Sarah Ensor

A writer interested in culture, connection, and nonsense.

On the morning after my 44th birthday, early draft

On the morning after my 44th birthday (which, as of the first draft, was a little earlier today), I woke up a bit late, exhausted and sick from an infection. I was sick yesterday, too, but I felt better with some antibiotics and feel even better now. I hadn’t done everything I wanted to do on my birthday, which I typically plan for myself, because

  • I didn’t feel well;
  • it was a Wednesday;
  • I had driving to do for the kids; and, as it turns out
  • birthdays tend not to be about the person born on that day.

Today, embarrassingly, I have been a a pity party of one for giving myself such a crap birthday celebration. So, tonight, I’ve decided to brine chicken leg quarters in buttermilk, herbs, and oil. These leg quarters are the final 5 or so pounds from an order I placed late in January 2022 for a 40-pound case. The ten pound case of boneless chicken breasts, as well as the similarly weighted pork loin case, are long gone.

I dumped the defrosted limbs into a bowl, poured buttermilk over them, and chopped some rosemary with sage and thyme. I considered how I acquired the 40-pound case of chicken leg quarters, the 10-pound case of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and the pork loins. And I thought about suspicious it sounds. Or rural. Or both. What kind of person would judge someone for how they acquired food for their family? Anyway, it was probably legitimate. People can’t just sell butchered meat with a Google form sent via email without it being legal. There are laws.

I purchased the meat on a form that was sent to my email address. I was to show up at the volunteer fire company in our town on meat day and collect my order. Which I did, obligingly. I drove around to the back of the building, where no one can see you from the road. One of the men unloading the chicken from the box truck needed to figure out how to give me change for my cash. Wholesome. They even helped load my car.

But now, nearly 11 months later, as I pour kosher salt into this bath, it occurs to me that getting discount chicken from the back of the box truck down at the fire house is not a normal way to acquire food. Who raised these chickens? And how did our small town volunteer fire company come upon them? Perhaps they came from the slaughter house or from a farmer, but I truly have no idea. I never asked who raised the chickens; how the volunteer fire company came upon them; or who owns the nondescript box truck.

Now I wonder if I have been harboring illegal chicken in my deep freezer. Probably not, though. I mean, how naive could I be at 44?

Leave a Reply