We apologize for the lack of new content, and some very old items. Our site was hacked and it has taken us a bit of time to slowly bring it all back. But find up to date info, and the latest pictures of our testing team on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We love Instagram–just bunnies and more bunnies (and a few vintage Mustangs).
Our dear Violet, who aways had the most impeccable letterbox habits if the conditions were perfect (proper litter, grass under her feet, secluded but with a view out, to name a few) seems to be having difficulty getting into her box. She had the most graceful jump, whether it be from rug to rug, into the litterbox, or from the windowsill over the fence into off limit areas. But her 11+ years is showing. Last night, she landed midway on the edge of the letterbox, so we pulled an old carrier bottom from storage. Its lower edge is perfect for her, and it is easy to clean.
Bunfectionary introduced new packaging for Bunny Biscotti last year at the Midwest Bunfest. The new packaging comprises an outer layer of richly-textured green rice paper, a PET layer, a LLDPE layer, a ziplock closure and tear notch, and a horizontal window so that customers can see the product before purchase. The package also has a gusset that allows it to stand up, and a hold can be punched above the heat seal line for hanging.
The rice paper helps protect the colors of the fruits and herbs from UV fading and discoloration, as well giving the pouch a unique texture and appearance.
Each package is heat sealed for fresh, long-lasting flavor and safety, and carries a Guaranteed Analysis Label.
Sometimes a professional strong arms eyes you into seeing what you have been trying to avoid. In our case, our graphic designer showed us what we have been missing with the Bunny Biscotti label: a unified look that sets the product from the brand, and allows for differentiation between each product and flavor. She proposed a new label to replace the two labels, balancing the elements and in better proportion to the bag itself.
The new label uses a classically-styled font, Trajan, conveys steadfastness and yet with a modern look as well as capturing the idea of the sharp edges of the hay blades.
In the new packaging, the two labels are not competing against one another for your eye. And although the bag above shows a 1oz bag, and not the 2oz bag, so much more of the product is visible. In addition to the Bunny Biscotti Original label, we will be introducing a new label for the Bunny Biscotti Macarons, and the upcoming Bunny Biscotti Sampler boxes.
Last Autumn, we attended a little lecture on the Japanese tea ceremony and the Four Seasonal Icons of Japanese autumn culture – “Mangetsu(full moon), Oborozuki(moon obscured by clouds),Susuki (autumn grass), and of course, Usagi (rabbits). We learned why rabbits and autumn grass are paired and why the moon hides behind clouds in so many images of autumn, just as we Westerners will depict Autumn with dried corn, falling leaves, a pumpkin, or turkey.
At the tea ceremony, we were even given a sweet shaped like a rabbit.
Long blog short, the grass produces the seed heads at about the same time as the full moon, clouds are common at the time but also serve as a means of enhancing the fullness and brightness of the moon. The rabbit, meanwhile, is seen on the moon itself in many cultures, including Asian, indigenous Latin American, and native Pacific Northwest tribes. In Japanese culture, the rabbit pounds rice into mochi.
Tsukimi or Otsukimi, literally moon-viewing, refers to Japanese festivals honoring the autumn moon. The celebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese lunisolar calendar; the waxing moon is celebrated on the 13th day of the ninth month. These days normally fall in September and October of the modern solar calendar.
The tradition dates to the Heian era, and is now so popular in Japan that some people repeat the activities for several evenings following the appearance of the full moon during the eighth lunisolar month.
Tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from Japanese pampas grass (susuki) and eating rice dumplings called Tsukimi dango in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon. Seasonal produce are also displayed as offerings to the moon. Sweet potatoes are offered to the full moon, while beans or chestnuts are offered to the waxing moon the following month. The alternate names of the celebrations, Imomeigetsu (literally “potato harvest moon”) and Mamemeigetsu (“bean harvest moon”) or Kurimeigetsu (“chestnut harvest moon”) are derived from these offerings.
Tsukimi refers to the Japanese tradition of holding parties to view the harvest moon. The custom is thought to have originated with Japanese aristocrats during theHeian period, who would gather to recite poetry under the full moon of the eighth month of the lunisolar calendar, known as the “Mid-Autumn Moon.” Since ancient times, Japanese people have described the eighth lunisolar month (corresponding to September on the contemporary Gregorian calendar) as the best time for looking at the moon, since the relative positions of the earth, sun, and moon cause the moon to appear especially bright. On the evening of the full moon, it is traditional to gather in a place where the moon can be seen clearly, decorate the scene with Japanese pampas grass, and to serve white rice dumplings (known as Tsukimi dango), taro, edamame, chestnuts and other seasonal foods, plus sake as offerings to the moon in order to pray for an abundant harvest. These dishes are known collectively as Tsukimi dishes (???? tsukimi ry?ri)
As International Rabbit Day (4th Saturday of September) falls so close to the same period, we would like to get bunny lovers better acquainted with this fascinating celebration.
Recently, an almost literal case of lifeboat ethics occurred. On Aug. 4, Graham and Sheryl Anley, while yachting off the coast of South Africa, hit a reef, capsizing their boat. As the boat threatened to sink and they scrambled to get off, Sheryl’s safety line snagged on something, trapping her there. Instead of freeing his wife and getting her to shore, Graham grabbed Rosie, their Jack Russell terrier. (One media account reported that Sheryl had insisted that the dog go first). With Rosie safe and sound, Graham returned for Sheryl. All are doing fine.
