Dinner Tonight

So, the story began  . . back in March we bought 8 little pullets.  They were all supposed to be girls . . grow up to be hens and lay us some nice big eggs!

One of those little pullets, Bertha, always looked different.  She grew and she grew, and then one day, back in early June, she crowed.  She was a rooster.  She was huge!  We didn’t want a rooster but having one couldn’t be too bad.  The hens are real small.  Egg producing chickens are way smaller than chickens meant to be meat birds.

Week before last, Bertha decided to do what roosters do with hens.  He hurt two of them grabbing  them by their necks with his beak and throwing them on the ground.  That rooster definitely didn’t know how to treat his ladies!

Vince and I talked and we didn’t want any baby chicks from the Red Stars or the Production Red hens which were out there with Bertha.  So, why did we need a rooster?  Besides, I wanted chickens for eggs but also for pets.  I was constantly having to watch to see where Bertha was and I hated going into the run when Vince wasn’t outside just in case Bertha got after me and I needed help.

Thursday when I went out to give the chickens water in the run, he ran up to me and tried to scare me.  I am scared of him but I knew not to turn my back to run so I yelled at him and stood my ground and he walked away.

Friday morning I was out working in the garden and I heard a chicken squawking and realized Bertha had her down and he’d made her neck bleed so Vince and I decided it was time for Bertha to go.  Vince checked with everyone at work to see if anyone wanted a rooster.  Nope, everyone had more than they wanted.  I asked my neighbor if she knew anyone and she called a friend or two and no one wanted a rooster.

Friday evening we discussed our options and decided we had to do what we had to do.  In Missouri, we had a mean chicken and she kept pecking on the other chickens and causing chaos in the coop but one night, she grabbed my ear as I had my head in the coop talking with Ruby and that was the end of Lynn!  Chad cleaned her and she stayed in the freezer for a year.  I would have a little talk with myself and decide I was going to be a big girl and cook Lynn.  I’d take her out of the freezer, get all squeamish, put her back in the freezer and after a year or so, she was freezer burned and got tossed.

This morning, first thing . . right after Vince inspected the spider bite on my leg . . the spider bite that happened Thursday night in bed (told you that was coming), we had this talk:

Vince:  Are you going to cook him?

Me:  I don’t know if I can.  I could say yes but in all honestly, all I can be sure about is that I’ll try.

Vince:  IF you cook him, can you eat him?

Me:  I don’t know if I can.  Right now I can’t say yes and I can’t say no.

(We were really making progress with that conversation!)

Then Vince was kinda getting huffy with me and he said “YOU wanted to live on a farm . . YOU need to learn to do this!”

Hmmm . . that sounded like a challenge if I ever heard it.  My grandma would go out to the chicken yard, grab a chicken, kill it, clean it and we’d have it for dinner.  I don’t think I got those genes!

I told Vince I would do my best but I didn’t want to see any part of it.  In fact, I gave him a freezer bag and asked him to put the chicken in there and put it in the freezer.  He had read on the internet what to do and part of what he needed to do was soak the cleaned chicken in ice water for 20 or 30 minutes.  Where do you think that happened?   In the kitchen! 

I said to myself . . I’m going to do this no matter what!  I’m going to prove to him that I can.  I’m just that hard headed.

DSC01919Dinner!  Chicken!  Bertha!  I did it.  I cooked it.  I ate it.  I wouldn’t let myself think about it while eating.  If I think about it even now, I might need to run to the bathroom!  I’ll get over it.

It was good!  It was very good!

Roosters are normally tough but since this was a fairly young rooster, I wasn’t sure but I went ahead and put him in the pressure cooker with some seasonings.  He wasn’t tough at all.  And,DSC01921 I ended up with 3 quarts and 1 pint of very nice looking broth.  Bertha Broth is how I labeled the jars.

I wasn’t sure how Vince was going to feel about doing his part of getting the chicken to the table but he was fine with it and we’ve decided that next year, we’re going to buy some meat birds and raise them with the intention of being food.  They won’t have names . . we won’t hold them and tell them bedtime stories . . this might all be a little too much too soon but for now, at least I did what I had to do and Vince even said he was proud of me.  I feel like I’ve jumped a big hurdle and am one step closer to being a real pioneer wife!

Sprouting Seeds

All of my little tomato seeds are sprouting!  You cannot imagine how bad those giant grasshoppers are and how much they’re eating – leaves, vegetables, fruit, weeds . . they are just awful.  I’m so ready for them to go . . die . . whatever!  Vince said everyone at work is complaining about how bad they are this year.

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I asked Vince if he would make me a little screen to put over my seeds so the grasshoppers wouldn’t eat everything as soon as it popped through the dirt.  You know Vince . . it’s can’t be just a little screen.  He built me a table, with legs so I don’t have to bend over and he put it over by the water faucet.  He covered it with solar screen to keep the hot sun from scorching the tender plants.  He has a regular screen cover to put on it when the plants get a little larger and can take the blistering sun better.  Even then, we’ll probably keep the regular screen on til early afternoon and then switch back to the solar screen.

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This picture as taken several days ago.  I think all the seeds have sprouted now.

Vince is such a good helper!  If he could just figure out how to get rid of those grasshoppers without getting rid of everything else!  Don’t even tell me they serve a purpose . . I could live with a few of them but I’m telling you . . they’re so bad that they hit you in the face when you’re walking and if you don’t keep your mouth closed (and you can imagine how hard that is for me!), they’ll end up flying right into your mouth.  The chickens love them but I surely don’t!

How Far is Too Far (Trademark Discussion)?

This whole story amazes me.  As a part of the Ravelry group, I just can’t quite believe this.  Ravelympics has now been renamed Ravellenic games. I’m not going to say that the whole incident has changed my opinion about the olympic games.  The athletes have worked extremely hard . . unbelievably hard . . to be where they are.  I will still watch the games but  I do think a whole lot less of the U. S. Olympic Committee.  Seriously, I never thought anything about the USOC and, I’m sure they don’t give a flip what I think!  But I think it’s all an example of something that’s gotten just a little bit out of hand.  How knitting as a group while watching the games, and having a bit of friendly competition, that really didn’t use the word “Olympics” but only a take on it . . how that “denigrates” the Olympic brand is a bit beyond me.  Any “derivation” of the word “Olympic” is illegal, constituting possible trademark infringement.  Good grief!

If it were called the Knitting Olympics, I could see it being a big deal.  I guess that’s just the way it is . . they have the right to shut down the Ravelympics but is something like that really what the purpose of trademark was about?  I don’t know . . I just know it leaves a bad taste for some of these “too big for their britches” groups with lots of money and high powered lawyers to back them up.  And to say knitting “denigrates” the Olympic brand . . maybe some of our laws have denigrated society!

Also frustrating is that USOC demanded that all pattern names be changed if they made reference to the Olympics . . even things named after some of the olympic athletes.

I think of quilt names or quilt pattern names, not necessarily related to Olympics, but to anything, and wonder where this will all end!