Friday, November 13, 2015

The Rewards of Just Being Yourself

Soon I will have many quarts of chicken stock made from a 100% free-range chicken that I did not have to raise myself, and all because of my unashamed woodchuckiness.

See, what happened was, I was talking to a couple of other mothers at the St. Martin's Day celebration at the preschool this week, and one of the women mentioned that her daughter's young chicken flock is turning out to have a few roosters. Chickens are often sold in what's called a "straight run," meaning the hatchery just gathers up a bunch of chicks without trying to figure out their sex (which is kind of hard to do at only a couple of days old, anyway) and you just wait for them to mature to see what you end up with. 

So this flock is just now getting mature enough to tell the sex, and there are some roosters. There is one particular rooster that is of course the prettiest one, and also of course is the most obnoxious. This seems to be a corollary for males of every species.


The woman mentioned that this rooster had been stalking the home inspector who came to their house and kind of scared the man, though the rooster had not yet displayed any signs of aggression to the family.

So I told her about our ill-fated Welsummer rooster and how the aggression only escalates. I also mentioned the roosters we were given by the MiL's co-worker for disposal after they had gotten too difficult to handle.

Basically, I announced that we are the final resting place for all asshole roosters. Or rather, my stockpot is. 

I am the master of party conversation, yes.

It's cool, though, because this woman's mother is the MiL's cousin, and I happen to know that one time a rooster jumped up to spur her--the mother--while she was walking across the yard, and she grabbed it in mid-air and broke its neck. 

Bad. Ass.

I figure if you grow up with a lady like that, you're not going to be disturbed by the fact that I enjoy cooking mean roosters.

Anyway again.

Two days after this conversation, I got an e-mail from the chicken owner saying the rooster had started getting aggressive with her and wouldn't back down even when she kicked it, so we could have it if we wanted it.


Now my chicken stock supply for the winter is assured, and all because of my total ineptitude with polite small talk. 

Woodchucks win again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Bearer of Meat

Tonight is yet another St. Martin's Day celebration at what is now Charlie's preschool and, as always, there's a potluck beforehand. Also as always, when we were asked to tell the teacher what we would bring for the potluck, I replied, "A large quantity of meat."

The main reason I bring meat to every kind of potluck is because A. always attends with me. And pretty much all he eats is meat. But not a lot of people bring meat. You'll have your pick of pasta dishes or desserts, but not much meat. So I bring meat so A. has something to eat.

As I said to A., when it comes to potlucks, you should be the change you want to see. That is, bring what you want to eat yourself.

Also, braising a large hunk of animal flesh is a lot easier than, say, chopping all the stuff for a big salad.

Tonight's large hunk of flesh is even larger than usual, a truly impressively sized sirloin roast. It was so big I had trouble finding a pot big enough to cook it in. But there are going to be forty or so people in attendance at this event, so I bet it will all be gone by the end. I've never yet had any leftovers from a meat offering at a potluck, as a matter of fact. I don't expect this one will be any different.

Now I just have to remember to remove the string . . .

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hello, Monday! Can I Go Back To Bed?

I'm very sore this morning. That's because I spent quite a bit of time yesterday stacking wood and raking, shoveling, and wheelbarrowing a very heavy mess composed of bark from the firewood plus walnuts and leaves that had dropped on said firewood.

But! Almost all of the wood from the storm-felled trees has been neatly stacked, the part of the driveway where that wood has been is now almost entirely cleaned up, and we have a LOT of BTUs ready to go for the winter.

If you need me, I'll be resting my aching muscles by the blazing woodstove. (Except not really, because I have to be where the children are, and the children should not really be by the blazing woodstove. But I could if I didn't have to supervise Blackrock's WWE display every day.)