There is so much to do at this time of the year as well as trying to tie up all the loose ends. We've been very busy this week with doing the Flea Market on Sunday, processing pickles on Monday
I processed tomatoes for the freezer on Tuesday, dried and weighed out two ounces of Hot Peppers on Wednesday but the week ended up with me slaughtering the very mean rooster on Thursday and today.. well, today, I'm roasting that roo, nice and slow. Two of my friends showed up to help with Roo, since he is very large and very strong.
So, I've talked about Cornish Cross chickens before. They are bred to be big breasted heavy birds and are the same thing you get at the supermarket on those cute little styrofoam trays. The reason we raise them here at Windy Thistle is because of the flavor. Our birds are allowed to run around on grass, eat bugs and worms and scratch around in the dirt. Their diets are kept to the natural side of things even though we do feed a prepared chick feed from the feed mill. Our birds flap their wings, squawk and are just all around happy until that one bad day.
Usually, we slaughter them at 9 weeks of age, up to 12 weeks of age. I have always wondered what would happen if I kept one and so, this year, I kept the smallest roo! I will never let another Cornish Cross grow to adulthood. He got very big. He was very tame to me and me alone. He attacked the dogs, Sam Miami the cat, and my Darling Roger! He was mean to the ladies and was akin to a chicken serial rapist. Seriously, he was hurting the girls by not allowing them the time to get in a mating crouch and since he weighed close to 12 pounds, he was too much for the ladies. They are all between 4 and 6 pounds, so he was far too much rooster.
The decision was made that he should become dinner and in fact, he is in the oven as I type. He was tough to slaughter and tough to clean. I won't go into all the unpleasantness but suffice it to say, I have learned my lesson - Cornish Crosses must be slaughtered when they are young and tender. I hope he tastes better than he behaved! I'm roasting him with a layer of bacon grease since he was lean with very little fat. And after that, I will use what is left after dinner as a fantastic bone broth! I've been saving scraps from celery and carrots and onions just for this reason. I'll write another post on the making of bone broth.
It's always an adventure here at Windy Thistle. There is always something we are learning because I don't think we will ever be perfect. I promised to show the good, the bad and the ugly.. let's just hope this one is also tasty!