I took a few days off from writing for the Memorial Day holiday. It really was a lovely weekend. Perfect weather, great food, and of course my family and chickens provided enough blog fodder for the rest of the millennium.
For some reason, I’ve been on this cooking spree. Some people go on crime sprees and break into cars, I go on cooking sprees and try new recipes that call for ingredients that I don’t have and sometimes haven’t heard of, which necessitates 137 trips to several local grocery stores by Tom. He usually forgets half the supplies that I need and ends up going back at least once. He usually never grumbles about it because he, like the chickens, is motivated by food. I’m fine with that.
I had found a tasty looking recipe on Pinterest for Chicken Marsala. Let’s just give a brief “HOORAY” for Pinterest, shall we? I spend most of my time there surfing around for ideas and recipes while Tom watches programs about aliens, Sasquatches, and mountain monsters. I’ll find a really great idea for something and when I’m laying on the sofa it’s really easy to think “I CAN DO THAT!!!” when in reality I’m more likely to print off the instructions and give them to Tom and say “will you make this for me?” while batting my eye lashes. In this case, when I found the Chicken Marsala recipe, Tom offered to cook it up on Saturday.
So I took him up on that offer. Because I’m not THAT insane that I’m going to say “No, that’s okay” when my husband offers to make dinner.
Tom went out to get mushrooms, dry sherry and sweet Marsala wine and a few other things for a dessert that I was making that involved fresh strawberries and a ridiculous amount of butter. He was gone FOREVER. He finally arrived home carrying an assortment of grocery bags and brown bags. Apparently, the Tri-State area is not really into sweet Marsala wine and he’d had to check all the grocery stores on the west side of town and a couple of liquor stores where he finally ended up finding it which is typical, it seems, for the things that I pick off of Pinterest that I think are “doable”.
So he made dinner and we’ll just skip to the part where we ate it. DELICIOUS. Totally worth combing the area for Marsala wine and if they don’t have it where you live, I recommend that you move someplace that does have it because this Chicken Marsala was the absolute BOMB. I try not to eat carbohydrates, so when he served it over pasta, I just had mine without it. STILL delicious. I’ll post the recipe HERE because you really should try it. Or make your husband cook it for you…and definitely make him shop for ingredients.
After dinner, we had a lot of pasta left. I remembered that CHICKENS like SPAGHETTI!! Yes, yes…I know it should be whole grain. Just pretend that it was…because it wasn’t…but it WAS plain..no sauce and no butter. Also, before you start writing your reply about what a bad chicken mom I am, I know that they shouldn’t have it very often because it’s bad for them and they’ll get fat. At the time, I was bored, I knew they’d like it and so I packed up a bowl of it and headed for the coop.
The run was empty. I LOVE it when they aren’t out in the run and I bring a treat to them because I get to yell “CHICKENS!!!!!!” and they all come barreling out of the coop like they’ve been shot out of a cannon. Have you ever really watched a chicken running toward you? It KILLS ME. Vinnie is the only one in the group with school bus yellow feet and when he runs his feet and legs are REALLY noticeable and I find myself laughing at him every single time…which I’m sure isn’t good for his self-esteem, but hey…if you’ve got school bus yellow legs and feet, be prepared for a few giggles when you run.
They had no idea what I had in the bowl, but I’m sure in their tiny chicken brains, there’s a picture of a bowl with a smiling chicken next to it which means “BOWL=FOOD”. They danced around in the run and pecked at my new floral Toms through the fence wire. I had to convince a couple of them that the shoes were not the treat. I threw an experimental piece of spaghetti into the run which, of course, was met with absolute hysteria because OH MY GOD SOMETHING IS FALLING FROM THE SKY!!!
The pasta just laid there while they got their acts together. Finally, Vinnie, self-appointed “TRYER OF ALL NEW THINGS” came over to look at it with one eye. He decided it was treasure and grabbed it and ran off which, of course, started a game of Chicken Keep Away and it was nine against one. Vinnie raced around the run with the prized piece of pasta hanging out of his beak, a wild look in his eye and his yellow feet and legs just a blur. I let them chase him around a little, and then I threw in more pasta.
Hysteria. This time, shorter lived as the others forgot about Vinnie and his treasure and were more interested in the pile of pasta on the ground. They walked around it and on it, looked at it with one eye, and pecked at it a little.
Meanwhile, Vinnie had set his down and was looking at it again. He pinched off a piece and tasted it and then another piece and another and suddenly, he just gulped the whole thing down and raced back to the pile for more. He grabbed another piece and raced to the other end of the run, yellow legs flying, while he snarfed down pasta. Apparently it was “To go” pasta.
The others noticed that he was EATING it and they became more interested in it and gave it a try. As soon as they finished a strand of spaghetti, they’d race back to the pile for more.
Vinnie was frantic. He’d take a piece and gulp it down and then notice a piece hanging out of another’s beak and he’d try to take that too. He had a piece of pasta hanging out of one side of his beak and the other corner of his beak had pasta stuck in it. He was carrying a piece, trying to take pieces from others and generally was out of his mind because…
HE WANTED IT ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
I watched them for quite a while. Most entertaining thing I’d seen since the Mixed Vegetable Incident of 2014. Even Cluck Norris was scarfing down spaghetti and looking for more. Every one of them was happily clucking and eating and wiping their beaks on logs. Vinnie wasn’t worried about wiping his beak at ALL and would run up to one of them that was working on a piece of pasta and try to swipe it. He was completely obsessed. He didn’t know whether to steal someone’s, go get his own, or scratch in the dust to make sure that none had been dropped.
So he tried all three simultaneously. Which lead to me going to get a chair to sit in because I was laughing so hard.
The pasta was finally consumed although Vinnie couldn’t be convinced and continued to check everyone else’s beaks and scratch through the dust in the run, just in case. He found a few bits here and there and vacuumed them up while the rest contentedly took part in a group Preening Party. He finally decided that there was no more and came over and whistled at me and cocked his head because I was still holding the bowl. I showed him the empty bowl through the fence and brought it close enough so that he could see inside and he pecked it through the wire and then wandered away to join the rest at the Preening Party. I watched them a while longer and since the Pasta Show was over, I finally went back up to the house.
I genuinely feel bad for people who don’t interact with their flock. I understand they are farm animals, but they are fascinating creatures to watch. Recently, there have been many people who have sort of poked fun at me for the things that I do in the name of “enjoying” my chickens. I can’t even begin to describe the happiness they bring me. I love to watch them, I love to provide a clean environment and good food (I know…not the pasta), and clean cool water. I love to provide places to roost and new things for them to experience. People say “I grew up on a farm…they’re CHICKENS and they’re dirty and mean.”
If that’s how one feels about their experience with chickens, then I would say to them…
Chickens…you’re doing it wrong.
I shared this post on the Backyard Farming Connection Hop #82!