Last Tuesday was chicken slaughtering day.
My extended family all go in on about 40 chickens that we divide between three families, resulting in 10-15 chickens each, depending on what we determine earlier in the season.
I've been involved in this process before, so it was familiar, but nonetheless it is something to behold to see a chicken go from running around to beheaded, scalded, de-feathered, gutted, and trimmed and then plunked in a rinse bucket in all of 5 minutes. In a sort of magical process it goes from animal to food right before our eyes.
I don't exactly savor this process, but I respect it and I do find it fascinating. There is something primal about death and food that is laid out to see in a way that is pretty unusual in my life, and in the lives of most people.
By evening, Nancy is cutting up the chickens and freezing them. We haven't bought much store bought chicken in the last 4 or 5 years since we started doing this.
By the way, Cindy and Ralph, the folks doing the slaughtering travel around the state with their mobile processing trailer. They were featured in a book about the local food renaissance in Hardwick, Vermont called "The Town that Food Saved" by Ben Hewitt. I have not read it, but am looking forward to doing so.