“So Brian, what does your grandfather do again?”
Brian is a young man who helps around the farm who actually knows something about farming. “He takes the chicken poop, puts it in a feed bag in a 55-gallon drum, and adds water. Then, he takes a stick and stirs it around. He’s been doing that for years and it really makes the plants grow!” (Imagine this conversation with absolutely no expression on his 20-year-old face and a real southern drawl.)
“Okay, I want some chicken poop soup. Will you help me make it?”
I thought I’d stepped out of my comfort zone when I processed one of our hens who’d been played with to death by our livestock guardian dogs and made chicken pie. (It was NOT good, by the way–never eat a chicken after it’s been played with by big white dogs for an hour. Lesson learned.) But chicken poop soup…who knew?
I am famous for taking almost anything from my refrigerator and making something palatable for dinner. My kids often said I should host a TV show called, “Clean Out the Refrigerator Cooking.” (I am willing dear television producer.) But chicken poop soup is way off their radar, too.
We decided on a gray garbage can. “Where do you want me to put it?” Brian asked.
“Good question.” Where does one keep such a concoction. “Put it near the driveway but not too near the house.”
Brian mixed it up. I gawked as he filled the white feed sack with North Carolina Gold. Then he added water. Next he swished it up and down in the can and poked a stick in the bag several times. Brown liquid seeped out of the sack.
What can I say, but I was impressed. Impressed Brian knew about the soup. Amazed at his resourcefulness. Touched by the knowledge handed down from one generation to the next.
I’ve learned a lot from the people around me. I’ve learned that a bush hog is not a pig in the woods, I’ve learned not to lift your hand at a poultry auction to scratch your face, and that it’s okay to hold up the line in the store a bit to find out how a person really is doing.
I’d like to think I could teach them a few things. Like ordering at Starbucks. Or wearing your sandals all the way to the sand at the beach in August if you want to avoid 3rd degree burns, or cutting across 8 lanes of traffic to pull into your favorite restaurant.
Those things are good to know, too.
But for now, my soup is stewing. I just don’t know how to get it out of the can.