If you think Bugs Bunny is just a character in a bunch of silly cartoons in which a grown man goes around trying to shoot a pesky rabbit but the rabbit usually wins, you're only partially right.
My friend's son says that he learned to love classical music from these cartoons. I remember that once, when it was my carpool day and I drove him to school, I had tuned in to WQXR on the radio and this little boy, who was all of 6 years old said "Hey, that's Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody #2!"
I was totally impressed! Because his mother listened to classical music in the house and I figured it all just rubbed off on the kids. But NO! I asked how he knew and he said he heard it in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
It seems as if an entire generation also heard and learned to appreciate classic music -- and opera -- from Bugs Bunny (okay, also Tom & Jerry, Minnie Mouse and assorted others). Ask around!
And, as if to underscore the point, the New York Philharmonic is presenting three concerts featuring BUGS BUNNY cartoons for children to watch on a huge screen as the orchestra plays the music!
We are taking our 4-year old grandson. It's never too soon to hear a piece from The Barber of Seville.
But of course, I am a food writer. So what do I think of when I hear "Bugs Bunny?"
Carrots of course!
Bugs Bunny was always munching a carrot. Always an orange one or course. To the best of my knowledge, he never tasted rainbow carrots. And, although raw carrots are always a fine snack, sauteed carrots are awesome. And are especially pretty made with rainbow carrots.
Thanks for helping a generation of children appreciate music Bugs! And here's hoping that in make-believe, you can feast on these:
Roasted Rainbow Carrots
- 1 pound medium rainbow carrots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Peel the carrots, trim the ends and halve the carrots widthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 2 or 4 pieces. Place the carrots on the prepared baking sheet. Heat the olive oil and honey together over low heat, briefly, until the thick honey has softened a bit and is easy to combine with the olive oil (about one minute). Pour the honey mixture over the carrots. Sprinkle with the scallions, orange peel and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the ingredients to coat the carrots completely. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, tossing the carrots once, or until they are tender and lightly crispy.
Makes 4 servings