Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Turning Warm and Muggy/How to Butcher a Chicken

There's a slight dip in the jet stream over the eastern U.S. So there is some rain in the southeast. As a warm front pushes northward Wednesday, there will be few thunderstorms in the mid-Mississippi valley. Highs over the northern plains will be in the single digits and teens. There will be a few snow showers over the Great Lakes and some rain/snow from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Plains. The south will be warm/balmy over the southern Plains and southeast.

Houston will be warm and muggy on Wednesday with a low near 60 and high in the upper 70s. Look for more warm weather through Saturday.

Let's do chicken or gallina, pronounced gah-yee-NAH. Want to know how to butcher a gallina? Read my AND MORE section. By the way, chicken you eat is pollo, pronounced poy-YOH.

We have a lot of words for eating in our award winning DVD, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco. So kids can really relate to that. You can get your copy at www.frankandpaco.com/. You can also order from http://www.venturaes.com/, http://www.dololanguages.com/, http://www.carlexonline.com,www.thecuriousmindstore.com/, http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.bestbuy.com/, and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/. For our English as a Second Language (ESL) version, got to www.frankypaco.com.

When the going gets tough, can we get tough enough and down to earth enough? There are so many lost abilities. I look back on my childhood. My mother made our clothes (or we wore hand me downs from cousins). Of course nowadays with consignment and thrift shops, you can buy clothes cheaper than making them. We had homemade cakes and haircuts. We had birthday parties at home. We washed our own cars--mowed our own lawns. Many of my friends did not even have a home telephone. Cable wasn't even available until I was in high school. For many years, we had one portable black and white television--that's it! We never did get cable.

Now on food, we had a lot of advantages. My grandfather would butcher a young bull every year or so. We would get the meat for $1/pound. Now that was everything including the yucky liver. None of us liked it, except my Dad. I think it annoyed him that we carried on about how bad it tasted. Once when we had taken in some dogs, my mom let us feed it to them. I don't think she liked it either. We had plenty of fruit, because my grandfather grew citrus and that lasted for months. My mother made homemade cinnamon rolls or pumpkin bread for us to snack on every day when we got home from school. There was no junk food in our house--no cookies or chips or soda. We ate peanut butter sandwiches for snacks. She did buy lots of bread. She bought extra loaves and froze them. We drank powdered milk, when regular milk was too expensive. Adding a teaspoon of vanilla to each gallon made it taste more creamy.

We always had some sort of vegetables growing like Mexican squash and cucumber. My mother made exactly the right amount of food for our family of 8. We didn't eat seconds. We didn't have dessert except on birthdays and holidays.

We bought used cars and prayed they didn't break down. One car I drove in college was so rusted that my dad cut out a coffee can bottom and nailed it to the hood so the engine wouldn't get wet. When I took it for inspection, the man told me, I would like to fail this car, but technically it passes. I was just glad to have a car that could get me to and from school and work. After I graduated and bought a car, my sister took it cross country for 2 years. Then she sold it.

My mom and dad would not say "if you get a scholarship", they would say "when you get your scholarship(s)".

And how about raising your own chickens and butchering them? Well I know how to do that because I spent some summer weeks on my uncle's farm. One time, we butchered a couple dozen chickens. You have a big vat of bowling water ready. You grab the chicken by the head and then snap it really hard. It should pop right off. Now, be decisive because you want to make it quick. The bottom will bounce around for a while because the nerves are still working. Then you put the body in boiling water. That gets the feathers loose so you can pluck them. The nerves are still working so the body will react when it hits that hot water. Then you pluck it. Then, you gut it. That I have not done. But I have cut up whole chickens. So, I think I could figure it out. My grandmother loved doing the gutting part. She was such a character.

Well, that's about enough. Bottom line is that it's amazing how little you really need and what you can do it you have to.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman


Anonymous said...

You definitely have a book inside you. I just saw a shadow of it in your soul. Write it, and I will read it.
From a friend! lol

WonderWeatherWoman said...

Can you find me a publisher? I think my big mouth is overflowing to my blog. Ha!