Sunday, December 6, 2009


I feel great today. My son is home and he and his old buddy cooked chicken wings for a bunch of us last night. His buddy is actually the chef and my son is his helper. And what a feast it was. Nothing but chicken wings, fried to perfection in pure butter. And done like I like my chicken. I can't stand under done chicken. But these guys get it done right. They season it with Louisiana Hot Sauce and that is all. No sugary barbecue sauce or anything like that. I reckon the breading is enough carbs. But it was the guys night to shine, the ladies just waited to be served like the rest of us. And those young men got it out and served as fast as you can think. A real Patriarchal meal. I didn't even know my son's friend, Jason, had such a talent for cooking. He is going to do Boston Butt next and it has been promised as a great meal. It is primarily a southern dish. Since it is a the front shoulder of the hog it is relatively cheap as opposed to eating higher on the hog, like the tenderloins and the hams. In the revolutionary war and even before that, the butchers of Boston had a way all their own of cutting the front shoulder. The shoulders were then placed in barrels, or butts, for shipment. Hence the term Boston Butt. But the South is where they know how to cook the things. It is a favorite at barbecues and such as that. Leave it to the southerners to come up with a good recipe for a barbecue. After those chicken wings last night I am really looking forward to eating Boston Butt cooked by Jason Baker. Ain't no doubt in my mind that it is going to be good.

The young men are not cooking today but are putting in a new tub and shower at the place my son will be living for the next period of time. They can do carpentry work, especially remodeling. Guess who I will be putting the muscle on to build me a chicken coop next Spring. I can get them the lumber from the mill and they can fling it up. It will be nice to have some layers for eggs and meat when the SHTF. I have eaten Amish eggs for too long and those watery factory eggs just don't get it as far as I am concerned. Y'all that have the means should get you up a chicken coop if you can. You can buy commercial laying mash and all that stuff but they will eat most anything green and you can grow corn and let it go to dent and grind it for Winter food. You try to mix it with some oats and whatever grain you run across and you give them some rocks to eat and store in their craw to grind the stuff down to a fineness they can properly digest. I was doing this over fifty years ago and I know it can be done. Your local feed and seed will probably be able to tell you what to get for rocks for your chickens. And you will love the eggs and the meat. Best damn eggs there are. You give them a little fenced run and they will produce the best eggs in the nation. Just give them a place to scratch for bugs and worms and they will take care of the rest. No really intense labor is required after the system is built and going. You just go out and gather the eggs and give them a little feed every day, water too.

I actually need two chicken houses. One for layers and one for meat chickens. Meat chickens are what I have done historically. I would grown a hundred at a time out at our little 8 acre farm and the whole family would come out from town for butchering day. It was quite a day. Grandma showed us how to kill the chickens and then left us alone. The men and us larger boys did the killing and the draining of the blood. You can wring their heads off or take them off under a bucket or chop them off. It don't hardly make a bit of difference. Then you have a ball of twine handy and you cut off pieces to wrap their feet and tie them to your mother's clothesline. That lets them bleed good. Then chicken you get now days ain't bled off properly and has big clots inside the meat, generally next to the bone. Chickens that have been allowed to bleed out do not have that crap. On butchering day we would have killers and hangers, followed by scalders and pluckers. You gotta scald the chickens to get the feathers to come out easily. But if you scald them too long then the feathers set on you and you will have the devil's own time getting those damn feathers to come out. Just plunge them into your kettle of boiling water and give them a swirl or two and that should do you just fine. If you are going to do a mess of chickens then test and find out the optimum amount of scalding that you need to do. After the chickens all got plucked they went through a line of ladies with small paring knives and the pin feathers were removed. They are feathers almost like hairs and they don't come out too easily. But they will come out and you will learn to appreciate the moms and grannies who do the pin feathers.

After the pinfeathers are removed it is time for the actual butchering to begin. You can do it all kinds of ways but I generally started opening the stomach cavity and taking the innards out. This gives you the gizzard, the heart and the liver also. Good eating and good ingredients for other things. You do an asshole-ectomy and pitch the guts away. I suppose you could do something with them but we never did. Then I always cut off the legs to start the actual meat cutting process. That gives you legs and thighs and those are really meaty. You go to work on the main body then and get your back and your breast removed. You cut the neck off and save it for stew meat. Does a helluva good job of flavoring broth also. After that we packed the chicken into empty half gallon milk cartons which are no long on the market. You will have to go to plastic bags in this day and age, unless you can come up with something else. And you might be able to come up with something else. Don't forget your innovation. And don't forget to tell us about it when you come up with a new thing. After the chickens were packed away they were placed in the freezer. When evening was coming on and folks were getting ready to go home we gave them all the chicken they could carry. It left us with plenty of good chicken for ourselves.

I guess the reason I am so wound up today is that I am enthused by some of the younger generation coming on. I see the clan getting together. I see people enjoying each other and being together. I see all ages of people together and not some segregated bullshit like society tells us is proper. If older people get away from the younger folks they will die! Do not be fooled. God did not make us to be isolated in our individual pillboxes. We have always lived in clans. It is in our make up, our DNA. Think back through the hundreds of years this people has lived on this continent. We made it because we stuck together. We made it because we helped each other and cared for each other. Our enemies play divide and conquer. We have to get out of that freaking game! We are sitting ducks living individual lives. It is against nature. Do what ever you can to stop this idiocy of being separate from your clan, from your fellow man. The time of peril is coming, folks. Try to stay alive!



Andrea said...

We have about a dozen chickens, 2 of whom are about to meet their maker. We keep Golden Buffs and Ameraucanas and they are the friendliest chickens ever! Possibly next summer, we're going to try raising a few Buckeyes for meat, but that's a way off yet.

Northwoods said...

So many of these skills have been totally lost.
As I burn my hands with the scalding I always remember the Marine Corps saying "No pain No gain"!.. It's just a small price to pay for personal freedom.
Tyson and their GM bullshit can be damned. I want to know what my family is eating!
Pluck on my friend..

tjbbpgobIII said...

You can still get 1/2 gal. cartons of milk but you have to buy Silk or another brand of soy milk. The wife and I have to drink it because of all the sugars in straight milk or 2%,even skim has too much for a diabetic.

Chief Instructor said...

Michael, the family/clan component is so important. It is going to be so important in the very near future to meld the wisdom and experience of the "old folks" with the strong backs and enthusiasm of the young.

Pete Smith said...

Sounds like good times. Any time you can have family around you is a good time.