If you look in the dictionary under the word “naive” you will see my picture. It’s amazing how I could get to be this old and still make such silly conclusions. Case in point: I bought the latest edition of Hobby Farms magazine. I get this every now and then for the articles about sheep and wool production. Being a knitter and wannabe spinner, I have this thing for sheep. I know next-to-nothing about having sheep, but I love to read about people who do.
In this particular issue, the cover article is about raising rare-breed chickens, with pictures of these gorgeous roosters and hens. My first thought was, I bet Martha Stewart has these kinds of chickens. If I remember right, she had a segment on her show about her chickens and the beautiful eggs they give her, thus inspiring her paint colors. And I thought about how good fresh farm eggs would be with the big ham we had at Easter. So, I looked forward to reading the article. So, here’s the first paragraph (written by Sue Weaver):
Remember Sunday supper at Grandma’s house? Remember lounging by the TV watching the “Ed Sullivan Show” with Dad and Grandpa while the luscious fragrance of farm-raised chicken drifted into the living room and made you all but drool? Remember sinking your teeth into that first crispy-coated drumstick, closing your eyes and savoring its sumptuous, juicy flavor? Mm-mmm, now that was a chicken!
Oh. Raise the chickens to eat. Oh yeah, I guess you would, huh? I hadn’t considered that you preserve chickens by raising them to eat them. It just took me a minute to shake the romantic idea of an idyllic farm with beautiful chickens laying lovely eggs. Then I kept thinking about the phrase, “chicken with its head cut off,” and how true it was—a chicken will run around after you cut its head off. Ew. Is there a way I could take the chickens somewhere so that someone else could do that part, so that all I have to do is bring home the luscious part in white butcher paper?
I read further in the article and realized, “I’m hungry, and I want fried chicken!” But I don’t want the chicken out of that Tyson bag. I want the sumptuous, juicy flavor of the chicken described in this article. Chicken has become some bland dish you have to season well to taste. I remembered that last Thanksgiving in Ohio, we bought a fresh turkey at a local organic, free-range turkey farm, and that was the best turkey I ever had. I had no idea turkey could actually taste good without having to smother it in mashed potatoes, gravy, and dressing.
I still feel silly that I didn’t think about raising chickens as food first. I just don’t think like a farmer, I guess. I wonder if Martha eats her chickens? I know she’s got a good recipe for fried chicken.