Friday, August 7, 2009

chicken pozole and huge egg giveaways



That's a decoy egg so they know what they are supposed to do in that box

This is the one year anniversary of this blog. My second entry, back when I was still a blogging newbie, was about the Sonoma Co. Fair and we are headed back this afternoon to ride more ponies and eat fried things off of sticks. The circle of life and all that.

As of yesterday at 5 o'clock I am officially unemployed. Although I am not all broken up about it, I do feel at loose ends. As I've said, I'm not exactly sure what's next for me. I'll be doing a lot of work shifts at my kids' co-op nursery school. I plan to get totally ripped. I'm going to write a draft of the novel I've been working on. I might chip away at my 39 Things list by building that headboard, and I'll definitely clean out the garage. But I'm sure I'll also spend way too much time shuffling around the house, organizing the junk drawer, getting sidetracked by old photo albums and picking at otherwise invisible facial blemishes until they turn into scabs. It should be pretty fun.

I will also be minding my remaining chickens, biding my time until they finally start laying eggs. Which brings me to our next topic: The Guess the Date of the First Egg Contest. Today they are 17 weeks old. According to most experts chicken begin to lay around 20 weeks. But it could be earlier. Pick the correct date and I will hand-deliver a dozen fresh eggs to you. If you don't live in San Francisco, I will send you an Eggling planter so you can grow fresh thyme. It's a score either way, so start your guessing. The comments are open.


Finally, Tilly was delicious. First I made him into broth then I made him into pozole. He fed 8 people and we still have some soup left over. Thanks, Tilly.

Tilly all naked and ready to go

Tilly all picked and ready to be soup

Tilly pozole

Lee Anne happily sniffing Tilly pozole. Yum.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's possible I've found Michael Jackson's replacement


This weekend (between chicken killing and book club) I introduced the kids to family movie night.

Our first selection? Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  (well, half of it.).  Ollie and Maggie were rapt, basically completely silent and unblinking the entire time.  Except for Dick Van Dyke’s vaguely Tyrolean song and dance number, “Me Ole Bamboo,” during which Oliver, still without removing his eyes from the screen, said, “I want to do that.  I want to be like them.” It sounded like some sort of prophesy, such was his intensity.

Between the dance classes and the voice coach, it looks like I’m in for a long haul as a stage mother. And sewing all those spangles on his leotards is going to be a real bitch.

 

But you have to admit, it’s pretty irresistible.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thank you, Tilly (or how to kill your pet chicken)


First, a warning. This post is about killing a chicken. So if you are a PETA member or especially squeamish, or just totally not into things like this, I urge you to read another blog today (I really like Decorno and Petunia Face and can pretty much promise they won't write about killing stuff) and to come back later when I will get back to less bloody topics, like buying shoes and overhearing my kids saying cute things.

Still with me? Ok.

After finally coming to terms with Tilly's Y chromosome, and hearing him crow, we knew we had to get rid of him (roosters are not allowed in the city and even though some of our neighbors are jerks, we didn't want our errant chicken waking them up at 6am on a Sunday).

We had always kind of joked about slaughtering him if he turned out to be a he, but in my heart of hearts I didn't really think we were made of such stuff (we're made of stuff like carnitas burritos and blended Italian reds).

But, when we called Animal Care & Control we found out that they would just euthanize him and then throw him away. Such a waste. So undignified.

There was the possibility of finding him a nice farm were he could live out his chicken days crowing to his little heart's content. Except that we had to get rid of him that day, before another day dawned and he began his macho morning crowing again.

Plus, we sort of like the whole righteous farmer act. We like the idea of being all butch about things like chickens. We aspire to be totally 4H.

So we opted for killing him and eating him.

First, I went to the gym with the kids.

Then The Mister's two best pals Chris and Mark came over.

When I got home, two hours later, Tilly was dead and plucked and sitting in a pot in our fridge looking for all the world like something you would cook and eat.

Here's what happened while I was gone. The Mister is the one holding the video camera and tittering nervously.

video
How did three citified pansies know what to do? They consulted our poultry bible, The Joy of Keeping Chickens. How did they come up with that ingenious head-through-the-pot contraption? Sarah Palin's turkey pardoning videos on YouTube. She's finally good for something other than Tina Fey's career.

In the end I find it difficult to watch but ok. It seems respectful and dignified. It's still taking a life and there is something that is weird to me there. But I am a meat eater so I can't get too prissy about it.

So, what do you think? Worse than you thought? Easier? And, more importantly, could you eat him? We are having people over for pozole on Wednesday. No joke.
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