History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

Sunday, November 29, 2015

This is the Primary Reasons We Went Into the Rabbit Ranching Business

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Japanese Banker and Erotic Intercourse

A respected banker from southern Japan is arguing with his wife about he wants her to perform highly erotic sex.

The man: "Sukitaki. mojitaka!"

Wife replies: "Kowanini! mowi janakpa!"

The man now angry says: "Toka a anji rodi roumi yakoo!"

Wife literally on her knees begging: "Mimi nakoundinda tinkouji!"

The man shouting: "Na miaou kina Tim kouji!"

I can't believe you just sat there trying to read this – you don’t know Japanese.  Boy some people will read anything as long as it is about sex or politics.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Brass Monkeys and Cold Weather - an important lesson from Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

Like most people you might think the old expression 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey' is an inappropriate term or off color expression which should never be said in mixed company.  Well after reading this article you will learn this term can be said anywhere without offending anyone. It really does have a significant historical meaning based on scientific principles.

During the heydays of sailing ships, many ships including freighters and trawlers had huge iron cannons mounted on their decks. 

The cannons were necessary to provide protection should a hostile or enemy vessels try to attack.  Those big old iron cannons fired 'large round' iron cannon balls. It always necessary for each ship to keep a good supply of iron cannon balls near each cannon.

The problem faced however was that sailing ships pitched and yawed when across the waves and they needed some way to prevent the supply of round cannon balls from rolling around the rocking decks? The solution sea captains devised was simple: They would stack the round cannon balls in a square-based pyramid - with one ball on top which would rest on four other balls which would rest on nine other balls, which would rest on the bottom sixteen. Thus, a supply of 29 cannon balls could be stacked and secured in a small area right they on the ship's deck next to a cannon.

There was only one problem with this ingenious method of stacking cannon balls.  How could the ship's crew prevent the bottom layer of cannon balls from sliding or rolling about from under the other cannon balls during rough seas?

The solution that seemed to work best was the invention of a flat metal plate called a 'Monkey'. The monkey - and it took four monkeys - was screwed to the ship's deck.  Each monkey had 4 round indentations hammered into it.  These indentations in the metal where were the bottoms of 16 'bottom tier round cannon balls' rested in.

Initially all Monkeys or metal plates were made of iron.  However is soon became obvious that the iron cannons balls which rested on the indentations of the iron plate would rust due to all that salt water spray and mist in the air. So to prevent the balls and monkeys from rusting naval engineers began to develop Monkeys made of bass - as brass is one of the few inexpensive metals that does not rust. 

Unfortunately, brass itself is not a perfect metal; it tends to expand and contract with weather. Consequently, when the wind temperatures on a ship sailing in the north Atlantic or Pacific dropped near freezing, the indentations in the brass monkeys would shrink or pop up thus the iron cannonballs on the bottom tier had no place securely rest so they would often roll right off the monkeys causing a disaster of cannon balls rolling around the deck. 

Sailors quickly saw for themselves the limitations brass monkeys had and any sailor worth his salt knew that whenever the outside temperature fell to around 32 degrees it was literally 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' 

Hope you enjoyed this brief and relevant history lesson.

Remember - here at Ralph's Rabbit Ranch - Home of Gabe's Gourmet Rabbits - we not only sell great tasting rabbit meat and quality fur products we also share valuable information and knowledge you can use. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Joy of Cooking Rabbits

Each month the ranch receives a variety of questions, mostly from Face Book and Linked In friends; people wanting to know more about rabbits. Regardless of the type inquiries received we try to take time to answer them all. Recently, Teri Nowak, a good friend of Ralph’s Rabbit Ranch suggested we share some of the questions we have received along with our replies as she believes others might find the dialogue useful. 

Well with that said here is a question we received regarding cooking of rabbits. Take a moment to read this post and share your feedback; we would like to know if sharing questions is worth the time and effort.

Inquiry we received:

“Ralph I have two questions. What is the easiest way to cook rabbit and what is the correct number of rabbits one should serve for a dinner party of eight (8)?” Melinda – Joplin, MO

Our reply:
Dear Melinda, It’s important you not think of rabbit as ground beef, chicken or pork. Rabbit is not meant to be a meal staple; rabbit should be considered a special entrée for important events - similar to how a “bone in ham” is a special entrée for Easter, a turkey is a special for Thanksgiving and a lobster a special for New Year's Eve. Rabbit is a meal that should be enjoyed and treasured not just consumed.

How to portion meat rabbit? Our recommendation is one rabbit for every two adults. If you are planning a dinner for 8 adults we suggest 4 good sized rabbits. Be aware there is a significant difference between domestic rabbits (those raised commercially) and those harvested in the wild. Wild rabbits seldom grow as big as commercial rabbits and they never contain as much meat per bone.

If this meal you are planning is for a special occasion by all means go with commercially raised rabbits like those we raise here at Ralph's Rabbit Ranch - Home of Gabe's Gourmet Rabbits. Commercially raised rabbits are easy to purchase. You can find them at local organic farmers, full service butcher shops, established meat lockers as well as a high-end retail grocery chains. 

The reason we suggest serving commercially raised rabbits is that the meat will not only be much tenderer - but it will also be more savory. Wild rabbits seldom enjoy consistency in their diets – they eat whatever they can find; where as commercially raised rabbits are fed a regulated quality feed. Here at our ranch our feed is unique proprietary blend of high protein corn, oats and barley coalesced with fresh IPA (Indian Pale Ale) beer to add nutrients and a tangy hop flavor the rabbits enjoy.

Now in regards to your first question, there are really only four basic ways to prepare rabbit: 1) Roasted 2) Braised, 3) Fried and 4) Slow Cooked. Either method will produce a succulent meal; however if you are a novice rabbit chef - someone preparing rabbit for the first time then our recommendation is to slow cook or crock pot your rabbit. A slow cooker will allow you to create an easy yet delightful meal.

We would caution you about braising rabbits for a dinner party - braised rabbit meat should be limited to couples dining for two important reasons. First, braised rabbits tend to cook at different rates; the last thing you want is some meat overcooked while other meat is under cooked. Even more important we’re sure you are aware of the folklore surrounding the aphrodisiac effects of rabbit meat. This aphrodisiac effect only occurs when rabbits are braised. 

I am not a Chef or chemist but experts say braising accelerates the production of amino acids in rabbit meat. The amino acids in rabbit are identical to the amino acids found in oysters and chocolate. Consequently consuming braised rabbit often heightens romantic thoughts, lowers inhibitions and intensifies amorous inclinations. So never serve rabbit for guests you don’t know.

Hope this helps.

Ralph's Rabbit Ranch - Home of Gabe's Gourmet Rabbits

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Do Rabbit’s Feet Really Bring Good Luck?

Interesting question so let’s start at the beginning to answer it correctly. The ancient Chinese believed the human foot was important because they saw every organ in the human body had a pathway or a “meridian’ to the foot. Consequently people today who practice alternative medicine still believe our feet provide access to all of our body’s internal organs – think acupuncture. 

Scientist believe there are approximately 7000 nerve endings in every human’s foot - so many nerve endings in fact that main stream doctors sometimes recommend patients walk barefoot whenever possible when on grass or in sand to help stimulate the nervous system and generate better health throughout the body.

Now with all that said are rabbit’s feet really lucky? As the owner of a large Rabbit Ranch we see thousands of rabbit feet each year and to tell you the truth I am not sure if they bring good luck or not. In fact, most “expert’s" I know can’t agree if they do. 

For many the luck of a rabbit's foot is just an old superstition. The reality however is the rabbit's foot is the most common good-luck charm around the world. A distant second is the shamrock (4 leaf clover) followed by soft piece of bark from a eucalyptus tree in third place.

Now the origin of the rabbit's foot providing good luck goes back to 6 BC; though there is no connection between the luck a rabbit’s foot with any scriptural references many European Christians associate the rabbit’s foot with Eastre the goddess of fertility (the goddess today that many associate with Easter). 

True believers say you only get the benefits of good luck if you carry a rabbit’s foot in your right front pocket. Others say it must be kept secure in the glove box of your car while you travel and still others say it should be tucked away in a purse or handbag not hanging from a key chain.

