It is with great regret that I must inform you of the demise of the St. Nicholas rooster! Yup, Vince was tasked with the deed, it was his “duty” as a male to perform the ritual and so, without hesitation I might add, he donned his finest shirt, pants and shoes and off to the chopping block he went with a butcher’s cleaver. Not to be outdone, my aunt Bardha and cousin Gjilda were also on hand to assist, I, on the other hand, was nice and warm by the fire keeping my uncle Deda company as we deliberated the poor creature’s destiny, or shortness thereof.
After the success of the ever so short event, my cousin called me to assist with the “plucking”, another feat which I decided to forgo, although I did go down in the yard and witnessed the rather quick and neat procedure. The creature was put in a pot of extremely hot water and they plucked away, my cousin and aunt. I was surprised how quickly the feathers came off. I mean, what do I know of plucking chickens, let alone guillotining them, but I did find the whole ordeal rather interesting. Apparently this has gone on for centuries all over the world, and Albanians are no strangers to it, but when you grow up in a city like I did the best place to get a chicken, and a rather nice plump one at that, is the local supermarket!!
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s meal, it will be very good!! Not only will we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas but we will have a delicious fresh chicken along with pilaf and Kadaif, a classic Balkan dish. Buon Appetito!!!