Rabbit Class: Brooklyn

I know, I know, first there was the chicken class in Kansas City. And then there is the upcoming turkey workshop in Austin, TX this Saturday. And now, I’d like to announce the Brooklyn rabbit class.

The Complete Rabbit, Brooklyn, NY November 15

Rabbits are the new chicken. More and more urban farmers are discovering the benefits of raising rabbits for meat in the city: bunnies are quiet, prefer to be kept in shady locations, reproduce quickly, and can be fed scraps.

This class will cover rabbit basics: housing, sourcing food for them on a budget, breeding, and harvesting. A quick and humane technique for killing meat rabbits will be demonstrated, as well as dressing and preparing the rabbit for the table.

Following the slaughter portion of the class, there will be a three hour break, and class will resume at Marlow and Daughter for a hands-on butcher and cooking class with Samin Nosrat. She will demonstrate how to extract the most flavor from your rabbit, with recipes for a rich stock, kidney and liver paste, Tuscan rabbit ragu and tips on how to best season, grill and braise the meat.

What: Complete Rabbit
Where: for legal reasons this class is being held at an undisclosed location in Brooklyn; once enrolled, we will give you the name and address
When: Sunday, November 15, 1pm-4pm how-to and slaughter; with butchery part of class starting at 7pm at Marlow and Daughter in Brooklyn.
Cost: $100
Number of students: 16 maximum, students will work in pairs with a shared rabbit and then take home half a rabbit.
If you are interested in the class, please email me: novellacarpenter at gmail dot com and I will tell you how to register.

So some might wonder, why is it that in every city I travel to, something has to die?

As an urban farmer I’ve been doing all these things–planting, breeding, harvesting–in the private world of my little farmlette. After being on book tour for a few months (on and off), I came to know that it was possible to just go from town to town doing a power point presentation and never get my hands dirty. This seemed unbearably isolating. In fact, I started calling my physical body “The Carcass” while I was on tour. As in, The Carcass boards plane at noon, then is on book panel at 3pm. Fed Carcass dinner, early to bed, then meet for coffee with a local newspaper writer where Carcass says tantalizing things about urban farming movement.

But, you see, what the carcass really wants to do is hang out with the chefs at the local restaurant, help organize an event with the local food rabblerousers, and perhaps teach a class that will help other urban farmers. So, that was the motivation.

Now that Samin (the chef) and I have been actually teaching the classes, I realized that there is a huge hunger out there for people to connect to their food. Maybe they are raising chickens themselves and want to learn the best practice for culling a rooster. Maybe they have been thinking about raising turkeys but don’t know how to start. Maybe they are disturbed by factory farming and want to know their meat by raising it themselves. All of the people I’ve encountered so far are fired up after our classes. Something as intimidating as processing your own animal suddenly makes sense, it is doable, and here’s the thing–it is kind of beautiful. I remember the first time I learned how to kill a turkey. It opened my eyes to the entire world. I suddenly saw connections between me and my ancestors. I felt connected and reverential for the animals we eat. I also felt skilled and useful. It makes me proud to pass that feeling on. And so, I do.

If you can’t do the rabbit class, I’ll be at the following places in New York City:

November 10, Presentation. Horticultural Society of New York, 6pm

November 11, Reading. Vox Pop cafe, 1022 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn NY, 7pm

Hope to meet you soon…If I start to look like a carcass, slap me!

16 responses to “Rabbit Class: Brooklyn

  1. Do this in California….and I will SO be there!!!!

  2. i just got to butcher a rabbit for the first time today…the killing was done by my dog and i discovered it and stole it away from her. it was an excellent dinner! it’s the first time any of my kids has had rabbit and it’s been many years since i’ve had it. i’m hoping my dog catches more!

    i think it’s extremely important for kids (and adults) to know where their food comes from. my kids are mostly fine with us butchering our own and often help out when i’m butchering chickens.

    i wish there were more classes like the ones you are offering around the country to educate people!

  3. Wow, this class makes me wish that I lived near Brooklyn! I loved your book and was so happy to stumble upon your blog.

  4. Thanks for coming to Kansas City, Novella. It was very motivating to hear you speak so clearly and intelligently, and encourage us to develop and support our own local food sources.

  5. You’re a riot. I vote Seattle Rabbits!

  6. when will you have a class in the bay area next?

  7. I’ve rediscovered your blog after thinking I had lost it in cyberspace. Yay all is not lost.

    On the rabbit front it’s a pity your book tours don’t make it out of the country as I would love to attend one of these courses. I have recently aquired 3 rabbits for the purpose of breeding for the dinner table.

  8. Do you also raise, kill, and eat cats and dogs?

    If not, why not?

  9. After all cats and dogs are the new chickens.

  10. seriously xyz??

