feathers and friends.

By some conflubulation of events this has been a very busy weekend so far for us.

Friday night brought about a long awaited evening out. A night out without children and with friends. A rare treat. I have a ticking clock letting me know that it will be over two more years before I get these evenings back. Bringing a baby to nights out is really no sweat but not bringing them? Well……. I stayed out a bit later than I had anticipated.

This Saturday morning brought about another long awaited event. The procuring and butchering of seven free range ducks from an acquaintance. Weeks ago when I planned the whole weekend, I thought, ‘No problem!’ Again, a well…….Dave after running an 8am errand went and picked the ducks up, came home and promptly slaughtered them. I in a fully prepared kitchen, floundered. I had a few tears for the ducks. Boy, were they lovely or am I just pregnant? After that minor blip I began processing them according to these directions. We have no magical plucking machine aside from these typing hands. These very tired and now crampy typing hands. Ducks are well suited to the water, let me tell you. It takes a bit of doing to get the hot water to penetrate the down to really be able to pluck. It just went on and on. I began at around 9.30am and just finished at 3pm. To add to the length and breadth of the day, Dave left for work around noon for his late shift. These lovely small people around here have kept themselves relatively busy (putting together a toddler bed for Sister Rika and playing instruments) and out of my hair for most of the time. For which I sincerely thank them. I had several bowls set out for bits and bobs, even began two stocks and did some fat rendering. I was tossing a few too many balls in the air. I feel wiped out. I was ever so careful to not crush the gall bladder of all but one. Rats. Just one ruined liver. I do my best to imprint on my children how special the organs are. ‘Look at how small this heart is and there is only one. Aren’t you the lucky one to get to have a taste.’ Sigh. Well, one isn’t the end of the world and can I blame the slip of the kitchen shears on a crampy hand? Okay! I will.

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I kept a smattering of feathers which are all carefully drying now of each bird. Thank you ducks for feeding my family, giving me an impromptu anatomy lesson (I will spare the squeamish of you the photo of the only clutch of just forming eggs I found, they are now floating in the duck feet stock pot-I did take a photo for Dave) and for reminding me again the honor which such an occasion should be greeted with.

Sometimes I feel that this path we are on is more wearing for Dave and I. I hope our forced nonchalance of things we really have only read about in books or online doesn’t diminish the experience for our children who are taking to this life like a fish to water. And what about that husband of mine? Who knew a drummer I met at a club when I was 17 would change my life so much?

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2 thoughts on “feathers and friends.

  1. Hi B. Violicious,

    I went duck hunting with my father once, when we lived in Alberta. I was 12. He shot 3 ducks, which we brought home. My mother (though she grew up on a farm) would have nothing to do with them. I ended up cleaning them myself. But the taste of the meat was too strong and wild for our city palates. I hope that your ducks are tasty!

    Michael

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