Monday, June 20, 2011

how to butcher chickens

We butchered over 20 birds on Saturday!  (There is a whole barn of floor space for these birds - they just liked this particular light - they were happy birds!)  Yum, but oh, were we exhausted...  especially my husband who did most of the actual butchering.  I am cleanup crew.

So, how to butcher chickens?  Carefully.

Because of our exhaustion, Anne's monologues were getting on my nerves.  So I put Anne Shirley away for another time, and pulled out another book from my shelf.

I haven't checked with Blogging For Dummies yet, but I scanned the cover so I think I'm still legal!  And this is actually from my shelf.  You can see it in the picture - bottom left shelf...

I needed a book to sink into, and I think I found it:
Ruth remembered drowning. 
"That's impossible," Aunt Amanda said.  "It must have been a dream." 
But Ruth maintained that she had drowned, insisted on it for years, even after she should have known better.

Page one!  And I was hooked.  I checked for cleanliness, and while I err at times, I'm usually right on.  I'm hoping I was right with this one!  I usually look VERY carefully at Oprah's Book Club Selections. I'll tell you how I judge books for cleanliness later this week.

A Place In the Woods - Helen Hoover - I'm sure Miss Helen is a lovely woman and a lovely writer but I remember nothing about this book... it was nonfiction and about nature.
The Amish Cook - Elizabeth Coblentz - I LOVED this cookbook.  It's rather costly so I keep borrowing it from the library.  Elizabeth was an Amish woman who paired with a young black man and began writing a syndicated newspaper column about her daily Amish life (recipes included).  This is a collection of some of those columns.  Elizabeth reminisces about her childhood and how the young Amish today are different and shares the tragedies and triumphs of her growing family.  I loved her writing, and the recipes were tasty.  The pictures were clear - not artistic - plain and simple and honest.
Guide Me to Eternity - CT Monsen - This memoir is a tear-jerker.  I've read this one numerous times as well.  It is the true story of a young LDS wife and mother who chooses to rescue her son from drowning while watching her husband sink from her grasp.  It is a story of comfort and of how we are not left alone in our grief.
Across the Wire - Luis Alberto Urrea - This was a gritty, journalistic view on immigration and the border we share with Mexico.  It was written quite awhile ago if I remember correctly.  It was good for perspective.
A Woman's Place - Lynn Austin - Bethany House publishes books that I call "junk food".  And every once in awhile "junk food" is called for!  This was a fictional tale of women and their roles in WWII.  It was well-written, believable, and moved quickly.
Revolutionary Mothers - Carol Berkin - True stories of the women that helped shape the Colonies into the United States of America during the American Revolution.  Intriguing to see the important roles these women played and how they interconnected.
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe - A classic tale of a shipwrecked man who must create a civilization for himself.  I mostly enjoyed it.  There were dry parts and the end was a bit deflated.  Defoe wrote this as a first-person adventure tale which was all-the-rage when he was writing. 
Postville - Stephen G Bloom - A nonfiction account of a group of Orthodox Jews who move their butchering operation into an Iowan town.  There is friction between the two groups.  I found this to be fascinating.
Little Heathens - Mildred Armstrong Kalish - The author wrote this memoir of her growing up years in a large family during the Depression.  I enjoyed the many facets she touched on - the activities and play of the children, the food, and more.  The children in this family seemed to have had a lot of mischievous fun despite the struggles that surrounded them.
Hattie Big Sky - K. Larson - This is a young adult historical novel.  It follows Hattie as she moves West to take over her uncle's homestead at only 16 years of age.  Of course, there is love, and bad guys who wish her to fail.  I enjoyed the concept and my daughter loved it.

Have you ever tasted home-butchered chicken?

What book has made you cry?


  1. I tasted home-butchered rooster in a stew, a year and a half ago. And yes, it was fantastic. This is a vegan saying that.

    Super impressed and intrigued by what your family has going on at your 'stead. Are you on a farm? Are you running a chicky biz?

    A book that made me cry was "The Road." Man I got so sucked into that book! I did nothing for two whole days!

    The Hattie books sounds awesome... do you read Karen Cushman? Kinda reminds me of her. Thanks for the suggestions! :-)

  2. My granny drowned and was brought back to life after she was dead. I'll have to look into that _Drowning Ruth_ book.
    So many books have made me cry! I'm such a huge sap. My kids see me crying while reading and they say, "Stop reading!" but I can't do that.
    I read _Hattie Big Sky_ and enjoyed it. Did you ever read _Letters from a Woman Homesteader_? I have a feeling you would like it as much as I did.
    Have you or your girls read _The Misadventures of Maude March_? It was a fun read.