Someday try this fun experiment – it’s easy. The next time you watch an awards program on TV like the Oscars - the Emmy’s, the Golden Globe Awards, the Grammy Awards etc. quietly count the number of actors, actresses, directors, producers, songwriters, artists etc. who are holding a rabbit's foot in their hand.  Pay attention to see how they gently rub their rabbi's foot as the nominations are called out. 

It’s amazing how many people who held a rabbit’s foot actually won awards: Earl Flynn, Meryl Streep, Henry Fonda, Loretta Young, William Holden, Betty Davis, Burt Lancaster, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, Gina Davis, Al Pacino, Kate Winslow, Michael Douglas, Ben Affleck, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Kathryn Hepburn, Tom Hanks, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg just a few you might want to consider? Did they deserve their awards? You bet! Did the rabbit’s foot help? I really don’t know.

Now if you are not in to watching award shows here’s another exercise you can try. Observe the number of NFL and college coaches who hold rabbit’s feet during title games or super bowl events; or watch the coaches and managers in the NBA or MLB as well as NASCAR pit crews and PGA caddies.

Personally, I was amazed to learn Michele Obama clutched a rabbit’s foot during both of President Obama’s Presidential debates. Was it a just a coincidence? It could be! I just don’t know.

Also look at old hand painted portraits of Christopher Columbus, Admiral Byrd, Captain Cook and even Captain Morgan (that’s right the Caribbean pirate who after he retired from high seas began to distill spiced rum.) Look closely at their belts, sashes and boots - see the small rabbit’s foot dangling? Did they carry or wear them for luck?  I don't know.

All I can say is people around the world think rabbit’s feet are lucky. You have to decide for yourself.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Interesting Animal Triva

In 1957 little was known regarding the impact of space travel on a living creature.  Therefore as part of its space exploration testing program the Russians - the formerly known as the USSR sent the first animal up into space.

No it wasn't a rabbit as many had thought instead it was a dog.  A stray dog that was found on the streets of Moscow.  The dog was named Laika which in Russian means little barker.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Where the Heck Did Those Darn Easter Bunnies Come From?

Just in case you are wondering Germany is considered the birthplace of the concept of Easter Bunny.  The very first (edible) Easter Bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800's. 

They were initially baked pastry bunnies that came with a few gummy candies shaped like eggs (which by the way is where we get the idea of jelly beans from). Parents were encourage to place these edible rabbit treats in straw nests and hide them in secluded areas throughout the house and outside in the garden - weather permitting - for their children to find. 

Now even more interesting is the fact that in ancient Egypt, the rabbit was recognized as a symbol of fertility and renewal. This Egyptian belief of the rabbit quickly spread to the Greeks and then later to the Romans who ultimately shared the idea of the rabbit as the symbol of life throughout their empire and with the rest of Europe.

Surprisingly, about the same time, the Celts and early nomadic hunters of northern Europe began to celebrate their own very special festival – the festival of Eastre.  Eastre {a pagan} goddess associated with the beginning of springtime. Eastre’s symbol just so happened to be the rabbit - the most fertile animal known to man and symbol of constant new life.

Now when Europeans emigrated to Australia they quickly found there were no rabbits on their new continent and immediately had them brought over from Europe to raise - rabbits would ensure a healthy and steady supply of fresh meat during the harsh Australian winters.

The rabbits brought into Australia did their rabbit duty and began to producing new rabbits - to many rabbits. So many in fact that they became a significant problem for the Australian ranchers and farmers. So the Australian people with the approval of the government began a systematic program to eradicate the large herds of wild rabbits roaming the Australian outback.

Unfortunately having the rabbit as the symbol of the Easter celebration was not a good idea for may Australians - and who felt bad about all the rabbit killing taking place.  So the Australian people created a new symbol for Easter - the Bilby.  The Bilby is an endangered Australian animal that looks similar to a rabbit it. 

Therefore in today in Australia you will find plenty of chocolate Easter Bilby candies and all kinds of Easter Bilby cards – but no Chocolate Easter Bunnies no mention of the Easter Bunny!
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