Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cheepie to Stew to Borscht

Well from the fondest of beginnings at the beginning of July when he was named "Cheepie" by Rhiannon and Auntie Martha through to his maturity when his name was changed to 'Stew' the day he first crowed and declared himself a rooster, to last night's dinner when he became 'Borscht', it has been quite a journey. We hatched him from an egg from the farm we used to buy free range eggs from - a couple of blocks from where we live. He was adored and played with - picked up almost daily. He learned to eat from our hands and would come running when we came out the door, hoping for treats. We were outside to hear his first crow which sounded rather like a dog barking... but developed into a nice, good-morning-kind-of-sound. In his vigorous youth, he soon began to do his 'duty' a little too enthusiastically for my wee flock. He moved on from 'fertilizing' his cohorts to 'fertilizing' my entire flock... so much for pure bred Silver Laced Wyandottes... And 19 weeks arrived (the ideal time for butchering chickens - maximum growth and minimum fat). Wednesday night we packed him up into a box and he spent a warm night in the basement. Thursday morning found him at my dear friend's house with some other roosters and hens about to lose their heads. Due to the change in regulations we did it ourselves. It was gory and fascinating to examine their insides. With another neighbour, we cheerfully killed, plucked and gutted 5 chickens that day - only one of mine - Stew - laughing, chatting and discovering. Friday he went into the pot. I used my dear friend's recipe for borscht.

Here it is. I dug up the last of my beets from my garden yesterday, too. My most massive beets were of the white variety so my borscht is a bit paler than one might expect. Borscht is one of my favourite soups, if not my absolute favourite! And I have to say it was absolutely delicious. And it tasted all the better that I had been a part of its production from start to finish.

Although Rhiannon refused to eat a single bite (there might be a developing vegetarian in there somewhere as she is refusing to eat any meat she has known. Says she will only eat pork and beef and as I never buy pork and very rarely buy beef....) she was definitely in there documenting our meal. These are her pictures.

She took several of me eating. Yes, so what I am wearing my toque at the table... and yes, I did make it (out of noro wool). And yes, those are bird feeders on the table, too. I was tired, okay? It was Dean's job to clear off the table and that is as good as it got done...

So there you have it... from me petting him as s chick to me happily devouring him. Thanks Cheepie... may your next life be as purposeful!

1 comment:

Mary-Sue said...

Awesome. How did you find my borscht recipe? I sure couldn't find it for you! I'm making some today. Golden rooster borscht. mmmmm