‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Friday, August 17, 2007

from the pastoral, out to pasture

I don't mean to brag (okay, yeah I do) but we had spaghetti with pesto made from the garden, topped with tomatoes from the garden and Fresh Homemade Ricotta. Place your order right now for one of these silly cheesemaking kits. So easy. So ridiculously fun to brag about.

While I was making the cheese, the kids were busy making the pesto. They used Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup recipe for Green Spaghetti. Lucy's copies of Pretend Soup and Salad People are dogeared and bespeckled with olive oil. Eventually we'll be able to eat the books themselves.

Now they are all hot and bothered about making popovers, and who am I to say no? Culinary adventures which result in an afternoon snack for me should be encouraged.

Speaking of afternoon snacks (I should call this blog Afternoon Snacks and the meals which surround them), we did not go to Dunbar for tea this afternoon. We did not go because Sandwich was CRAWLING with people and I could not get out of there fast enough. We even had to wait in line for the carousel. Worth it. We also had to wait in line for the Family Fun Day craft - also at Heritage. It was Exotic Flower Arranging Day - each child was given a vase and could pick out a piece of greenery and a flower. There were eleventy-billion children walking around Heritage with pastel vases and Exotic Flower Arrangements.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

We still have 4 chickens. I let them out of the coop for a couple hours today as they seemed a little morose. At first I thought it was because of The Disappearance, but then I realized that in chicken years they are teenagers. Which explains why they've been spending more time in their rooms and are a little pickier about what they eat. I am a very understanding person, so I gave them the chicken equivalent of a little cash and a ride to the mall. They clucked around in the rose bushes (which is good due to the neighborhood hawk population) and scratched up our compost heap (mmm, bugs!). They all seemed a little more themselves when we herded them back in for the afternoon.

If you are prone to queasiness or feel faint at the sight of the word "blood", stop reading now. Because the Great Disappearance was not the whole story. I feel I owe you the truth.

Two days ago, when the fox appeared on top of the coop it did indeed succeed in poking its sharp snapping teeth past the chicken wire (thus the fortification of the wire). As it turns out, Charity's bum was in the way of the snapping teeth. I discovered this when I went out to feed them and only four chickens greeted me. When I sought out Charity (sorry, can't think of 5 new chicken names so we'll use yesterday's) I saw that she was, well, punctured.

I was totally unprepared for this and called Sarah for advice. I had asked her once what you do when a chicken meets with ..... uh.... foul play and she assured me that there generally isn't much of anything left to bother oneself with. Except there was quite a bit of chicken left in our case. And she didn't look so good.

"Well," said Sarah, "do you have an ax?"

Augh!!!!!!!! I had to sit down and clutch at my stomach. AN AX?!?! She could hear the nausea in my voice, so she toned it down a bit.

"Yep, all you need is an ax and a stump and a metal rake. I can teach you how to drain it."

I think I'm going to be sick.

I thank her for the advice and go back to making Charity as comfortable as possible. And then the Chicken Rescue League (aka neighborhood fox) arrived in the night to tunnel her out and move her to a spa somewhere in the Berkshires (aka chicken heaven).

Which was kind of a relief.

I think I might actually have to be vegan after all. Except for the cheese.


Oh I've got it! Today the chickens are Britney, Christina, Jessica, Ashlee and Lindsay. You get to decide who's who - and who's left.


LM said...

Oh. ok, I am the faint of heart and I just could not do this kind of thing.

I know it's all natural and such, but oh. Oh.

I don't know how you do it.

Susan said...

I too am the faint of heart. You know it's bad when it's a RELIEF that mother nature has taken her course. I am sending flowers to the fox right now.

The book on raising chickens has a whole section on butchering - and nothing on basic chicken first aid.

I'm really not cut out for this.