Former neighbours of ours own an organic farm out of town and today was chicken butchering day. I volunteered to help. As a farm girl growing up, I certainly did my fair share of this sort of work and in a strange way, I miss it. I find that the more I know about where my food comes from, how it lived, and how it died, the greater reverence I have for it.
The Rudges had quite an assembly line going, with areas for butchering, plucking, removing head and feet, gutting, final cleaning, weighing and bagging. I was on gutting duty. We took care of more than 200 chickens and then it was time for a late lunch: soups, fresh bread, salad (using greens from their garden of course) and various fruits and desserts. At the end of the day I left with a dozen chickens for my freezer.
While I was looking after our winter fowl supply, Joe was heading for Alaska to fish for salmon and halibut. Valdez, Alaska is one of the few places that has healthy salmon runs, thanks to a very successful hatchery program.
My we are going to eat well this year!