Sunday, November 6, 2011

Are you experienced?

Meat birds at 5 Weeks

It's Sunday here where I sit, somewhere it's Monday and I will be thrust into that reality soon enough but until then I will enjoy Sunday. As I sit and write this in my espresso induced sweat my head is full and strangely empty all at once. I feel calm mostly but occasionally have a flash of things that need my attention and I try to add them to the list for the coming week, things I must do, food I must cook, emails I must respond to. For now though we are listening to Neil Young and my husband is sitting across from me the way he does at his house and we have our laptops spread out on the kitchen table and the kid is recuperating down the hall with a semi nasty cough watching endless movies on cable-TV.

I have done nothing to document the chicks development as I had wanted to and time is leaving this idea in its dust. I imagined pages of quaint gestural drawings, spontaneous captivating paintings and daily photos. I even considered building a small lit cove in which I could drop a chicken or two for a couple of real money shots but I have not done any of it. In its place is growing disappointment and harsh words directed inward to the file of things I just never got to. They are six weeks old now, we are on the home stretch, in the next 3 weeks we will organize the butchering day and even though I never thought I had the stomach for this type of activity (and maybe I don't) I am willing myself to fall headlong into the experience. Why not. Why shouldn't I attempt to butcher 27 meat birds at home with borrowed chicken butchering equipment? This has been the work of farm women for millennia why should I be squeamish and spared.

In casual conversation regarding the butchering of various commonly farmed animals the question of what to do with the plethora of nasty bits that we refined North Americans deem un-consumable, it occurred to me that I would be in possession of a treasure trove of chicken feet, a delicacy in the Chinese community. One of the strange features of the Cornish Cross breed are their huge feet and thick legs. In an effort not to waste them I inquired about eating them to my Chinese friend who's old mother is visiting soon. I half expected her to be completely grossed out but instead she waxed poetic about the wonderful experience of eating them as a child, their fried exterior concealing a delicious gelatinous interior. She went on to tell how she had gone with her mother to Chinatown to the chicken butcher where you could choose a live bird and have it butchered on the spot, carrying home the recently live bird in a shopping bag.

So my new fantasy is that this old woman from China via Los Angeles, who has been described as looking like Nelsen Mandela will join us on butchering day perhaps wielding her own cleaver and be our guide. Women working together to shouts in Cantonese and English, and cries of the chickens as their throats are slit while the pile of beautiful yellow legs grows to be taken home and enjoyed for Thanksgiving.


Dreaming said...

In your last paragraph you have painted a very interesting picture with words! My mind sees some sort of Dante's hell - with shades of red, not from fire this time, and loud clanging and clacking and clucking!
Interesting how simple words can be put together to do that!

Anne W said...

yes,, envision envision envision..

I remember when I was 7, we went to Chinatown in Mtl and, because I was the youngest person at the table, I was given the head of the bird. I was intrigued, though not quite up to the challenge. An adventurous eater I was not.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It