September 21st, 2009
The recent and very welcome heat wave may have made us think that it was still summer but the calendar says that on September 22nd autumn began. As long as we continue to have daytime temperatures in the 20s I don’t care what they call it, just keep ‘em comin’!
Even as summer-like weather is blessing us, the usual seasonal chores have to be done. The potatoes are ready for the bin, the tomatoes are almost ready for the salsa jars and the chickens are getting fattened up for their inevitable trip to the freezer.
Just the other day a couple of us were recalling the old chicken butchering days. Notice I didn’t say “Good old”, because, to me they weren’t. Good that is.
While I was attending high school, Mom and Dad would buy baby chicks in the spring and have them raised on a local farm until the fall. Part of the deal was that when it came time to butcher them, Mom and Dad and their slaves/children would help with the nasty business. Mom and Dad had grown up on farms and thought that the experience would be character building or something. I had lived all of my life in a city or town and hadn’t really cared how that tasty fried chicken got its start.
Well, I soon found out and it ain’t pretty! Between the headless creatures flapping about the farmyard and the nauseating aroma of the feather scalding, I was close to passing out or throwing up well before the plucking and the gutting even got started!
Thankfully, I was able to “man-up” and managed to stay upright and keep my stomach contents in my stomach while looking as busy as possible doing nothing until all the butchering was done.
As I recall, I didn’t have much of an appetite when we were called to the supper table that day. Then, with the distinct smell of scalded feathers still stinging my nose, the main course of Chicken Paprikas was put on the table.
What!? You can’t be serious!? I know this was how it was always done, but CHICKEN!?…NOW!?… Thanks, but no thanks.
I know it was probably just part of the evolutionary process and all, but really, who would have been the first one to think that eating a dead bird would be a good idea? I mean, he must have been STARVING! How many tries would he have made before he just ate the meat? Or even tried cooking it!
Yes, you’re right, it’s maybe best not to think about that. I’ve recovered quite nicely from the old chicken pluckin’ days and I make a pretty mean Chicken Paprikas myself now. So, in the end, it turned out to be a character builder anyway, because all of life’s experiences, good, bad or otherwise, usually are.
“If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d all be millionaires.”-Abigail Van Buren (1918-)