Wednesday, August 05, 2009

T-Minus 1 Week

It's the last week before moving day!

Not much to blog about unless you like stories about packing up books and kitchen utensils, sorting through old papers and broken stuff and trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away.

The only bloggable story we've had this week was a sad one. We had a houseful of family and friends on Family Sunday, and one of the guests brought his labrador retriever (Archimedes or Agamemnon or Antichrist, or whatever his name was) to play with our dogs. It was all fun and games and big dog rasslin' and yard romping until Rob came around the side of the house dangling a big lifeless bird by the legs. It was our Spanish Black turkey ... cut down in the prime of its life. This put something of a damper on Family Sunday. And, as unpleasant as it was for us, it was probably even more unpleasant for the guest whose dog did the deed. Great way to make a first impression on people you've never me ... drop by and kill their pets.

So what do you do with a murdered turkey you've raised from poult-hood, held and petted and cuddled while it napped? You do the only thing you can do. You have the ex-husband take the two twenty-something young men out back and teach them how to ... well ... you know ... turn it into food.

They were quite a bit more excited about the prospect than we were prepared for, and took to the task with what I can only call relish ... and a dull-ish axe. The inedible parts were relegated to the burn pile where we performed a ceremonial cremation later in the evening. The edible part was placed lovingly in a very small roaster, seasoned lightly and baked for an hour, and (after a few beers) the guys produced their trophies ... Jenny-O's ex-feet with tendons still attached, useful for grasping, photographing and making YouTube videos.

I admit to taking part in that last bit. Sometimes, in the immortal words of Monty Python, you have to look on the bright side of death.

Jenny-O's buddy was bereft and spent the next day and a half wandering around the yard searching and calling for her, then started hanging around the pond with the ducks trying to swim. Turkeys don't swim. I kept carrying it back home to keep it from drowning itself, and then we took it into town yesterday and gave it to one of Ev's co-workers who has a farm. She has other turkeys (not for eating), horses, chickens, ducks, pet raccoons and peacocks. When I went to get Butterball from the pond for the last time he was hanging out with the neighbor's young son, fishing from the bank. It was a regular Tom Sawyer moment.

So ... moving to town has begun. The turkeys are gone, seven of the ducks will be going to Fritz's farm in Iowa, four will be staying here with the neighbors and we're going to try taking six to town with us if we can. If not, Katie has a friend whose mother will take them.

This has been an interesting introduction to Southern Illinois for my city-bred son. The first night he was here he was introduced to the age-old sport of frog giggin'. Two days later he was butchering poultry. The next day he went for a walk in the woods and came face to face with a five foot long black racer. Welcome to rural life, kiddo.


FlippyO said...

RIP, Jenny-O. Did you guys, uh, partake in Jenny-O's offerings? The turkey that my blogger friend raised wasn't at all tasty, so I'm wondering if little Jenny-O was...not that I could have eaten her, I don't think.

Good luck with your move. Packing bites, although sometimes you find some interesting stuff.

Oh yeah, my initial reason for commenting - what's a black racer?

Kwach said...

Everyone did take a small taste, and ... um ... she was good. My son declared it the best turkey he's ever had. I haven't returned to the roaster for the leftovers.

A black racer is a big fat non-venemous snake. A nice one that eats mice and frogs and stuff. They get to be five or six feet long.