Sunday, 12 May 2013

And now we can all get some sleep

Bernard is no more.

The reinventors have been working up to this for some time and now its done and we're feeling a bit out of sorts.

The agreement has always been that we will not keep roosters.  It isn't fair on the neighbours and it's unpleasant for the hens.  (Poor Alice has lost a significant amount of feathers thanks to Bernard's attentions.)

So when the chicken-who-started-life-as-Marjorie declared himself vigourously as male,  his fate was sealed.  It was just a matter of when.

We consulted every nonna we could find and debated the merits of axe versus a quick grab-and-jerk to break his neck versus fashioning a killing funnel.  In the end our bucket arrangement didn't work and we had to improvise.

It was mercifully quick, although the cliches about headless chooks are disturbingly accurate.  Then the messy bit began.

We put him in a pot of boiling water for a minute, hosed him off and proceeded to get him ready for the pot.  It's not nice - you rip all the feathers off, and there are a lot, not just big ones that are easy to grab, but lots of little downy ones that once you pull them out, stick to the skin.  Then there's the butchering bit - taking out the crop (we managed to rupture it, yuck), chopping off the feet, removing the innards. 

But there is a recognisable chook sitting in our fridge.  It's not as plump as what you find wrapped in plastic in the meat department, but I know exactly what it ate (grain, veg and snails, slugs and assorted bugs from the garden) and what chemicals it ingested (none).

Now we just have to decide how we're going to eat him.