Monday, 29 September 2008

Life is too short not to......

"Oh no, no no no no. I cant have that! There's rabbit in it! That's sooo cruel!"

I had been trying to persuade a young woman and her young chap to try the pie, which does indeed have rabbit in it. It is so good, as Bugs Bunny himself put it, "Mmm, rabbits. That sounds delicious. [Does a double-take.] Rabbits!"

wittle cute wabbit.....
....mmmmmm wabbit


But my attempts to convince them of the meaty delicious goodness of the pie were falling on deaf and sentimental ears. Where I trying to conjure up an image of earthy Autumnal food they were seeing the cast of Watership Down being slaughtered and butchered by manic chefs wielding shiny cleavers covered in blood. I was on to a loser and I knew it. Probably didn't help my case when she started getting all dewy eyed about "wittle wabbit noses".....

"The noses? Oh yes chef uses them for the sauce. It smells great."

"The noses? The wittle wabbit noses?" OH OH OH THAT'S JUST HORRIBLE!"

It took me a few minutes to calm her down and assure her that chef did not indeed use the wittle wabbit noses for the sauce. He wears them on a string round his neck. Hehehehehehehe. In the end they both had the chicken. Poor chicken, if only they were cute and had little cute noses.

Their reaction is quite typical. Some people get rather hypocritical about such things, they'll eat cows and fish and chickens with no thought what so ever to the animal itself but if it's something deemed cute it wont be touched and we are all bastards for even suggesting it. Good grief fish sales dropped off something silly after Finding Nemo came out. Idiots.

But I felt like it was my quest, my mission, my crusade this weekend to try and convince some of my guests to try something new. I have a lot of regulars and they are creatures of habit, hence them being regulars. They drink the same wine, they order the same food, the make the same jokes. In many ways it's comforting but I see it as my duty to open their minds and their palates to new things, new tastes, new experiences. Hell if I couldn't get them to try a rabbit pie I'd at the very least get them to try some pot.

Rabbit pie was the way to go but I knew it would be a tough call for some people so I reasoned that just getting some of the regulars to try something, anything, new would be a success. Neither man nor woman can live on steak alone. But that argument wasn't washing with one of my regular four tops. They are the very definition of regular, same time, same table, same day every week. And without question the same food every time - three well done steaks and chicken with no sauce. They love it, they really do. But over the many years they have been dining with us they had never changed that routine. Specials get recited out of courtesy rather than hope. There's no deviation, ever.

I launched in with a a bit of friendly banter in an attempt to lower defenses and gain some trust (it's quite akin to hostage negotiation) - football, weather, the collapsing economy etc and then brought the conversation round to the rabbit pie. Not the easiest segue I can assure you. Again there were muted screams of horror but one of the chaps seemed ever so slightly intrigued. Well he didn't baulk at my suggestion. I had exposed a chink in his armour.

"So how many shall I put you down for?" I asked doing a mean impression of a door to door salesman.

"Oh go one I'll have one" replied one of the men. The rest ordered their usual. I felt a bit bad, maybe I had pressured him a bit into ordering the pie but was totally confident he would enjoy it.

And enjoy it he did. Actually at one point there were four forks in the pie dish as everybody tried a bit. And that's exactly what I had hoped for. Life's too short not to try something new, not all the time obviously. I mean it's not possible to actually live everyday like it's your last and I'm sure nobody has ever been lying on their deathbed lamenting the fact that they never tasted the gamey goodness of a rabbit pie.

I serve punters everyday who screw up their noses at the mere thought of rabbit pie or rare steak. They get confused and angry with the thought of jus, they want their sauce on the side and the pink peppercorns removed. Come on now people, embrace the strange!

I shifted a few more before the night was out including one to one of my more challenging guests, Blue Steak Man. As his name suggest he eats steak, blue steak to be precise. Nothing else. And every week he has a comment to make about the meat, normally it's overcooked. I mean the moment it's taken out of the fridge it's too well done for him. But after a bit of cajoling and money back guarantees he relented and ordered the rabbit pie. I was delighted.

It all went fucking tits up though didn't it. I never served the pie, waiter chum number two had brought it to the table. I strode confidently to the table a moment later to check on him and more importantly bathe in the kudos that was undoubtably coming my way. It wouldn't be under stating it to say he was glum, he was glum and sullen. His pie top was burnt, it was black, it was fucking awful.

I stormed back to the kitchen with my metaphorical tail between my legs (as opposed to what? your actual tail -LMM) and let fly a host of obscenities. The good thing about a blue steak is that it takes less than 30 seconds to cook.

So the lesson is if you do try something new get a guarantee first. I couldn't get the theme tune to Watership Down out of my head after that,

"Bright eyes, burning with fire......"

Right over the top of the pie too!

What say you?
Are you an adventurous eater?
Or is ketchup still your favourite sauce?

37 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

savannah said...

wow, sugar, you and the MITM are on the same page re: rabbit! he's planning a dinner around said animal before he leaves! (a new le creuset pot & tony bourdain's les halles cookbook have sent him into gastronomic heaven!) xoxoxo

belfastyouthworker said...

rabbit pie is awesome. i dont have adventurous food tastes at all, i have recently discovered ranch dressing *cue vitriol of BW readers!* thanks to subway and it has overtaken HP as my favourite sauce!

Manuel said...

savannah: it;s that time of the year......le cruset eh....great equipment...

byw: oh dear, ranch..yak....but two points back for the rabbit pie loving.....

Sooz said...

I'll eat anything that you set down in front of me, I'm nice like that.... Unless it's a steak cooked any more than the rare side of medium rare, in which case you can stick it where the sun doesn't shine, I like my meat badly injured at most! If only I knew where you worked I'd come in for some of that rabbit pie, it sounds amazing! Horse is good too, ate that a lot when I lived in France, but most people I know think that's just totally wrong! I draw the line at dog, however.....

Manuel said...

sooz: horse eh.....I'd try that. I'd try anything once, even dog....

Silverstar said...

Depends on how hungry I am and how cute the dog is. I would have to be literally starving and the dog would have to be really ugly. I'd probably cannibalize some worthless people first. Horse? Just don't tell me what it is.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I am not that adventurous but I don't eat the same thing all the time.We try to mix it up somewhat making sure everyone eats well.
But I have tried Rabbit , partridge , a lot for gamey dishes like venison , boar , mooseburgers one time , horse of course - my wife's from Iceland , also sheep's head boiled.I did my Lonely planet impersonation eating the eyeball.Quail of course.Shark a couple of times.
No dog though.They say don't let your dog out at night in the Philipines or it's gone by morning.

Miira said...

Horse is good. Rabbit is good. Kangaroo is good. Trying something new when you're eating out is... recommendable! Why would I eat the same stuff at a restaurant as I eat at home?

paddy said...

We ate rabbit a fair bit as kids, probably too often for me to rhapsodise about. Spitting out the shotgun pellets was always a highlight.

On the exotic front, kangaroo is delicious, emu and crocodile are over-rated and I'm a sucker for quail and shark (or flake as we style it in Australia). Anyone who has ever sampled that hallowed Australian snack, the non specific 'meat pie' will have eaten both camel and horse, even though they may not have been aware they are doing so at the time.

Melissa said...

I don't mind rabbit, but can't handle frog. That's because I can't handle anything slimey green in their live form. I'm a bit phobic.

Dog is gross. I was tricked into eating it once in Vietnam. It tastes a bit like a garbage dump smells. Yuck.

Simon said...

I am a creature of habit at times, but if it's a good quality restaurant I will often ask the serving staff what THEY recommend. This is normally something I wouldn't order, and it's not very often I'm disappointed.

Red hair, Red face said...

Im getting better for trying new things, want to know whether I actually like it or not. Tried Sushi a few weeks back even though I dont like fish really, definitely do NOT like sushi! I think going away to other countries makes people be more adventurous. Too bad there are fucking Mcdonalds everywhere

Manuel said...

silverstar: bwahahahaha.....poached poodle eh?

steve: Iceland eh? There's gotta be a few oddities for dinner up there.....

miira: welcome! that's exactly it!

paddy: you're supposed to eat the shot, for good luck and all that......

melissa: oh come on frog is great....ah being tricked in to eating something isn't cool....that's a very eric cartman thing to do.....

simon: oh yes ask the waiter, we love to made to feel important.....we really do....

red hair red face: there's nothing wrong with not liking something but at least when you try something you can then form an opinion.....

Natasha said...

Mmmm, rabbit pie. You've made me all peckish now! I love trying new things when I go out to eat. In fact, I feel like I'm cheating myself if I order things I eat regularly!
I live near a fabulous pub which organises hunting days for the customers. You go out on a shooting or fishing trip, and whatever you catch is brought back to the pub where the chef prepares it to be cooked for you! I can't wait to go on the next one. Hopefully we'll get to try lots of new, exciting things!

fatmammycat said...

I will eat just about anything. Tentacles, scales, the lot. The only thing I cannot cope with is things like liver, heart and kidney and tongue, it's not the flavour either, it's the texture.
Rabbit is lovely, vension is DELICIOUS. I think I actually prefer game to beef.

redleeroy said...

hmm, a bit of both really. ketchup still improves many things, but I will eat almost anything If I know I wont die. Had rabbit paella the other day. Not bad, bit of the gristle element though.

Manuel said...

natasha: I have pigeon in my fridge at the moment, never had it before so I cant wait.....

fmc: I cant be doing with liver, liver or beetroot.....yak, yak yak......actually I've never tried yak....

Manuel said...

redleeroy: rabbit paella eh.....sounds like an odd one to me.....must find recipe....

daisyfae said...

i can eat anything that doesn't look the way it did when it was alive. pure hypocrisy, i know, but i like my livestock processed beyond recognition.

no fish with eyeballs, no drumsticks on chicken or turkey... and no octupii with all the legs on!

