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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Catchin' Dinner


Well, today the update for Scott is that he has completed 277 miles of a 400 mile walk to Washington D.C. Today's walk is from Cumberland to Midlothian VA. My friends Bustr and Peggy Brown will be walking with him today. Good Luck today Scott you are gaining ground every day!

The other day I was talking to one of my cousins and we were reminiscing about Sunday dinners and how much we enjoyed having the preacher come to visit because that meant chicken and dumplings. Here is part one of a two part story.

The preacher from the church we attended usually took turns eating Sunday dinner with members of the congregation. When he came to eat at our house chicken was always on the menu.

Our preparation for Sunday Dinner was usually started on Saturday afternoon with my grandmother going out to the barnyard with a little grain to feed the chickens. Of course she had her eye on an old big fat hen that would be our next meal. She would spread the grain on the ground and then sneak up behind that old chicken and scoop it up in her apron.

Sometimes she would wring its neck right there on the spot and sometimes she would carry it to the chopping block grab it by its feet, cut its head off and fling iton the ground to flop around . That poor ol’ chicken flopping around always scared us kids to death and we would hop up on top of the woodpile so it didn’t get us. Maybe the phrase “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” was from this practice.

Once she figured it was good and dead she would put it in a dishpan and pour boiling water over it to scald it and soften the feathers before she plucked it.

At first you could pluck handsful of feathers but when you got down to those little pin feathers it got a little harder. She would light a poke (brown paper bag) on fire and singe those feathers off. After that she would wash it and cut it up and put it in the pot for cooking. If it was a frying chicken she would normally fry it but if it was a stewing chicken we would have chicken and dumplings.

On Sunday after church when the preacher came for Sunday dinner those dumplings tasted mighty good. Along with the chicken and dumplings my grandmother would serve mashed potatoes , green beans, cole slaw, picallili, jam, jelly and other side dishes along with hot biscuits slathered with lots of cow butter. For dessert there was always two or three different pies and a cake or two. It was a feast to be sure.

In the afternoon we would sit around visiting. Sometimes the preacher would stay for both dinner and supper. Sometimes he would just eat dinner and go somewhere else for supper.

Nowadays, things have changed there’s no barnyard, no chickens, and the preacher never comes . It takes all the fun out of catchin’ your own dinner.
For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link http://www.tencommandmentswalk.com/
You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at kimilauri@msn.com. If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

8 comments:

Gypsy said...

when my mom was attacked by a rooster. She had injuries all over her arms & legs. That rooster was served with dumplings that very evening.

Jim and Dee said...

I remember we had our preacher on Sundays when it was out turn. We killed the chicken the day before by the same method. Thanks for the memories.

Rod Ivers said...

My heavens, your makin me hungry like an old bear. My grandma had the chickens just that same way in Iowa. She did spare us kids from the killin part, but sometimes she made egg noodles, and sometimes dumplins. Man could I eat a mess o that stuff.

Leno said...

Oh my, I just can't think about the killing the chicken thing. If I did, don't think I could eat it.I know if I saw it being done, no way. Glady I'm not having chicken for supper. Maybe the thought will fade. lol

Anonymous said...

My grandmother killed her chickens the same way. She loved to serve the fryers when they were big enough to eat. After she poured the boiling water into the bucket, it was my job to pull out the feathers, I still remember the smell of those feathers.

My aunt told us about a lady that had the chicken feet scrubbed and left them hanging out of the pan of boiling chicken. It was during the Depression, and they used all the parts. Soup is made from the feet and is well known in Jamaica and France, I've heard.

Martia

Anonymous said...

My grandmother killed her chickens the same way. She loved to serve the fryers when they were big enough to eat. After she poured the boiling water into the bucket, it was my job to pull out the feathers, I still remember the smell of those feathers.

My aunt told us about a lady that had the chicken feet scrubbed and left them hanging out of the pan of boiling chicken. It was during the Depression, and they used all the parts. Soup is made from the feet and is well known in Jamaica and France, I've heard.

Martia

Joe and Sherri said...

As you know my grandmother died the month before I was born. She was the grandmother that loved to fish and she killed her share of chickens in the barn yard. My mother was never like that so I missed out on that kind of living. My loss for sure. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Joe and Sherri

Debbie and Rod said...

Uggghhh, I'm with Leno. That's just disgusting. My chicken comes without skin or bones (or feet for that matter). LOL, and yes, here's the question from the city slicker. What's picallili?

Debbie