PART I: The Appetizer
You may recall we made some new year’s resolutions about eating healthier. You may also recall our obsession (primarily Erin’s) with Michael Pollan’s eye-opening and addictive books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. In short, Pollan submits that the best and healthiest way to live — for people, for the animals they eat, and for the local economies in which they live — is a primarily local diet free from over-processing, hormones, chemicals, or any food with ingredient lists full of hard-to-pronounce words.
Nearly six months later and nary a paper to grade, I (Erin) finally made my first trip to a local farm. Indian Hill’s Green Acres Farm is a mere five minutes away, and as my friend Katie pulled into the drive, a herd (at least I think it was a herd, maybe it was a gaggle? A pack? A litter?) of sheep were munching on green grass underneath the shade of tree. Bucolic and serene, it was something out of Anne of Green Gables or Little Women. It was also blazing hot. Some of the sheep were panting and looked like they wanted to jump out of their winter coats. Gail and Katie brought their babies, and I think they enjoyed the sheep as much as I did. One lamb suckled from the teat of his mother. I threw up a little in my mouth.
Anyway, we walked into the farm store, listened to a very friendly and sweet employee give us the farm spiel after telling her that we were first-time farm goers, and I quickly grabbed a dozen eggs and an entire chicken. Yes, friends, the Vores are now the proud owners of our very own chicken.
So far he seems happy. Ben affectionately calls him Darryl, and he happily clucks his way through our back yard.
Actually, Darryl looks more like this:
The only caveat is that Darryl came frozen. Green Acres slaughters two steers a month, and only has fresh chicken when they are ready to, uh, go on “vacation” to a sprawling “Canadian Farm” to drink daiquiris all day.* Currently, Darryl is thawing in the fridge next to some old Mexican left-overs and a Yuengling. Tomorrow, per the helpful lady’s instructions, I will preheat the oven to 350 degrees, cook Darryl for twenty minutes or so, take Darryl out of the oven, “pull his legs,” whatever that means, baste him with butter, rub him with rosemary, massage him with salt, stick him back in the oven for an hour or so, and enjoy his flavorful flesh.
As a two-time vegetarian and someone who generally feels a mixture of sadness and nausea about meat, I’m actually excited to get my hands dirty with this bird. I’m hopeful that it will be a success and that our first adventure as real locavores will encourage us to go back time and again.
* = They do not go to a farm in Canada or anywhere else. They get dead through a process I don’t like to think about.