Friday, March 27, 2009

Putting the name to the face...or the face to your food!

The Omnivores Dilemma
""...nobody was insisting I personally slaughter a chicken, but I was curious to learn how it was done and to see if I could bring myself to do it. The more I'd learned about the food chain, the more obligated I felt to take a good hard look at all of its parts. It seemed to me not to much to ask for a meat eater, which I was then and still am, that at least once in his life he take some direct responsibility for the killing on which his meat-eating depends". (p.231)

I didn't kill anything...directly. But when indicated in my last order to Green Hills Farm to "throw in something that would make my chicken stock gel the way yours does" what I took home in a plastic bag made me gag in my throat. Two bald chicken heads, with eyes half shut, tangled in a little baggie with 4 scaly yellow feet. This was the first hard look I have had in a while of the true ingredients in my food. I was proud of myself in some ways, for playing a part in not allowing such a valuable body part, if you consider a head to be important, to go to waste. The chicken was destined to end up in my freezer anyway, right?

The stock turned out fantastic, a rich golden color, semi solid in the glass jar in the fridge.
Still, I must admit, when I went to the pot to skim off the scum that had formed on the top, and I saw my little chicken friend bobbing around, I tried to push him down under a huge onion. Something about his little swollen face made me uneasy. But apparently he liked the fresh air because his little beak popped right up. Thanks little chicken head.


Matt and Joey said...

Little chicken head. How you remind us that you are a small being, and not just a package of meat. May your life be a happy one before you give it for our nourishment.


Thanks for the reminder, Nina. You are a brave, warrior cook.

Leah said...

I normally enjoy your talent for descriptive writing, but this time... eww

Monique said...

HA! This made me laugh out loud. I can just see you trying to poke that chicken head down! :) good stuff. I second the motion that you are a brave warior cook!

Amber Rose said...

Man you and the sis have such a way with making me puke a little in my mouth:)!!
But really I can handle chicken heads over placentas any day:)
Good for you for making your own stock and good for you for making it the real,real,real way!!
(The french would be proud!)

Johnna Sutton said...

I'll give you the date when I know better, your comming to Oregon to help butcher!

Q. said...

WOW. Chicken heads. Haven't seen those since I was growing up. (My dad raised chickens.)
Anyways - I had no idea you had a blog and just realized that you put me on your blog roll! THANK YOU, Nina!