I was raised on a farm, and there were many aspects of my upbringing that seem to have made me unusually hearty. For example, chicken butchering time. This tradition seemed to have faded early in my lifetime, but I do remember when I was maybe 3 or 4. Summertime was coming to a close, the sun was beginning to slant in at a golden angle, the air was becoming crisp, and the chickens’ lives had come to an abrupt end.
After the chopping block, some headless chickens would continue to dart about the yard. My young aunts suggested that I attempt to catch these chickens, and so I did try. I remember being offended when I realized my aunts were laughing at me. Like, side-splitting laughter. Like, stout little me fumbling around after these headless chickens in the long grass was super-hilarious to them.
This was followed by a very interesting time, as then my mom, grandma, and aunts would gather around a table gutting the chickens. I remember there was a barrel or a giant pail filled with entrails. They were shiny rainbow colours and I was quite drawn to it. Mom urged me to get away from there.
Sunday roast chickens were so delicious. My father’s love of the heart, liver, and gizzard taught me and my brothers to also think of these items as delicacies to be fought over. There was only ever one heart in each chicken, of course, which made it all the more rare and special to eat.
Now that I’m an adult, I can eat all the chicken hearts I want!
I don’t actually buy meat that much (to Andrew’s chagrin) so when I strolled past the freezer section at Sobey’s and noticed how cheap a package of chicken hearts was, the Mennonite farm girl in me leapt with joy. All these for under $3! What a tasty deal. I added this to my basket.
Once home, I decided to make them immediately. Into the pan went the chicken hearts.
“Hey Andrew!” I called to him in the office. “Check this out! Look at all these chicken hearts!”
He took a picture of me about to eat a chicken heart. “You should write a post about this.”
And so I did.