It’s a great story, but it doesn’t strike me as especially newsworthy. News is supposed to be about something fairly unique, and recent research suggests that, in the right circumstances, lots of people also would have grabbed their Rosie first.
We have strange relationships with our pets, something examined in a wonderful book by the psychologist Hal Herzog, “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals.” We lavish our pets with adoration and better health care than billions of people receive. We speak to pets with the same high-pitched voices that we use for babies (though when addressing pets, we typically don’t repeat and emphasize key words as we do with babies, in the hope of boosting their language acquisition). As a grotesque example of our feelings about pets, the Nazis had strict laws that guaranteed the humane treatment of the pets of Jews being shipped to death camps.
These are unique ways for one species to interact with another. On occasion, a predatory cat, after killing an adult prey, adopts the prey’s offspring for a few days; these cats are usually confused adolescent females, swirling with the start of those strange maternal urges. But there is certainly no other animal that puts costumes on members of another species on Halloween.
A recent paper by Richard Topolski at George Regents University and colleagues, published in the journal Anthrozoös, demonstrates this human involvement with pets to a startling extent. Participants in the study were told a hypothetical scenario in which a bus is hurtling out of control, bearing down on a dog and a human. Which do you save? With responses from more than 500 people, the answer was that it depended: What kind of human and what kind of dog?
Everyone would save a sibling, grandparent or close friend rather than a strange dog. But when people considered their own dog versus people less connected with them—a distant cousin or a hometown stranger—votes in favor of saving the dog came rolling in. And an astonishing 40% of respondents, including 46% of women, voted to save their dog over a foreign tourist. This makes Parisians’ treatment of American tourists look good in comparison.
What does a finding like this mean? First, that your odds aren’t so good if you find yourself in another country with a bus bearing down on you and a cute dog. But it also points to something deeper: our unprecedented attitude toward animals, which got its start with the birth of humane societies in the 19th century.
We jail people who abuse animals, put ourselves in harm’s way in boats between whales and whalers, carry our childhood traumas of what happened to Bambi’s mother. We can extend empathy to another organism and feel its pain like no other species. But let’s not be too proud of ourselves. As this study and too much of our history show, we’re pretty selective about how we extend our humaneness to other human beings.
—Mr. Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the author of many books. He will write the ‘Mind & Matter’ column every other week.
Tilbert is named for Seattle Tilth, a once great organization that used to simply promote urban gardening and stewardship. Unfortunately, its priorities shifted as it decided to “grow its mission”, and now it has joined the hipster bandwagon of promoting the raising of animals in your yard as meat. And of course, this includes rabbits because some whack job convinced them that rabbits are low cost and low maintenance, needing just leftovers from a garden. No mention of hay, sociability, companionship, or the fact that many domesticated rabbits can’t survive outside.
Needless to say, we stopped our donations not only to the ST, but to the radio show that featured their outreach member.
But one of the good things we learned from them is that one of the best fertilizers is rabbit poop. It not only can go into the compost bin, but it can actually be spread directly on plants. And guess what plant loves bunny poop? Rhubarb.
So we planted a few plants on our roof deck, and fertilize all year with stray pellets. When Food 52 came produced this group of recipes, we had to share it.
In particular, these two caught our eyes.
Rhubarb and Rose Ramos Gin Fizz
2 ounces London dry gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces rhubarb syrup
1 ounce heavy cream
1 or 2 drops rosewater
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients except ice and soda in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Then add ice to shaker and shake a further 30 seconds. Strain into a tall chilled glass and top up with soda.
To make rhubarb syrup, cut a pound of rhubarb stalks into one-inch pieces, wrap them in cheesecloth, and simmer for a half hour in 2 C water and 1 C sugar. Strain into a glass container with a lid and refrigerate.
Naughty Rhubarb Scones
Serves 12-16 scones
3 stalks rhubarb
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
2/3–3/4 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425.
Slice rhubarb stalks 1/4 ” thick. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in large bowl or bowl of food processor.
Cut butter into flour mixture by hand (or whiz with food processor) until butter is the size of small peas.
Blend in 1/4 cup of the sugar.
Blend in sliced rhubarb. (If using the food processor, just pulse — you want the slices left mostly intact.)
Blend in cream until a soft dough forms. (note: you may need to add more than 2/3 cup depending on the weather,etc.)
Transfer dough to floured surface and divide in half. To make triangular scones, flatten into 6-inch disks and cut each circle into 6-8 scones. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet and bake about 20 minutes or until reddish-brown on top.
Our “frosted” biscotti are now available at Bunny Bytes. Banana Bunny Biscotti is frosted with a puree of carrot, beet, or parsley in our new flower shape. Our testers seem to prefer this shape as it is easier to grab and run–talking to you Tilbert, Flower and Buttercup!
My friend at Bunny Bytes made this quilt for me to give to my brother and his wife for their first born. The quilt loosely tells a story of a little bunny who after a day of playing, makes mochi (rice cakes) and then watches the moon rise with her parents before drifting to sleep and moon dreams. The rabbit and the moon is a myth found in many cultures. In Japan, the rabbit makes mochi on the moon. A friend explained: in Japanese “rice pounding bunny” is written as ????, which reads “mochi tsuki usagi” and translates literally as “mochi-making rabbit.” Mochi-tsuki is the traditional ceremony/process where mochi is made by pounding rice. The funny thing is that the rabbit actually appears to be in the moon, appearing to make mochi. And the reading of the word for “making” is the same as “moon” (“tsuki”).