Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dead Chickens Do Not Cross the Road

One of the few benefits of surviving on this planet as long as I have is that eventually you learn your limitations. I have accepted the fact that I will never be Miss America. I know that I should never do my own taxes. I will never sing like Patsy Cline. I do not cook.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, when the seasons change it stirs some latent delusion that I have domestic abilities within me. Usually I am able to control these autumnal impulses. Hard lessons of the hazards of homemade bread and puff pastry were learned years ago. I am a firm believer that the purchase of brewer's yeast should require a license. The combination of yeast and gluten in the wrong hands is positively frightening.

Sunday the weather at the new digs could only be described as fall like. Before you could say Julia Childs, I was at the meat counter of my neighborhood Albertson's contemplating the best combination of chicken parts for soup. For the inexperienced, the choices can be daunting. Roasters, boilers, skinless, boneless, free range, hens, breasts--overwhelming. Naturally, I chose the cheapest chicken. (A gelatinous yellow bird covered in plastic that leaked toxic waste all over my new Domino magazine). This alone should have deterred me. Unfortunately, it did not.

Eighty-two dollars later, I was on my way back to the new digs to start my gastronomic cavalcade of the poultry kind. That is when the trouble started. If one does not cook, then one does not possess cooking implements. The largest pot I own is perfect for Ramen noodles, not dead chickens. The solution seemed obvious: hack the bird into manageable pieces. Brilliant, except for the fact that I do not own a sharp knife. Lucky for me I do have a drywall saw. I set about dismembering the foul fowl.

Vivian (the obstinate toy poodle) sat at my feet and smirked. When I reminded her that because of her petite stature she would fit nicely in the Ramen pot, she stopped taunting me and went back to licking her butt. In hindsight, I should have followed her example. Butt licking would have been preferable to the carnage that followed.

Wings are easily amputated. Legs pose more of a problem. After extreme effort, all four extremities were severed. The final challenge was dissecting the body cavity. After much determined hacking, I broke through the rib cage and pried the dearly departed open with gloved hands. "OHGROSSOHCRAPIMAYBARF, Sweet mother of God I have murdered a pregnant hen!” ...Wait... those are not baby chickens they are conveniently packaged guts. That was it! A pop tart sounded like a better idea.

All of the gore was deposited in the trash, where it stayed for two days. Until the stench that filled the garage was so vile that it had to be removed. All evening I kept an eye on the trash cart at the curb. All evening it stayed upright. I said a prayer before I went to bed.

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the lord my reeking secret to keep

If in the dumpster cats should dive

I hope they all get sick and die


My first look out the window in the morning revealed the entire contents of the trashcan scattered across the lawn of the new digs. OHGOODGODNOOOOO…. Having the discarded shards of your private life strewn hither, and yon like some crazy art installation on public view is traumatizing to say the least. Oh, the tampon applicators of it all!

Some women look presentable at 7am. I am not one of those women. As the sun was rising, I was running like a chicken with my head cut off (sorry, I could not help it) stuffing all forms of grossness in to a new trash bag. Thankfully, I only had to chase the trash truck three doors down the street, barefoot, in boxer shorts, and a wife beater Screaming "Alto! Alto, por favor!" at the top of my lungs.

The bag was deposited in the truck. I limped back to the new digs. That is when I got the pullet surprise. The dismembered body of the stinky chicken was scattered on the sidewalk of the house across the street. Did I pick it up? No, no I did not. There is no way in hell I was admitting that rotting carcass belonged to me. I do not think they will suspect a thing. After all, there is no way a dead chicken could have crossed the road.

Out T.

Barb said...

OMFG! The photo was crazy enough, but I swear I just wet myself... I think the final straw was the prayer [oh no she didn't... yes, yes she did].

Bluestreak said...

oh man. that is one sad chicken tale.

stick to the ramen noodles, they will never end up dismembered and riddled across someone´s lawn.

Sorry, did that sound unencouraging?

Connie said...

oh my! Definitely, no kitchen license for you, but you do earn a 'darn good effort' badge.

Forget stew. That's hard! The easiest way to cook a chicken is to get one of these roasting pans. Get a chicken. Take it out of the wrapper, remove the interesting bits in plastic bags inside (from one of the pre-existing holes on the bird... leave the knife alone), throw away without looking. Put chicken in pan. Throw in some butter. Salt and pepper. Maybe sprinkle one of those pre-blended chicken spices - like rotissery chicken blend. Put the lid on. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Roast for one hour, do not peek or touch in any way. Remove the lid, turn the oven up to 375. Cook for about 10 minutes more to brown (if you want to... it makes it look better.)

Remove the pan. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Poke it with a knife in a thick spot. Watery looking juice should run out.

Eat some chicken. Save the leftover. Make Ramen. Add leftover chicken. Ta-daa, you have 'stew'.

karey m. said...

you. are. so. funny.

and your writing? i am loving it. xoxo. and well done.

Tobi said...

barb- I tell you, I love that picture!

C- I have saved your info. I think I may try again for Thanksgiving (cannot believe I just said that). Expect hysterical pleas for assistance soon.

BS- Not at all, that is sound advice. I suck.

Karey- Why thank you. Just for the record I did (finally) go pick up the chicken parts, (under cover of darkness). I am not a total creep!

Anonymous said...

OMG T, You went back into the kitchen after the brisket incedent. You are going to give Paris PTSD... I can always count on you to make me pee my pants.
Love u sister... Stace

Tobi said...

S- You would think that I would know better by now. They make it look so easy on the food channel. Damn that Paula what's her name. Damn her to culinary hell!

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