I’ve (Still) Got Worms, and More on Meat

I appear to be reaching an agreement with my composting worms (see previous post). After a few attempts at mass Exodus, my red wrigglers seem to have given up the fight and resigned themselves to eating my garbage. Every morning, there are a few huddled around the upper lid of the bin, but I don’t hold these few outlaws against the worm community as a whole. I’ve moved the bin into the shower stall with my greenhouse, for a big circle-of-life arrangement in one place.

Meat, Continued

As mentioned last post, I’ve worked my way through increasingly unprocessed cuts of chicken, from boneless skinless frozen breasts to a whole, plucked bird. This weekend, I stuffed a roaster with some wild rice and cranberries, skewered it shut, and dropped it in my beloved 12-inch cast iron pan. I put it in a very hot oven (450 degrees F), then lowered the temperature into the 300s. The high heat seared the bird, so as to retain its moisture. I cooked it for around 20 minutes per pound, spooned some of the drippings over the bird every 10-20 minutes, and put some potatoes and carrots in with it for the last half hour or so.

This bird came out so beautiful I could hardly stand it. It looked like I needed some buckled shoes and a bunch of Indians just to put it into context. It was delicious. My wife and I only managed to eat about 1/8th of it, so we’ve had chicken tacos, chicken sandwiches, cold chicken, and still have leftovers. I simmered the bones, skin, and wings for about 3 hours for about a quart of stock, which I’m going to use as the base of a potato-purslane soup that will help me clear out some of last year’s holdings before this year’s garden starts putting out.

On my way home from the grocery megastore, I passed a local farm’s meat outlet, which I’ll have to check out. Wife and I worked out a tentative plan to buy a share in an animal or two this fall, when we’re firing up the chest freezer to handle our garden surplus. Until then, we’re going to make the transition from supermarket meat to local/farmer’s market meat.

Grocery Shopping

I don’t really have a plan on localizing my convenience food purchases, other than cutting down on them. Potato chips, taco shells, and prefabricated pad thai don’t come in local versions. In addition, I picked up I-don’t-know-where carrots, apples, and oranges. I’ve got carrots and apples going into the yard this spring, but I’m going to have to find a citrus replacement.

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