Friday, June 11, 2010

meet strider and cloud

I called him cloud cause he had little white patches on his wings when he was a chick.

And you can see here, strider is sporting the lovely feathered feet that make me think of him as a cowboy. It was such a shame they turned out to be roosters, they are such beautiful birds. I've decided my flock is a welsummer mix. Its the only breed that almost matches perfectly.
I had been hoping for sometime now that I would have some lovely hens in my batch of chicks, and as it turns out I do- russette and blackcap are little girls. But as for the rest its only been a matter of time.
A week ago they started crowing.
But since Rial and I are up before 7:00 am when it starts, we didn't mind it so much. But I can't say the same for our neighbors. I haven't heard a complain, but I know I would grumble and whine about it everyday if it had been affecting my sleep pattern.
And so today we decided to have some capon for dinner. Strider and Cloud were picked cause they're the biggest, the loudest, and they've started picking on beautrice (my favorite rooster of the bunch).
Lucky for us, Rial and I have both been on pioneer treks and we've seen the butchering of a chicken in action.
First we hung them up by their feet (if you let them run about without their heads they taste more gamey). Then we got a pot of water boiling (outside). Then we found a knife and cut the heads super quick. After they stopped flapping we dunk them in the water to loosen the feathers, and got started plucking them and gutting them (which was easier than I thought).

Smile for the camera boys!
I've never killed an animal before and I was really nervous thinking about it last week. Because I love animals. I even wanted to be a veterinarian when I was eight. And seeing as I balled my eyes out for 2 hours straight when my pet cat buck died 4 years ago, I thought I would cry at least once. But I didn't. I didn't even feel bad for sending cloud and strider on their ways. It really felt kind of natural to do it, like growing a garden. And after we got them all cleaned up, I was really looking forward to letting them sit in some mesquite marinade so we could have a nice home cook meal tonight.
It makes me think about the movie Food Inc. which is an awesome movie, please see it if you haven't. Its so crazy to think how disconnected our society is from the food we eat. I mean, for all we know our eggs, milk, fruit, veggies, meats- they just magically replicate themselves on the grocery store shelf after being bought and consumed. It is positively alarming to think just how little we know about what happens to our food before we bring it home to eat. And since I've watched Food Inc. I've been more selective about the items I purchase to eat, and I've decided to grow as much of my own food as I can. Not just because of my moral compass, but because EVERTHING seems to taste 10 times better the closer it is to home grown. Tomatoes are such a great example of this. And organic milk is soooooo worth the extra $1.50 to me. It just tastes so good!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Ice cream sandwiches are supposed to be the ultimate cheap dairy treat. Or maybe I just have too high of expectations for a $1.50. Last week I wanted something yummy and for some reason walking down the street in the heat of the day and coming back home eating an ice cream sandwich sounded delightful. So I decided to walk to the grocery store and buy some, but once I got to the frozen foods section I, well, froze.

I checked and double checked every brand of ice cream sandwich. Nothing was below $2.50. And yeah sure, its only a dollar more than I expected, but when I thought of it as being 60% more expensive than it ought to be, I just couldn't do it. I stood there for at least 15 minutes trying to make up my mind to just give in to my craving or be responsible with my money. The popsicles were cheap after all. But the only good ones, the fruit bars, were not. And that got me thinking. Why pay good money on overpriced frozen treats, when I could just make my own?

So I left the frozen food section and traveled over to the kitchen stuff section. And I found just what I wanted, a 4-sicle popsicle maker, with reusable popsicle sticks. It cost me $3.15, but it was worth it, even though my dream of walking home in the heat of the summer with a frozen treat was not to be.

Isn't it ironic that $3.15 for no-ice-cream-sandwiches is more than double the maximum price of what I would be willing to pay for 6 ice cream sandwiches. And yet, I feel my money acted responsibly, and given the choice, I'd probably do it again.