Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2:45 AM (Baton Rouge)

Ugggh, it's way too late to be up, and Sarah and I have a cooking & herb show to do tomorrow, but I'm STILL AWAKE. Grrr.
I shall now post a picture of the best bumpersticker ever, courtesy of Dave's truck:

Go, Peacemobile, go! You keep on truckin' those crazy hippie veggies.
And now for some more random Pennsylvania shots:

Them'ns are the inestimable Miss Pickles & the stupendously fantastic Katie. Who wouldn't want to live in Pennsylvania with people like them around?
Not to mention these fine folks, my gracious hosts on the farm (from the left, Myron, Lois, and Dave):
Seriously good people, and salt of the earth, as evidenced by Dave's super high powered state-of-the-art farm equipment:
Namely, strong hands and hard work. BTW, those rows? The ones Dave laboriously plowed, and we all filled by hand and shovel with shallots and garlic? Completely dug up by the free range chickens. Incidentally, I hear guinea fowl eat bugs but don't dig dig. But are they as soft? Hmmmm....

So, top secret news flash: I love aprons. Seriously, seriously love them.
Between the professional ones and the fun ones, I've got at least four, though I neglected to take either of my favorites along (I have a maroon "kitchen witch" one that Hunter got me and a short-n-frilly 1950's hostess one that I love). Anyway, Mrs. Dietz loaned me this one: It was so soft and well-loved, I wanted to curl up inside one of the pockets and stay there. Wearing it made me think of kittens and gingerbread and canning veggies barefoot. Well, not really, but it did come in handy when baking pumpkin spice muffins with cardamom frosting, cooking picnic breakfasts, butchering roosters and whatnot. And speaking of breakfasts: Cinnamon swirl french toast, scrambled veggies and eggs, and homefries al fresco, as nommed with the much loved and lovely Jolene and her sweetly serious Avery, who was very focused on houses. He and I built a log cabin with 9 windows out of tinkertoys the day we killed the roosters. He was there for the whole process (and the next night when we skinned a buck and fed the carcass to Scotty's pet couger). Obviously, Kiddo was tremendously scarred by the whole experience: Seriously, though, that rooster went from stump to sink (with a few stops in between) in about 2 hours, and from there directly into the dinner pot, which is not only the freshest meat I've ever eaten, but really puts those cellophane-wrapped factory-raised birds into perspective. After catching the birds (no easy feat - next time I'ma nab 'em while they're sleeping), Dave positioned their heads between two nails so they couldn't move. "Hmmm, well that's one less cock to deal with..." Seriously, us Yankees find the humor in everything. (Then we set our mouths stoically and go back to work).After the bodies were drained, they were dunked in boiling water to loosen the feathers for plucking.
Then Mrs. Dietz lit a small fire and singed the last few hairs off.
Ok, this is weird but true: roosters have hairs, or at least hairlike somethings. Not a lot, but enough to notice once they're plucked. Does anybody know about this phenomenon? If so, please explain; I was certainly surprised to find them there. Mmmm mmm mmm, them's some good eatins. Incidentally, notice the size of the chest, drumsticks, etc.? Chickens are not supposed to have a pound of breast meat per bird; they're supposed to run around and chase each other and make very brief landings and take-offs when necessary, and that means not being too top-heavy to walk. In other words, this was a healthy, "normal" (or at least how nature intended him to be) rooster.
And he was delicious. Especially with green curry and coconut over rice.
So yeah, that was my farm experience, and I loved it.

All right, all you cats and kittens, it's time for this sleepy muffin (as Em is wont to say) to finally go to bed so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed in a few hours! Oyasuminasai...

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