Thursday, November 22

It's that time of year...

It's not all sunny days, cock-a-doodle doo's and farm fresh eggs when raising chickens on a farm, there is the cold hard truth, death is inevitable. Either by our hands or the teeth of a wild beast our hens meet their demise every winter. I know I am risking PETA protests (as if we are on their radar!) by evening discussing this - but it's part of country life. Our hens and roosters have a great life- wandering about our property, chasing bugs and chirping away, producing gorgeous protein rich brown eggs, however we know what they are there for, food. In the most humane way possible we slaughter our chickens ourselves, pluck their feathers and butcher them on the spot. It's a messy day that doesn't ever get any easier as the years pass. 

It's truly the "omnivore's dilemma" - can you kill what you eat? And the answer for us is yes, but it changes you. My twenty year old brother is here visiting from the States and helped us, he thought it would be 'cool' talking tough before the big day, but instead he was left feeling "confused." But he began to understand the true price of food and it's not just $3.99 pound.  We've learned first hand there is a different relationship with your food when you raise it, kill it, clean it and eat it. It's not just a piece of meat wrapped in plastic found in the frozen food section. There is much more responsibility and respect for everything - the life the chicken leads, the food we feed it, how we slaughter them and the dishes that will be prepared.

This years hens were slaughtered to be part of our Thanksgiving Feast we host for 30 our friends and neighbors. Jason will make a rich chicken stock for his pumpkin/squash soup and we will honor a few of our neighbors by giving them a hen to give thanks for all they have done to help us this year. And luckily our neighbors understand what a gift it is. The rest will be saved for Christmas and cappelletti in brodo or roasts in the winter.

I wanted to post this because it's part of our crazy life here and I think this aspect is important to share & discuss: not to feel guilty, but to truly reflect and give thanks for this delicious meal we are about to eat. (For more on this take a moment to read a story from a 12 year old guest: Food for Thought)

Let the comments begin.....

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