As beef is to Texas, rabbit is to Malta.
Back in 1952, after we had moved from Corona to College Point in Queens - a borough in New York - Pop set up a few cages of rabbits in our garage.
The rabbits did what rabbits do.
After a while Pop needed more cages.
As a result, we had lots of rabbit meat to eat.
Ma had a few favourite recipes for preparing the rabbits Pop raised.
Her Fenek bit-tewm u bl-Imbid (Rabbit with Garlic and Wine) was often served for Sunday dinner.
For old time’s sake we also prepared it when my parents visited us when we lived in British Columbia in the ’70s.
That was an amazing surprise.
Somehow or other, Pop had found some rabbits.
Like I said, rabbits are important to Maltese.
Another favourite recipe was Ma's Fenek fil forn (Roasted Rabbit).
It's a simple recipe, which works just as well with stewing fowl.
Ma also cooked Stuffat tal Fenek (Rabbit Stew).
Rabbit is now available in the frozen food section in stores.
Why not surprise the family with something a little different?
This recipe also works with a stewing hen.
You can use either frozen peas or a can of peas, undrained.
Stuffat tal Fenek
Peel and quarter
2 cloves garlic
Cut a rabbit into small pieces.
Flour the pieces and place in a large bowl.
Pour into a dutch oven
1/4 Cup olive oil
Over medium heat fry the rabbit pieces until browned on all sides.
1 Cup dry red wine
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Place the fried rabbit and wine in the large bowl.
Place in the same dutch oven
2 Tablespoons olive oil
the prepared onions and garlic
Fry until golden.
the fried rabbit pieces and wine
2 ounces tomato paste
4 ripe tomatoes, halved
the prepared carrots
1 bay leaf
Add enough water to cover the rabbit pieces.
Bring to a boil.
8 ounces peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with spaghetti or any other favourite pasta.
Polenta is also good.