    -in central/south america, guinea pigs are regularly raised and eaten
    -in asia dogs are regularly eaten
    -in europe horses are regularly eaten
    -in asia cats are regularly eaten

    just because we consider them to be ‘pets’ here in ‘merica doesn’t mean that they are not food in other parts of the world. it’s all about culture and comfort. any living being with flesh is edible. don’t pass judgement just because you put a higher value on a rabbit, cat or dog than you would a chicken, pig or cow.

  11. Hey, Marc from Brooklyn. Is there any way I can convince you to run another class? I would love to attend, I have always been a huge fan of rabbit meat (and other non-mainstream meats), and would love to start adding it to my regular diet.

  12. kristine,

    mind if I raise and eat cats and dogs?

    I am your neighbor.
    I do not live in Asia, Latin America, or other countries where these animals are eaten.

    I will not only raise and kill these animals, I will also encourage people to raise and eat these animals that my culture considers as pets and show them how to slaughter them in your neighborhood.
    I will make a living off of it.
    I will use casual gallows humor about killing cats and dogs to desensitize myself so I do not find myself getting attached to these animals or think of them as loving creatures who want to live just as I do and enjoy their time alive.

    Ha Ha – I am eating your aunt.

    Imagine the uproar.

  13. kristine brown

    xyz, you can raise and eat whatever you prefer. i really don’t care, as long as you do it in a humane and loving way.

    so, you are saying, you’d rather pick your food off the shelf at a grocery store, all nicely wrapped in styrofoam and plastic wrap so it is unrecognizable to the actual animal it once was. an animal that led a life of misery and discomfort, in small pens with barely enough room to shift around.

    yeah, that sounds like the way i’d like my meat to come….delusional and fake, pumped full of water and dyes and god knows what else.

    no thanks. i happen to raise sheep, goats, chickens and turkeys for food. they live in green pastures, get lots of love and attention and when it is time to slaughter them, there is a spiritual ritual that goes along with it, honoring their life and spirit, thanking them for giving us nourishment so that we can live on. i do get attached to them and even name them but when it comes down to it, i’d rather kill my own meat and eat it then to trust what the grocery store can offer me. at least i know my food enjoyed its life and was not suffering at any time while it was living. can you say that about your shrink wrap packaged food?

    you may find it hard to believe, but some people would think you are inappropriate for eating a cow because it is sacred for them.

    personally, i wouldn’t bother raising dogs and cats to eat because they themselves eat primarily meat and it would not be cost effective. why feed meat to an animal you are going to eat? why not just eat the meat you would feed the animal? that seems highly inefficient to me.

    at least i’m not a nameless coward who can’t even give my real name when i condemn someone else for they way they choose to live their lives….but then, i’m not a self-righteous judgmental moron who makes themselves feel better by putting down others actions that they don’t really understand.

    yeah, and, i wouldn’t recommend you eating humans if that is what you are suggesting…history has shown that eating your own species regardless if you are a human, cow, horse or any other mammal is bad news….causes all sorts of diseases and such. ever heard of mad cow disease?

  14. carcass munchers make me sick

    No you are not a coward Karen Brown . Your actually are a real loud mouth full of verbal diarrhoea. You really cant be serious can you ? killing anything in loving way ?? what you like to hug and kiss animals then slit their throats? and having a ritual killing. YOUR SICK!!! you are repulsive as a human being you are a discrace to the human race . There is no hope for this world with humal filth like you in it . I pitty the poor creaturest hat die at your hands, while you talk about love, life and enjoying life as you rob them of theirs, to feed your selfish foul mouth. There is no difference cat ,dog, rabbit, cow or ,HUMAN shrink wraped or molested by you before death they all died bleeding crying and taking their last breath. Thats right lets hope if it were you laying there that someone was attached to you and people remember your name paying you spiritual attention as you are murdered. It would make all the difference to you wouldnt it ? NOT…. … A life is a life no one has the right to take it away . Especially you . leave the animals alone .

  15. Late to the party but, I just wanna say…food chain. Animals eat animals. It is part of the natural world. You better believe if a cat/dog/other carnivore/omnivore is hungry and you are available and efficiently killed, you would be eaten. I am not big on being intolerant of other lifestyles in humans, you can choose to be an herbivore, but that doesn’t take you out of the food chain. I wouldn’t eat a herbivorous human, but I do believe other species of carnivore wouldn’t be so choosy. In fact, I think lions, tigers and bears, oh my, might not have any pretty little rituals to thank you for giving up your carcass to sustain their life. We, as humans, just happen to maintain a precarious position on the top of the food chain. It is a natural part of the cycle of life exhibited all over the planet everyday. I respect people who try to make an animal’s life a pleasant one before it fulfills it’s role in the food chain. I agree with those who would rather eat, as other animals eat, meat that is naturally grown, in good, *humane* surroundings. Stop hating a natural cycle of life, it doesn’t change the fact that you are part of it, and yes, you too will one day die.

  16. wow. you couldn’t even get her name right.

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