Yesterday shaped up to be a really wonderful day. We took a break from the endless chicken killing ( 8 down and 15 to go ) to attend our towns cherry festival. We volunteered at the fire departments snow cone stand, petted the local camel, ate hot dogs, amazed people with our 3 wheeled bike, and generally had a great time. I am always glad when festival time comes around and we can ride our bikes up to what amounts to a big party for the locals.
What ! You mean to tell me that you only bought me half a bike !!!!!! So it is not what we had in mind when we went to buy our youngest a bike, but we all love it. You see his birthday is coming up next month and all he wanted, with all his heart is a bike. We are thinking we can finally all get out and ride as a family on the awful gravel roads.
For those who do not live in New Mexico, you are truly missing out. We always know summer has arrived, because the state bird shows up, with his distinctive sound. We know because it flies overhead every ten minutes between slurry drops.
The rain really needs to start. Then these guys will go away. By the way, the forest is "closed" right now due to the extreme dryness, and we have teams of firefighters camped out on the local trails just in case. They are literally living in the woods to get the jump on anything that may start. Betcha' can't convince them global warming is a myth. Every year the season is drier and hotter and the fires are getting bigger.
Ok, so the final numbers are in. Our chickens are averaging 3 to 5 pounds after they are cleaned so we are paying around $ 1.87 a pound. I think my husband is a little disappointed that we could get them cheaper at the grocery store, but I don't know if that is true. Around here we can buy a whole chicken for $.89 a pound. But, and this is a big but, they are injected with salt water. Yes, most meat is. Read your labels people. They inject our meat with all sorts of things. I learned all this when my youngest had a terrible milk allergy. I had to start reading labels on everything and boy howdy was I surprised at what they do to our food. Talk about an eye opener. Any how, I am wondering if this lovely, beautiful skinless meat will not shrink as much during cooking. That would lower our price per pound considerably. I guess the truth will be in the cooking, and I will keep you posted.
After extensive reading and video watching I have finally mastered the vacuum sealer! This may not sound like a giant achievement to you, but to me it is huge. My mom was nice enough to send me hers ,since she does not use it often any more, and I had huge plans for putting up those awful chickens in my yard.
Yesterday did not go well for me.
The men huddled in the yard working out the system we will use for the rest of the birds ( 2 down 21 to go) and all I had to do was preserve them for future use.
Who do you think had the easier time ?
I for the life of me could not get the hang of the sealer. Here I was with the fruit of my mans work sitting in the kitchen sink while I fumbled around and just could not get the hang of it. I finally gave up and used plastic wrap to contain them. If you are wondering why exactly I did not just put them in a freezer bag the answer would be because they are HUGE. I don't know what happened out there in the chicken tractor, but those sweet little chicks grew to gigantic proportions. Crazy.
So now I go on through my life with one more skill...... that of vacuum sealing. Now if I can only preform under pressure.
Today is the day we started " retiring" the meat birds. We selected 2 of the biggest birds and we went to work. I guess I should really say my oldest son and my husband went to work, and I was pushed to the sidelines ( cleaning toilets, getting mail, taking trash to the dump, picking up the youngest from preschool and taking him to free lunch at the school). I was so proud of my little boy..... so big and spending the morning really actually helping his dad. He was so excited to be included in this grown up event and I can see him reaching for his manhood and wanting to learn. I am also a little sad as this is one more step away from me.
Ok, so the black broiler meat birds are big, stinky, mean, and really need to be in my freezer. We called the butcher and guess what .... he is way busy until late July ! There is no way our measly little plot of land can support all of these full grown chickens for that long with out really making a mess of it. We have decided to do it ourselves and have set the date for next week when we will all be home for 5 days straight. So look forward to the post, it will be a good one.
I was up at the general store showing off pictures of my hansom brothers wedding and this one seemed to stand out. I think everyone picked it out and said " is this your sister". I have no sister... in fact it is my cousin. Maybe is was all that pulling me around in a wagon when I was 1 and she was 4 that bonded us. What you would not put a 4 year old in charge of a one year old. Well, evidently my family would. What can I say it was the 70's and people did a lot of strange things.
He did it ! My sweet little brother got hitched. We dragged our country bumpkin family to the big city to witness the event. My smallest child was in awe of the big airplanes at the airport, the freeway was mistaken for a race track, and he achieved his goal of eating a hamburger as big as his head. We spent the whole week amazing our kids with all the fancy sites to see but are very glad to be back at our humble abode.
Located at 6700 feet above sea level, Skunky Acre Farm is the home of farm fresh eggs, several different varieties of apples and cherries, with dogs, cats, and our two free range boys. We moved from the city to the country and are living the good, if not a little crazy, life.