A Note to the Do-It-Yourself-ers
*Warning–somewhat graphic descriptions ahead* There is something particularly clean and convenient about being able to go to the store and purchase your chicken already cut up and de-boned and plucked. Apparently you can do that here. But very few people do. Certainly not my family.
Yesterday, my host mom and dad went with a few friends to Kurdemir, about a 2-3 hour drive west of Baku. They came back at about 9:30-10:00 in the evening, in particularly good spirits. Then my host brother carried a limp chicken to the kitchen and it was summarily plucked, chopped, and cooked within the hour. It was a tasty treat, but it certainly struck me how removed we are in America from that whole process.
To go along with that, during our late dinner, my host dad pulled out his camera to show us that goat that they killed, which is now strung up in a closed-off part of the yard. Apparently we’re going to be eating particularly well over the next week. I don’t have pictures of the goat, but I got to watch as they skinned it, removed the innards (intestines, kidneys, liver, and the like). I also got to watch as my host dad pulled out the lungs and proceeded to blow them up like balloons. Those lobes can take a lot of air. Wow.
The last detail on this topic comes from the street. There are a few butchers down the street from our school, and every few days, you’ll see a new cow standing on the corner. This is when you know that that cow’s time is running low. The best part, however, is when, once that cow has been butchered, it’s not uncommon to see the head resting peacefully on the step, or the heap of skin off the to side, which a cat may or may not be playing with.