Day 18 and if I ever pretend I got to Day 19 on my own ingenuity, feel free to snort. Our friends Mark and Amy are responsible for us not chucking it in today. Friends that grow stuff. Who sent us home with enormous, crisp, juicy watermelons and delicious pumpkins. A bag of fresh salad makings and tamarillos and strawberry guavas.
And roosters! The deal was if we helped process four excess roosters, we could keep two. I've always wanted to learn – because our meat chickens are sold commercially, I have to take them up to a local abattoir. I'd never killed a chicken before, or even plucked one.
It was a good day to learn!
Mark has done this a few times before but still we referred to the master of chicken evisceration, Joel Salatin (specifically, Pastured Poultry Profits.) What we must have looked like, Mark at the killing cone, Adam on the knives, me calling out the step by steps according to Joel. It felt like the first one took an hour and then next three about five minutes each.
I love learning new things. Even if it's how to detatch a bird's windpipe (my least favourite bit.) It was done respectfully and quickly and was mechanically pretty efficient, once we got going.
We used a heated urn as a dunker, and the plucking was pretty quick.
Thank you, rooster, for feeding us (tomorrow.)
Another reason to celebrate today was I made my first batch of sourdough with my new starter.
If you've been around here for a while you'll know I got into sourdough last year. Except I killed my starter a couple of times, and then finally gave up and tossed it out.
When I started this challenge without much yeast left in the jar, I immediately put together a new starter and got it going. Goes like this: 1 big tablespoon of flour and mix with filtered water to a sloppy paste. Next day, toss out half and "feed" again, flour + water. Keep paste consistency. Do this for about 5 or 6 days, tossing out and building up until it's actively bubbling and smells yeasty and frankly looks like a living thing. I'll photograph mine tomorrow to give you the idea.
I then followed Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's sourdough recipe and kabam! What a loaf!
Chewy, crusty, flavoursome.
And almost only flour and water. THAT is magic.
My next big question is: how do I make chicken soup without any onions or carrots?! Hmmm.
Ever killed your own food?
There is something weirdly deeply wholesome about it. (With apologies to vegetarian friends.)