"Who is going to butcher them?" was a common question I got from curious folk.
"Oh, I will." I said with (false) confidence.
I commented earlier (on Facebook, of course) that tonight was time to "put my money (or my bunny, as the case may be) where my mouth is," and see if I was really made of the country girl fibres that I thought I was.
We got a few "practice rabbits" tonight. We were just going to buy processed ones, and cook them up so that the kids could have a taste (we realized they've never actually eaten rabbit) but they were cheaper to buy UN-processed, and there was no time to learn like the present.
As I was getting ready to leave the house tonight (I was staring at my closet, and wondering "what the hell does one wear to butcher a rabbit?" I wasn't sure how messy the job was going to be. I settled on camo pants, a black t-shirt, and my Bludstones, in case you're wondering. I brought an apron...and my coveralls along...just in case. Truly, I had no idea.) Steve pointed out to me as I was getting dressed that I had never intentionally killed anything larger than an earwig. (Which is not true, I've had my fair share of mice battles in my life...but I've never done anything like this before.) I had no idea if I could truly pull this off.
But I did.
I watched and learned the first time around, and did it on my own the second time. From start to finish, I processed the rabbit. Slowly, and not so gracefully, but I did it.
There are improvements to be made for the next time around - I look forward to getting a proper butcher block of some sort, and a good knife of my own, but all in all, I think I did pretty good.
It didn't hurt that I had two excellent teachers.
Two of my neighbours (one a chef, and one a wood carver) have some serious butchering time on their resume. They answered my questions, let me try stuff that I had read about. And just having someone there that's done it made it so much easier! I don't think either one of them thought I was going to do as well as I did, and I'm always glad to exceed expectations.
I'm proud of me too.
I'm happy and excited that this can be a viable food source for us, and now I know that I can raise my own meat from start to finish. I feel grateful for the opportunity. I feel a little chuffed. I feel a little butch. And I feel like I can provide.
Provide for my family, that's all that I've ever wanted to do. In a healthy, sustainable, loving way.