I was helping out with a Lunch in the Loft cooking class where there was a lesson on de-boning rabbit.

The saddle was stuffed with herbs and capers.

Every bit of rabbit was used, including the livers, which sort of looked like little rabbit ears sticking out of the tartlettes.

And the other bits were made into rabbit pâté.

Using up every part of the animal shows more respect towards it, in my opinion. I’m generally used to sterile, cellophane-wrapped meat from the supermarket. Even so, I feel a tinge of guilt and that scene in “Dances With Wolves” where the Native Americans are devastated to find that cowboys have wastefully butchered a herd of buffalo for the pelts comes to mind whenever I grab the packaged steaks from Costco.

When I was farming in the Drôme Valley, I got the chance to hand-pluck ducks for the day (only two though because it took two hours to pluck each one). The feathers were composted. Then I emptied it of all its guts, removed the bones and stuffed it with sausage and pistachios and sewed it back up. Then the giblets were confited for salad. I’m not going to get all philosophical about being involved in the life and death of an animal, but it certainly makes me more conscientious about the way I eat meat. Oh and yes, that duck was amazing.

Speaking of stuffing, my friend and I went to Deyrolle, the taxidermy shop in the 6eme, over the weekend. I am fascinated by this kind of stuff. Maybe because it’s so counter to my values — I am more curious about how each animal would taste than how it would look standing in my living room. Still, the place is pretty magical. Here’s a video of Eddie Izzard talking about taxidermy.