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Four days after we said goodbye to two of our chickens, we ate one if them tonight.  I made chicken soup with her, and all day long as I simmered old "Scramble," I was thinking of my paternal grandmother, Madalyne, who was said to be a master "neck-ringer." Then, as we sat eating the chicken soup made with carrots, onions, potatoes, swiss chard, left-over brown rice, and pasta, Paul and I had a conversation with Madeleine about who this chicken was. A friend of a friend had slaughtered it, plucked, and feathered it for us a few days ago.

Our preschooler didn't bat an eyelash at our explanation, and when we finished talking she said, "We should do it again sometime."  More conversation followed, so that by the end of dinner Madeleine was already planning the demise of our remaining four chickens to make room for six new baby chicks later this fall.  She also said rather cheerfully, "When we get our new chicks if there are some that grow up and don't lay eggs, we can kill them and eat them too." There was also the suggestion from her that we learn to do the deed ourselves so that someone else doesn't have to do it for us.

The chicken itself tasted good. Not tender, but not too tough either. I would say it had "character." 

Little Rachel has a terrible cold, and I felt so good about giving her truly homemade chicken soup with so many ingredients from our own backyard. She gulped down three bowlfuls.




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