Sunday, April 5, 2009
Good Sunday evening to ya'll. This has been a cloudy, spring day with rain threatening but not here and we surely don't need anymore at the present moment. I do think the good Lord was treating us like the Children of Israel in the desert when they complained about not having any meat, just manna. He gave them quail, quail and more quail and they ate until they were sick. Well, we didn't complain too much about the dry weather but we got rain, rain and more rain until the flooding point.
You need to remember we are in the swampy, flatland down here and a lot of water doesn't have many slopes to run down, so it sits and floods. I have a friend who is having a swimming pool put in at his house and they now have a new pond! He said the frogs found it over the weekend, moved in, invited all their friends and relatives and had a song fest and party. It was so loud they could hear it in the house, which means it was call the law time or maybe call the frog police. At least the frogs, ducks, geese and all other webbed creatures are rejoicing while we try to find dry land. Does anyone know how to build and ark?
In spite of the rain, which we did need, I love springtime. The trees are leafing out with all those shades of green and God washed them all nice and clean with his rain. Flowers are blooming and the air is filled with pollen. Now that is not one of my wishes, but I guess we have to take the annoying with the good. After all this pollen is carrying the promise of new growth.
As children, spring meant going barefoot, wearing shorts, and planting the garden. The fresh turned dirt was cool to our feet and as we helped drop the seeds, or cover them with our hands or the hoe we were thinking about all the good food mama was going to cook with the fruits or our labors.
It meant playing in the pasture, running through the crimson clover and just knowing we could fly if only we had wings. When we got tired, we would flop down in the cool clover and watch the clouds float overhead. As they floated over we would see clouds shaped like birds, dogs, lions and other creations. Some were white and fluffy but my favorites were those which looked like the angels had swept them with heavenly brooms - all wispy.
After we had rested a little while, up we jumped and ran some more. I just know our feet left the ground every now and then and we would fly with the birds and touch the clouds.
Spring also meant a new bunch of biddies - baby chicks. Daddy would go down to Mr. Hawthorne's store and buy about 100 little chicks. We liked to go with him for you could hear hundreds of little chickens chirping and watch them running around in the little fenced in pen with lamps over them to keep them warm. They would be little, fluffy and noisy but we could watch for hours or at least until he selected his 100, put them in a special box with holes for air and off we would go with our new chickens.
Now we soon learned they were not as much fun and as they were cute. Daddy would put them in brooders, which had lights to keep them warm, water and feed. The water and feed containers had to be filled every morning and every evening for those little fluffy thing could flat eat a lot. They just ate, drank and pooped, for there would be terrible mess under the brooders all the time.
As they grew, they weren't quite as pretty as when they were biddies, but neither are we. When they got about 2 pounds, the day of reckoning would arrive. Daddy would select about a dozen or so to keep for laying hens and the rest would be dressed for fried chicken.
This was not a pretty sight for he would catch them, hang them by their feet with string from the clothes line and take his pocket knife and cut their throats. They would flap around until they died, then we left them stay there for awhile until they stopped bleeding. This is an important step so there won't be blood around the joints when you cook them. I really didn't want a bloody drumstick, would you?
We would have a big wash pot full of boiling water in which we would dip the chickens, holding them by their feet. Then into cold water pull them out and pick off all the feathers and I mean all of them. Mama was very particular about getting those chicken clean. That was a smelly job but getting the innards out was even more smelly.
After they were all cleaned inside and out, we would wrap them in white freezer paper and take them to town to Mr. Ratcliffe's locker storage. This was before the time when everyone had home freezers and you could rent a locker at the cold storage place to put your frozen food. Daddy would go by on his way home from work and pick up what meat mama wanted or vegetables. It sure was much easier when we got our first deep freezer.
I didn't like those cold storage lockers and would not go in them for fear the door would shut and lock. I cannot stand to be shut up in something. Mama must have been shut up in something while she was carrying me before I was born for I sure was born with claustrophobia. Don't you shut me up in a close place or I will make a new door for you.
Now all this chicken raising, killing and cleaning sounds a little gory and smelly but end results are great. You have fresh eggs for egg custard pies, scrambled eggs, stuffed eggs and eggs to make pound cakes and other goodies. The best dish of all, however, is fried chicken! Mama could fry the best chicken in the world. She would cut that sister up, put the pieces in a brown paper sack with flour, salt and pepper, fry them up in that black iron skillet and we would eat 2 chicken at a meal. I loved it when she would fry them on Sunday morning while we ate breakfast for she would give us one piece for breakfast. That was good eating!
Well, I guess I have rambled long enough and I may have to go to town and get me some fried chicken. I will wait until tomorrow though for Carter's Fried Chicken is closed on Sunday and theirs is the best. Almost good as mama's.
Now I've put some links in for you to help educate you on all things South, enjoy.
The Georgia Peach
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