Saturday, December 1, 2012

... on 'when things don't work.'

Chicken casualties abound around here. Despite three visits to the specialist avian vet, my two favourite Pekin bantam hens have had to be euthanised, for reasons unknown (without me parting with an even more astronomical amount of money for a probably-equally unfavourable outcome), and I'm left with a nitwit and a pecker. The flock has halved.

It's always the most likeable, beautiful and personable ones that die, isn't it?
So. The nitwit (on the right) is Marilla. In the mornings (starting at first light, about 4.00am) she'll make the loudest, most insistent noise she can. I think she wants food. There's plenty there! It goes 'raaaaaaaaaak Raaak Raaak Raaak Raaak. RAAAAAAAAAAK RAAAAK RAAAAK RAAAAK RAAAAK RAAAAK!', and it's on repeat, and thank goodness the neighbours haven't built on their block yet, because she's worse than a rooster.

Bent, on the left, is so-called because when I got her as a pullet I noticed that her whole face was... well, bent. She must have had an accident as a chick which caused her beak to swing off slightly to one side. It's straightened out now but she uses it with great force and accuracy to peck at any limb you may care to wave in her proximity. The Pecker.

Here's something else. You know that corn I was raving about a few weeks ago? How green and lush it looked in the vegie garden! How promisingly full the cobs! How succulent the kernels! How, one evening, carefully steamed and much anticipated (despite the large caterpillar I found munching away as I peeled it) BLOODY AWFUL it tasted!?

C was well involved with his cob beside me as I took the first bite. It should have been grand - it was cooked to perfection, glistening with butter, sprinkled with freshly-ground pepper and an appropriate scattering of Maldon sea salt flakes... and I got a mouthful of something that tasted and felt ever-so-much (and unsurprisingly, when I reflected upon it later!) like a spoonful of cornflour. Absolutely revolting, with no flavour whatsoever, and it stuck to my teeth in the most appalling fashion, too. I tried again... no. Glue. This stuff was unpalatable! I now know why some bright spark hybridised corn! That'll teach me to try growing a heritage breed, goddamnit!

I uttered an oath of disgust, and C looked at me, mid bite. "This is bloody awful!" I cried. "Why are you eating it!?" and C said  in a small voice "Because you gave it to me." Oh hell. Gardening AND cooking guilt wrapped into one!
At least someone will eat it. Good on you, Bent!

No comments: