Culinary Delights from the Archives

Culinary Delights from the Archives

photo of publication on muskrat meat photo of publication on rabbit meat


Culinary Delights from the NWRC Archives

Food is not allowed in the NWRC Archives due to the potential problems of attracting insects and damaging the records. While you can't eat food, you can read about all types of tasty treats found in various recipes from our files.

Bon appetite!


Maryland Potted or Baked Muskrat

Soak 2 muskrats overnight, drain and cut into pieces. Pour boiling water over meat, stir thoroughly, and drain. Place in a thick skillet or iron pot, add a little water, a pod of red pepper or half a teaspoonful of red cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste, a little sage and 4 tablespoonfuls of bacon or sausage drippings. If desired, a generous piece of washed salt pork may be used instead. Sprinkle flour over top, cover, and bake in a moderately hot oven until tender, basting several times until well browned.
Enough potatoes for the meal may be cooked with the meat, or the muskrat can be served with diced, buttered white or sweet potatoes, peas, or carrots.

Maryland Shredded Muskrat

Soak 2 muskrats in slightly salted water for 2 days, changing the water twice a day. Cut up and boil in water sufficient only to cover. When tender, remove meat from the bones, and shred into small, narrow pieces about 2 inches or less in length. Place in frying pan or other container with just enough of the liquor in which the meat was boiled to cover, add 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings, 1 tablespoon of sage, a little cayenne pepper, and salt and black pepper to taste. Place in oven, turn frequently until well browned but still moist, and serve hot.

Muskrat Pie

Soak muskrat overnight in slightly salted water. Drain, wipe the meat with a damp cloth, and cut into two or three pieces. Place in a kettle, barely cover it with water, add a little salt, and let simmer 1 to 2 hours until the meat is tender. Pour off and measure the broth. Remove the meat from the bones in large pieces. Chop up an onion, a green pepper, and half a cup of parsley, and put in a skillet with several tablespoonfuls of butter or other fat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. For each cup of broth, take 1 ½ tablespoonsfuls of flour and mix well with the fat and seasonings. Pour in the broth and stir until thickened. Salt to taste and add a dash of tabasco sauce. Mix in the meat well and place in individual baking dishes. Cover with pastry and bake in a moderate oven until the crust is a golden brown.


Wartime Rabbit Casserole

Have the rabbit cleaned and cut into serving pieces. Salt and pepper to season, dredge with flour. Heat 2 tablespoons each of butter (or margarine) and cooking oil in a heavy skillet over a medium gas flame; brown rabbit on both sides in hot fat. Then transfer rabbit to a casserole; add one-half cup tomato pulp and one-half cup diced celery. Cover, place in oven preheated to 325 degrees F., and bake 1 hour, or until tender.

Rabbit Salad

3 cups diced cooked rabbit meat
½ cup salad oil
3 cups diced celery
¼ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon onion juice
Dash of tabasco sauce
1 cup thick mayonnaise

To the rabbit meat, which has been cut into small even pieces, add the oil, vinegar, onion juice, salt as needed, and paprika, and let stand in a cold place for 3 or 4 hours, or overnight. Then add the celery, capers, tabasco sauce, and enough mayonnaise to cover well. Serve on crisp lettuce leaves or other salad greens with a garnish of olives and radishes. (Bureau of Home Economics)

Rabbit Chop Suey

1 rabbit, or 2 to 3 cups shredded, cooked meat
2 cups bean sprouts
3 tablespoons butter or other fat
2 cups broth
2 cups shredded onion
2 teaspoons cornstarch or flour
1 cup shredded green pepper
1 cup tasted almonds
2 cups shredded celery
4 tablespoons soy sauce

Chop suey is an excellent way to serve the more mature rabbit or to use left-over cooked meat. Wipe the rabbit with a damp cloth, place on a rack in a kettle, barely cover with hot water, add one-half teaspoon salt, and partly cover the kettle. Simmer until the meat is tender, or about one and one-half to two hours for an older rabbit, and let cool in the broth. Drain and cut the meat from the bones in thin strips. Melt the fat in a skillet, add the onions and green pepper, and cook for a few minutes. Then add the meat and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the meat is slightly browned. Add the celery and bean sprouts, and the broth mixed with the cornstarch or flour; cover, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Stir in the almonds, which have been broken into halves, and the soy sauce. Add salt if needed. The soy sauce contains so much salt that often no more is needed. Serve with hot boiled rice. (Bureau of Home Economics)


Baked Wild Ducks or Coots

Use older ducks or coots and prepare as for roasting. Place on trivet in chicken fryer or Dutch oven, and add ½ cup hot water. Bake, covered, 2 hours, then remove cover, spread surface with currant or plum jelly beaten until partially broken up, and continue baking (uncovered) ½ hour, basting frequently with jelly and pan drippings.



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