Chicken and Dumplings
"Which one do you want baby?" I stood there in the middle of the chicken coop with my grandmother. I could not have been more than five at the time. I remember watching Nana collect eggs and feed and water the chickens many times before, from outside of the coop. This was my first time being inside and I was extremely nervous.
"Which one do you want child?"
I pointed to the little fat one in the corner, "That one Nana, I want that one over there."
As long as I live I will never forget what happened next. My grandmother grabbed the little fat chicken and we exited the coop. As she held the hen tight around the wings, she placed it on its side on the ground and put her boot on its head. She gave a strong tug to the hen's body and threw it to the ground about a yard away. The chicken was flapping and jumping very violently. Feathers were flying all around. I had no idea of what just happened. It was not until the hen stopped moving that I saw that its head was gone.
I was instantly covered in goose bumps and it was suddenly hard to breath. I looked over at my grandmother as she stood there in all her womanly glory with her hands on her hips. I guess she could see the shock on my face. "What's wrong baby?"
"Nothing Nana," I replied.
Nana walked over and picked up the lifeless body. I slowly walked over to look at the head that was pressed into the dirt by the weight of her boot. I could not believe that this thing was living just a few minuets ago.
"Come on baby, let's get this thing cleaned up."
We went inside and she began to run hot water over the feathers.
"What is the water for Nana?"
"The hot water makes it easy to pull the feathers off." Nana said. After all of the feathers were gone, I watched her slice the chicken open and remove all of the smelly, slimy parts. She then went on to cut it into pieces. About an hour later, we were sitting down to the best chicken and dumplings that I have ever had.