Honestly, guys, really, I'm too drained to type. I really am. I'm physically and mentally exhausted. Today's post is simple. Links and images and a few bits of story telling.
A few weeks ago I spent time with Hank, Elise, and Biggie killing roosters and learning how to break them down. I would write more, but honestly, Hank already did a phenomenal job doing it so I am sending you there. Elise and Biggie also took some amazing photos. (Please ignore my foofy hair in that one pic - I am in need of a haircut, it was windy, and I was trying to help catch a rooster with spurs from hell in the most ghettoesque pen you ever did see.)
More recently we all returned to Hank and Holly's for the Annual Big Fat Greek Party. A yearly gala where Hank prepares an insane amount of salads, pickles, cookies, and more meat than you can shake a stick at.
I arrived early with a giant plate of baklava in tow (which I might ad was very well received to the point that people were refusing the store bough crap someone brought, this gave me joy) to help Hank do some set up.
"Hold the legs here for a second will you?" I was asked. On the kitchen table sat a skinned and gutted goat, and next to it was Hank attempting to saw the greater part of the next off of it with a hacksaw (all the better for it to fit on the pit, mind you). I put the baklava and held the goat's legs. After the neck was off I sort of straddled the carcass so Hank could whack at the ribs as the connected to the spine with a clever in order for us to crack open the ribcage and, essentially, butterfly it. It's a monumental task requiring a lot of strength and an explanation as to why butchers' are so freaking huge.
Afterwards, Hank went to seasoning it with chili pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and celery seed (the secret to seasoning wild game). While he generously gave me pointers and hints should I ever find myself with a spare goat carcass or with a spare leg of lamb to smoke I went about broiling some asparagus and chopping some mint. Work went well until a teeny tiny brush fire started. Thankfully it was out as quick as it had started.*
Soon we were joined by various friends, Elise of Simply Recipes, Biggie of Lunch in a Box with son and husband, Ashley, and my professor Helen (the one I've been doing meal research for), along with many others. Some hunters, some students, some cooks. A nice motley group. Biggie was kind enough to give me a nifty bento for work, a shibby mode of portion control and the thing is built to withstand the apocalypse so it should be able to endure my accident prone life.
The night was full of great food, good drinking, stories, jokes, and discussions on everything from the right kind of duck decoy to Denning's "The Cultural Front" in which I was shocked at how much I was able to actually recall and discuss without problem; I guess the education thing is working.
A fabulous time had by all. Thanks Hank and Holly!
*Aside from the fire issue a small water one occurred as well. Apparently, the water is fickle in their house so you shouldn't use the sink when someone is in the shower. Sorry, Holly.