Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snow Buddha/Chicken Buddha

I am home today. This is the view from my ever-cozy couch with my fuzzy orange blanket. I've left the lights off because the snow is falling down and there is a white-blue light that brings me so much peace and tranquility coming through my windows.
I've gotten myself sick with the flu, but am feeling so much better this morning that I had one of my chicken eggs on a croissant. Thank you chickens! They haven't lain (layed?laid?) an egg for months! and voila! this morning, ONE egg. Big Momma even let me pet her while she ate. I said, "An egg?! just for me girls? Thanks Momma!" It gave me such a good feeling that I, though I am without my good camera, I took pictures on my phone of the idea I'd had about the Buddha...putting Buddha in situations that remind me that life is beautiful...So here is my Buddha statue, with his hands in a meditation mudra, holding a beautiful heart-shaped rock in two situations that I find beautiful and mindful and meditation worthy: a loved Chicken and fresh clean snow.

My daughter had her first store-bought egg about a year or so ago when our chickens quit laying and we didn't want to wait. When she opened the box and saw all the white eggs, uniform in size, and the bland sickly looking yolk on the inside, she said: "Are these fake eggs?" I said, "They are real eggs, but they are from chickens who aren't loved." My son said to her, "Those are factory eggs, we have real eggs." That made me so proud. I hadn't ever said as much to them, but we've always been so thankful and proud and praise our chickens' eggs that when confronted with some that were obviously "not right", they just knew...they just knew.

I found this article from the New York Times and just had to share it here with you, it just tickled me:

Buddha and the Art Of Raising Chickens; Family Caters to Chinese Market With Farm-Fresh, Whole Pullets

Published: May 05, 1998

When it comes to chicken, Doris Ma knows that bigger is not necessarily better.

On a recent Sunday morning, while most New Yorkers were still in bed, Mrs. Ma worked her way down a refrigerated display case at the Dynasty Supermarket on Elizabeth Street in Chinatown, eyeing poultry the way a drill sergeant might inspect his troops. She disregarded the shrink-wrapped oven stuffers and the plump skinless breasts, and instead directed her scrutiny to comparatively scrawny birds stuffed in plastic bags, heads and feet tucked beneath their wings.

The chickens, which the previous day had been wandering around a farm in upstate New York, wore white metal tags on their ankles with the name Bo Bo Poultry Market, in English and Chinese. At $1.69 a pound, they cost nearly twice as much as Hollyfield Farms' brawny broilers.

Asked why she would spend more for a chicken with less meat, Mrs. Ma scoffed, ''Even if you offered me American chicken for free, I wouldn't feed it to my family.'' Mrs. Ma, 47, a seamstress who emigrated from Canton, China, a decade ago, said brand-name poultry is raised on too many chemicals, and by the time it reaches supermarket shelves, it is several days old ''and has no flavor.'' And besides, she added, ''without the head and feet, it's worthless. If I can't look a chicken in the eye, I don't know where it came from.''

Such sentiments help explain why Bo Bo, a poultry business run by the Lee family, has exploded over the last decade. What started as a hobby, rearing egg-laying hens at the Lees' weekend retreat in the Catskills, has grown into a $10 million-a-year enterprise that now supplies 7 out of every 10 chickens sold in Chinatown, according to the company. Bo Bo is also expanding up and down the East Coast and planning to aggressively pursue customers who follow kosher and halal, or Muslim, dietary laws.

Like the once ubiquitous kosher butcher who served the city's Eastern European Jews, Bo Bo is catering to an immigrant population with uncompromising culinary needs. Categorized as ''Buddhist style'' by the United States Department of Agriculture because the head and feet are not removed, Chinese chickens are raised, killed and prepared according to precise specifications.

''We Chinese are very particular about our chicken,'' said Michael Tong, the owner of Shun Lee Palace and Shun Lee Cafe. ''We don't like chickens from factories.''


sarah said...

I hope you feel better soon. The flu is a miserable thing. But you have such a beautiful environment in which to convalesce.

I wish we could have chickens.

Daninha said...

hi!! you blog is cut!!