Chicken Dinner

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If you would have visited me nine years ago you would not have seen this.  I was a vegetarian then, and still have vegetarian thoughts now and again, but mostly I love cooking and I like eating meat.  It’s not an easy issue is it?

So my vegetarian heart is now turning around, probably with a few too many episodes of River Cottage and a few too many amazing recipes and with the building of a relationship with a local organic farmer.

Could I slaughter my own animal?  Probably not.  Do I think that it’s ironic that as I walk out of the farm store door with my first fresh farm chicken of the year, one comes around the corner and runs across the driveway in front of me?  Certainly, and I cannot help anthropomorphising  that this certain chicken is thinking “My God, I have to get out of here as quick as my little legs can carry me”.

But I do know if I am going to eat meat, it is nice to have this farm down the way, where I see the animals, roaming in the sunshine, eating grass and bugs and spreading their wings or legs and that they were treated lovingly and with deep respect while they were here with us.

And when I made this chicken Sunday night.  The herbs slid nicely under the skin, the meat was flavorful and tender and the girls got a lesson as we finished and I picked through the carcass preparing for stock and chicken pot pie later in the week.

I didn’t feel at all queasy ripping off the legs and the wings.  The girls were fascinated by all the bits.  What part is this Mommy?  That’s the leg bone where it’s foot would have been.  OH, it’s the ankle, the wing, the neck.  And then the ultimate prize, the realization that not only does a turkey have a wishbone, so does a chicken.  And so it sits drying out on my windowsill.

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(Mr. Chicken, night two, in my Grandmother’s birthday pot pie.)

I feel so lucky that we live where we do and we have access to local, fresh organic food.  I may be wrong about the meat eating thing.  It runs against my buddha nature.  We still are trying two-three vegetarian meals a week.  I may change my mind.  My girls may decide against it.

That will be okay.  In the meantime, I’m lucky.

Because I have a farmer.  A real farmer.

How lucky is that?

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6 Comments

Filed under cooking

6 responses to “Chicken Dinner

  1. How cute you are in your apron!
    o.k. so you have a vegetarian reader here ; )
    I have been since pretty much birth lol, so I am now feeling a bit queasy but if you are going to eat meat I respect the way that you are doing it… umm did I just say that?? anyway, it is so good for our children to make these decisions for themselves and to see just where it all truly comes from and exactly what they are ‘signing up’ for. Check out the Moosewood cookbooks!! *ahem* ; ) I am teasing you!

  2. That is lucky. And that pot-pie mixture looks delicious! We have a local chicken farmer nearby as well. I have yet to purchase a chicken from her though…you have to call and order…and I just can’t seem to get it together enough to DO it! Plus, I have two whole chickens in my freezer that I need to prepare first…can’t be wasteful! As far as eating 2-3 vegan meals a week…they say it’s good for you, and your budget, to cut back on the meat. So that sounds like the perfect idea!

  3. Mmm. That pot pie mix looks yummy. Love the pic of you in your apron ~ cute!

    So glad your girls are learning where food comes from. So many youth today have no idea.

    I grew up on a farm so I got to experience the whole life cycle. Sometimes it was hard for me to see the animals go off to the meat plant for processing. Ah, but just a part of life, right?

    I could almost be vegetarian. Once-in-a-while I just gotta have a big, juicy burger though. We eat veg meals 2-3 nights/week easily. Gotta watch our girlish figures, right?

  4. Thanks for the reminder! So often, I assume that everyone has the opportunity to eat like my family does – fresh, local food. You truly are very, very lucky…

    PS: Picked up “The River Cottage Family Cookbook” at the library per your suggestion – love it! Thanks for the tip!

  5. I have very similar thoughts. My kids LOVE meat. I am doing my best at providing only “good” meat for them. I could go either way. Somedays I am vegan, somedays vegetarian, somedays a carnivore. I am so undecided : )

  6. thank you everyone for your lovely comments! i think as everyone of us here is a mother, i see that the most important thing is we care about what we are feeding our families and that speaks volumes!

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