Manuel said...

daisyfae: awh you must try to!

Sniffle&Cry said...

Eye bones used to be a favourite down here, in a stew, And breast bones too, agony bones as my wife’s family called them cause of the difficulty of getting sustenance. Skirts and kidneys, very popular. It’s not for nothing this place is called Pigtown. Had rabbit once, we found in the haversack of the one of the lads who was bringing the pair to his sister in Germany the next day. He was drunk but asleep, we were drunk but hungry so we cooked them – Nice.

Manuel said...

sniffle&cry: you're a mentalist aren't you....?hehehehe

Lottie said...

I'm with squeamish girl - poor cute lickle wabbit. Two things I can't/won't eat - rabbit and deer - it's just not right. Damn Watership down and Bambi.

Manuel said...

lottie: I know, I too was devastated when the guy stopped drawing them......hehehehe

Conan Drumm said...

I sense potential here for a series of aphorisms, beginning with : Creatures of habit won't eat rabbit.


I have eaten it meself, y.u.m.my. And lambs are just so cute and deeeeelicious. I have killed to eat (not just fish either) so I've no time for the hypocrisy of some meat eaters. I enjoy periwinkles but would never eat horse... one man's meat is another man's poison.

martin said...

Memory of France in a Chambre d'Hote when my daughters were little, Madame telling us that the dinner would be Lapin en Croute.
When asked by the daughters what Lapin was I said firmly; Chicken

OneForTheRoad said...

I've eaten horse once.

Tasted like cow tbf.

Gypsy said...

My Grandad used to let me feed all his "pet" rabbits whenever I visited him and I had names for them all and my favourites of course. Then one day I went round there for an unexpected visit but it was me that got the surprise. There hanging up in the shed were Flopsy, Mopsy and Fluff all ready for the pot. I could never contemplate eating rabbit after that.

Native Minnow said...

We had a pet rabbit that died when our dog bit it's head off. My dad's friend took it home and made it into rabbit stew. He offered to serve it to us, but my mom wouldn't let him.

Manuel said...

conan: seriously I'll try anything once....anything

martine: ooooh that could have been rough....well sidestepped.....

oftr: nothing like a shergar burger.....or so they say...

gypsy: rough.....eek.....

minnow: bad mom.....

witchypoo said...

I certainly prefer game to the antibiotic and growth hormone fed critters you buy in supermarkets.
Rabbit is delicious. And venison, moose, partridge, quail. I think I tried bear when I was a child. It was quite tasty. Never had shark, but have eaten porpoise.

Let's Kill Saturday Night said...

I love rabbit. But then again, I am half-French.

fatmammycat said...

Witchypoo- quite right, it just seems to have much more flavour and it's not so...artificial.

Anonymous said...

"He uses the noses in his sauce. It smells great"...*snort* You are a wicked and funny funny man.

Caro said...

I love rabbit, it's the Italian's specialty, roasted nice and slow.

Love liver but can't bring myself to eat brains, heart or lungs (commonly found in fritto misto, a traditional Piemontese dish. I just pick em out and feed them to the Italian.

The Hangar Queen said...

As a tiresome non-meat eater I can't contribute but I will share a wee tale from my last job.
Late one night a motorist strikes a deer and my boss and I catch the squawk.
We arrive to find a distraught 20-something surrounded by 4 of her Skinny Dying Fuck pals all in a high state of angst.
There's a bit of cosmetic damage to the car and it's still operable.No human casualties.I backtrack up the road to find the poor deer stll alive thrashing around in the ditch.There was only one thing we could do for it and I called in for permission for a mercy shot.
This is overheard by Skinny Dying Fucks and they lose the plot.'Umm..look..can you wait a while before you do that? You see she's a PETA member and that would be too much for her after that'

BANG!

Almost wished I could have used it on the SDF.

fgeegf said...

成人電影,情色,本土自拍, 情色聊天室, 寄情築園小遊戲, AV女優,成人電影,情色,本土自拍, A片下載, 日本A片, 麗的色遊戲, 色色網, ,嘟嘟情人色網, 色情網站, 成人網站, 正妹牆, 正妹百人斬, aio,伊莉, 伊莉討論區, 成人遊戲, 成人影城,
ut聊天室, 免費A片, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網,
美女交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, A片, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, UT聊天室, 尋夢園聊天室, 男同志聊天室, UT男同志聊天室, 聊天室尋夢園, 080聊天室, 080苗栗人聊天室, 6K聊天室, 女同志聊天室, 小高聊天室, 情色論壇, 色情網站, 成人網站, 成人論壇, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, 成人聊天室, 成人小說, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇,
日本A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友, 本土自拍, 免費A片下載, 性愛,
成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, aV, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片,成人電影,情色,本土自拍,