One Job Done for the Year
Our old rooster is resting warmly in my kettle.
Today has been a big day for us all. At the farm, there are three big days out of the year which our children and grandchildren come from their homes to help with butchering our roosters. In exchange for their work, they receive some of the tasty meat for their freezers.
There is a good deal of preparation to get ready for such days as this. My husband nurtures and protects the chickens from the time they are a day old, until this day.
Also before the big day, one job which falls to me is menu planning and preparing the meals for the day. By the time noon rolls around on this heavy work day, workers need a good meal that can be reheated which they will not have to eat with their hands.
After breakfast, the kitchen has to be made ready. Counters, sink,and table have to be cleared and cleansed. Knives must be sharpened. Newspapers are placed in layers, protecting the table surface. Cutting boards are brought out and ready for use. Water is heated to facilitate scalding. Other jobs which need doing include chopping, scalding, de-feathering, singeing, inspecting for pin-feathers and removing them, scrubbing and washing the birds, gutting, cutting, cooling, wrapping, weighing and freezing.
When the last bird is scrubbed clean, the sink and counter surfaces are washed and sanitized. When that last bird is finally cut and placed in cooling water tubs, the table is cleared and cleansed. All workers can then get cleaned up, change clothes and sit down for lunch.
Once the cooling of the meat has been sufficient, the birds are packaged in freezer bags and wrapped in freezer paper. Packages are then weighed. Each family packages their meat to their liking. I like the whole bird in my package. My kids like theirs done in bags of all white meat, all wings, etc.
With the white meat being fileted from the carcass, bony pieces are left and need to be processed. These are pressure-cooked. After the cooked meat has cooled, the remaining meat is picked off of the bones. This process gives us a clear yellow broth and tender meat ready for grinding.
I freeze the broth and the ground, cooked chicken. They are ready for the making of soups and sandwiches. I like my frozen foods. They will provide for quick preparation some day in the future.
Upon getting the meat all prepared, there are dishes to wash and the floor must be mopped. It is a tiring, busy day. You might imagine how nice it is to have that job done for the year.
Oriental Chicken Cabbage Salad
1 whole chicken breast, cooked, cut and slivered or 2 cans (5 ounces each) white chicken meat
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 ounces slivered toasted almonds
½ head cabbage, shredded fine
2 green onions, chopped fine
1 package (3 ounces) chicken flavored Ramen noodles
½ package Ramen noodle seasoning mix
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice or wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Combine the chicken with seeds, almonds, cabbage, onion and uncooked noodles which have been broken apart. Add the dressing; toss to blend. Cover; refrigerate until serving time. Serve cold. Yield: 6 servings.
Recipe credit: Lonnie Heimer, Fort Collins, Colo.