Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm Chicken

Even though I eat meat and love it, some aspects of carnivory kinda turn me off. The beef chart in the butcher shop, for example, showing me exactly where on the formerly living being my steak is coming from. Hearing the worried mutterings of the live chickens in the poultry truck at the Civic Center farmer's market. Being sold a Marin Sun Farms chicken with feet still attached. I know I'm a hypocritical wuss and a wimp, too removed from the realities of life and death on the farm and too cityfied for my own good and I know they were nice, clean little feet but, anyway, eeeeek!

I tried to bargain with the nice young man at the Marin Sun booth - "If I buy this $25 chicken, will you'll cut off the feet for me?" Nothing doing. "Sorry, Ma'am, I can't do that." (By the way, I detest being called Ma'am). The young woman who was also staffing the booth assured me that they'd make great chicken stock - as if I could imagine first lopping off and then boiling the sad little toes!

By then, I was too embarrassed just to walk away so I shelled out for the chicken anyway, chiding myself for being silly and squeamish (all the things you are thinking about me as you read this shameful confession), and moved on to easier booths, like the fresh raspberry and white peach booths.

So, imagine my surprise when I got home, plucked up my courage (no pun intended!) to sever said chicken feet, got out the near-machete my Hawaii brother gave us and discovered that the chicken's head, which had been cunningly hidden behind the body, was also still there, accusing eyes and all! Double eeeek!

I did it. I did do it. I never want to do it again. From you more seasoned readers, will I ever get leathery and come to a place where I merrily whack away at recognizable parts? Or is this the way vegetarians get started, by being chicken?


Blogger Dagny said...

I think I could handle the feet but not the head.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Buying chicken at the Civic Center is not for the chicken-hearted. I see those crates of chicken along with the fish out on open tables and realized that my commitment to certain types of unpacked food stops when the object in question is alive (or close to it). I've had chicken feet in Chinese restaurants and even they, with their ingenious ways to make all matter of animal, vegetable or mineral taste great, can't do it with chicken feet. Or chicken beaks either.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Dagny, yes, it was shudder time!

Namastenancy, glad to hear I didn't waste anything tasty by discarding the feet. I repeat, eeek!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007  
Blogger Anita said...

I was OK with the chicken feet, too, but the heat threw me. In for a penny, in for a pound -- I lopped it off and then mused that I had a lot more neck than usual for the stock bag. And then I wrapped the head in paper and put it in the compost.

After the third time, it was easier. :D

The feet do make great stock-fodder, but beware the talons -- they're wicked sharp and the scratches they make seem to take a long time to heal.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Anita, so you're telling me that I need to remove the ends of the toes before making the stock? No way, I'm far, far too wimpy! I'll make do with stock from the rest of the bones. Glad to hear it gets easier as time goes along...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007  
Anonymous Evlmprs said...

I can get squeamish about a lot of different meats, but chicken feet and heads don't bother me. As a child, I once pulled a turkey neck out of the garbage and happily played with it until my mother yanked it away and threw it back into the garbage. Ahh well. In any case, it's hard for me to get upset about the chickens because they're just not all that cute. In fact, at Marin Sun Farms, their meat birds look like dead chickens even when they're alive. Something about the breed - Cornish Cross - they have no feathers, so they're all pink and meaty.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Evlmprs, you're a stronger woman than I am! I've had pet birds (not chickens!) so those little feet were really sad to me! Maybe I should go out to Marin Sun Farms - if I saw the chickens, maybe that would cure me of my excess of sentimentality...

Thursday, October 11, 2007  

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