Cooking is a unique form of alchemy. A lot of things go into stew you would not want to eat a handful of. I used to say I learned to cook out of necessity. I was always producing food, growing vegetables, milking goats, collecting eggs and processing chickens. A few recipes would always rise up from the fray and answer the question what the hell am I going to do with all this. First off, I got really good at breakfast. And not just mornings, lunch breakfast, dinner breakfast, breaking fasts with snacks like livermush and eggs chopped up on a bed of grits. Or hard-boiled lunches that come in their own containers. Good, free-range, half wild chicken eggs need no salt or pepper. The worms and crickets in their diets give them that flavor, and a color so orange it yellows the sun. Little burgundy dot in the center says the rooster had his part in it too. Then the vegetables start coming, and they want to drown you in yellow and powder green and shimmering reds beside Cherokee purples. This unlocks a door into worlds of casseroles and canning and really really happy friends. I accomplish my favorite recipe for putting produce to use just setting it out in the break-room at work, watching it walk through the door brimming plastic grocery bags. My all time favorite meal. And chicken, whole chickens, cut into quarters, curing in the fridge three days before rising again with a crown of ice, throned in the freezer. Gallon bags full with stomachs and necks and hearts and fat. My favorite recipe with this resource was found making homemade dog food. Chicken organ oatmeal, I call it. And yes, it is just as disgusting as it sounds. Dogs obsess over it. I also learned a great method of making incredibly way too much chicken noodle soup for one. Now I know you can freeze the stock, and with a hen who has laid eggs for around three years, you get a lot. Aged hens used to be a prairie delicacy, along with fertilized eggs. Now it’s a disclaimer. Best just to cook it off the bone, wrap it in aluminum and give it to a fire until it turns it into barbecue. Started off as a chick chirping in a box at the post office, calling me at five in the morning to let me know I have a package and it’s making noise. Started off as exposed worms while I turned over gardens, so many ants and eaten beetles and butterflies right out of the air. Started off as an egg. The seed of a chicken. With a world overlapped and boiling from the fiery recipe of life. And it is important to remember, a lot of things go into a stew that you do not ever want to eat a handful of.