Most everyone enjoys getting invitations … birthday parties, cookouts, you name it, it is nice to be included when a friend or relative is hosting a celebration. Here is a line from the most recent invitation that I received… “Wanted to let you know in case you wanted to join us…though this may seem odd. We are going to be butchering the meat birds …” Yes, you read that correctly. And to boot, this was from my x-wife! How many guys want to be anywhere near their x-wife when she happens to be holding a butchering knife??
The fact is, our son still lives with her in NH, and he and I have done numerous projects together around her house. And, although we are no longer married, we share mutual respect as well as two wonderful children who are now young adults.
Neither of us grew up on a farm, and the closest thing I have done to butchering an animal is clean a fish on a very rare occasion. But, I was game and I was able to combine the trip with visiting dear friends in NH as well as with working on a motorcycle with my son – made yet some more progress towards re-assembling a 1980 Kawasaki KZ250 that I took apart over 15 years ago. After all that time, we found that we are only missing a few parts.. but that is a story for another day 🙂
Sunday, the 21st of July was the day of reckoning for the 24 or so surviving birds who actually lived a pretty good life the past few months.. Thanks to a you tube video, I got to study the process that we would be using before the big event, but nothing actually prepares one for the experience of catching a chicken, placing it in the “cone of death” and then snipping its throat and neck in one clean motion.. or of cutting up the bird while it is still warm, or, at the insistence of one’s daughter, searching for and removing the liver, reserving it for a delicacy at a later date.
Although I was new to all of this, I did my best to take the whole experience in stride, and I was pleased to hear from two other invited guests that they were surprised when they found out that it was my first time processing chickens.. Yes, my daughter invited some friends as well.. an odd theme for a party, perhaps, but they seemed to enjoy themselves, and with the additional hands, we were able to streamline the process after the first few birds were already in the freezer…
We enjoyed a cold chicken salad for dinner that evening, and I was haunted by only one chicken dream that night. My wife and I are selective vegetarians, meaning that we will entertain the idea of eating meat if we know where it comes from- an idea that we borrowed from my daughter a few years ago ( I continue to marvel at the fact that we are now at that point in life where we are being influenced by our kids). In fact, we may have had meat a half dozen or so times the past three years, and most of that has come from my x-wife’s farm. The more I read about how our meat, fowl, and fish are raised on factory farms, the less interest I have in eating any of them.
I was was not headed directly home, and, therefore, did not have an opportunity to bring any of the chicken home, but there are turkeys on the farm, and Thanksgiving is not all that far off…. who knows what kind of party I will be invited to next!