to dry out; I can see Dad now, getting the older brother to help him hang the turtle on the clothes line.
We wish we could remember more about the turtle, but one thing for certain is that we did not name it. One can never eat anything one names. Mom made the turtle soup for Dad, and that was the only time, unless it came out of a can. I finally tried turtle soup a few years ago and it was wonderful. It was at Commander's Palace, for a rehersal dinner for cousin Janie's daughter, Elizabeth.
Annie Mae, who worked for Mom and Dad for at least 30 years, was a wonderful Southern Cook. At least once a week, usually on a Saturday, she would fry a couple of chickens. The chicken would be left on the stove until dinner was ready. (Dinner is at noon, Supper is always the nighttime meal). One afternoon, Judy came home and saw the chicken on the stove and was eating a piece, or two, and loved it. She says it was the best she ever ate. Dad told her it was fried rabbit. From then on, she was careful to ask if it was chicken or rabbit.
Frying should be done in a well seasoned cast iron skillet, with peanut oil. The chicken or rabbit should be served with greens, collard or turnip, and cornbread and pot likker.