Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Homemaking Tip--Noodles

It’s time to butcher our meat birds. Calvin and I caught them yesterday afternoon along with a few of our extra roosters and delivered them to the Hutterite colony who agreed to butcher them for us.

It was such a beautiful drive through the rolling dry-land fields. The fall planting is mostly done so all of the fields are freshly tilled. The sunset was brilliant.

When I was a little girl, we butchered our own chickens. My oldest brother chopped the heads off on the chopping block and then flung the birds aside. My job was to chase the headless chickens until they dropped. I made a game of it by timing them to see how long they could run without a head, or seeing which bird would travel farthest from the block. After they stopped running, I picked them up by the feet and delivered them to mom and my sisters who plucked them. After they were plucked, we froze them in one of two ways: in large plastic bags or in clean, empty milk cartons. If we were freezing them in milk cartons, the empty space was filled with water before we put them in the freezer (essentially we had chicken cubes). I only remember butchering chickens a couple of times before we started hauling them to town in wooden crates and having them professionally butchered. I’m glad I was young.

Now, I’m even more glad that the Hutterite colony was willing to butcher our chickens for us this year. Hutterites are a religious sect who live communally and self-reliantly. They milk their own cows, gather their own eggs, raise their own crops, sew their own clothes and butcher their own meat. They live a very simple, albeit complex life. Because they are butchering geese this week, they agreed to butcher our birds too. Here, two of the boys who helped us unload our chickens are playing in the straw they had just scattered for butchering day.

We grow our birds bigger than most because I like them mini-turkey size. I figure I might as well add as much meat as possible to the original investment of the bird and butchering. Homegrown birds are so moist and meaty, it'll be good to have some in the freezer again.

For today’s homemaking tip, I could share Calvin’s contraption he made to haul the chickens in, because it's pretty amazing what that man can do with a box, a knife and some tape. Or, I could just give you my noodle recipe for chicken noodle soup. I think I’ll do the latter since I forgot to take a picture of Calvin's ingenious crate and I like homemade noodles because they're as thick or thin as you want them to be, easy, good and . . . cheep :)


1/3 cup water
2 eggs, whisked
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp salt
2-3 cups flour

Mix wet ingredients together. Add salt and flour. Knead until well mixed. Let rest several minutes and then roll out to desired thickness on a well-floured countertop. Cut into desired length of noodle. Drop singly into boiling broth and cook 20 minutes or until no longer doughy.
Do you make noodles?
Can you answer Lelly's question of how long chickens can run?


lelly said...

how long does the average headless chicken run around?

(i am so coming for homemade chicken noodle soup at your house!)

Elizabeth said...

Picturing a little Jane chasing headless chickens.

shelly said...

Homemade noodles have always been a tradition at Thanksgiving. I loved them as a child and I love watching my children make them the night before Thanksgiving. I know a lot of people would think it an odd tradtion, plain old noodles for such a special day, but I love it and they are great over mashed potatoes!

Tiffany Fackrell said...

I think Hutterite children are so adorable, I have always thought that!!!

My mom use to make homemade noodle soup, we loved snitching the uncooked noodles while they were drying on the counter!!! That was the best part, i am not a fan of many soups...weird I know!

Cali said...

I think you would be the sweetest and cutest little girl chasing headless chickens. I think you would be the funniest adult chasing chickens. I'm creating my own visual and it's funny. Really funny.

Jenny said...

Man if I wasn't over 1000 miles away I would be knocking on your doorstep for some homemade goods. I am in awe and bow down to people who live off the land. I think we tend to make life to complex and worldly. Those boys are darling.

And I do want to see a photo of Calvin's masterpiece!

Ann said...

I found your post from a friend of a friend. I have spent all day reading blog after blog...finding amazing people from all walks of life.
I am living in Lowman,ID for the next 2 months and find almost everything about this state AMAZING. I heard my aunt speaking while reading about your chickens. But, I never thought to ask how long the average h.less chicken runs around....I might cheat and call her. Thanks for the entertainment. I LOL when reading your 100 list. Thanks

michelle said...

Hooray for professional butchering! The thought of doing it myself kind of gives me the willies.

I have only ever made homemade lasagna noodles -- now I want to give this a try!

Darla said...

Janey Paney....

Ahh.. .the memories of my Grandma & Grandpa butchering those chickens they still linger but I have to admit it gave me the willies... But if I didn't have to watch them butcher the chickens & I could stay in the house & roll out the noodles & dry them then I was okay with that.... And you are right they taste much better home grown but I perfer mine wrapped in plastic *lol*

Darla said...

It's me again... I forgot to answer the question about the average chicken running around headless... I bet it could go for quite some time... It's been a reeally long time but I'm still running around like a chicken with it's head cut off *lol*


Julie said...

We lived in SanDiego when I was little and we also butchered our own chickens. I don't know how long they can run as that was not my job. I was a plucker. Yuck. Our roosters were always mean and tried to peck me. To this day I'm afraid of birds. I couldn't handle holding a live chicken upside down. I don't even like pidgeons at the park!

Monkeys ARDently In Sinc said...

Hooray for Hutterites! As long as there are chickens left for my new annual Thanksgiving Chicken Run! My kids still talk about last year! I think I blogged about it, even!

Marie said...

I haven't made homemade noodles in years. I think I might have the bug now.

Jill said...

My mom used to make homemade noodles and soup when I was a kid and I loved it! I used to steal the noodle dough off the counter and eat it.

I have no idea how long a chicken can run without its head, it's bizarre to even think of it.

Anonymous said...

I love making home made noodles and remember my grandma and mom making them as well. Chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite from scratch things to make.

I swear I read once that it was like 20-30 seconds that a chicken can run- but I don't know.

Barb said...

Steven skinned, beheaded, gutted, etc, quail at scouts this week and then cooked and ate it. I actually think it is important to really understand where our food comes from so I'm glad he got the opportunity to work on something like this. I have childhood memories of plucking chickens at my grandmother's house.