Dateline: 28 August 2015
|click picture to see enlarged view|
I've been butchering this year's crop of meat birds over the last three days. My New Outdoor Sink has been an incredibly useful tool. I don't know why I didn't make one years ago. And the Whizbang Toe-Tapper faucet switch worked perfectly. I couldn't be more pleased.
I used a few new-old butchering tools this year. Two of them are pictured above. I bought the butcher's steel for less than $20 at an antique shop. It's a beauty. The steel is 14" long. Swivel loop on the handle end. Walnut handle.
I almost didn't buy the steel because it had a light patina of rust on it. But on close inspection I concluded that I could remove the rust. I used a fine brass wire wheel in my bench grinder to clean up the steel. Half an hour later it was like a new tool.
The cleaver is a Foster Brothers 1190. I looked at a lot of antique cleavers over the years and none really appealed to me. But when I saw the Foster Brothers 1190, I knew that was my cleaver. $25.
I used the cleaver to separate chicken backs from breasts where the two parts connect at the neck. A couple of carefully-placed whacks and the parts were cleanly separated. It's a whole lot easier than using a knife, which is the tool I've used for many years at this stage of parting a chicken.
And we typically remove wing tips before freezing. Cleaver-cutting wing tips was downright fun.
It turns out that the Foster Brothers company was a Central NY business, located not far from where I live. If you're interested, you can learn more about the company At This Link. Here's a picture of a Foster Brother's employee, back in the day, grinding the edge on some meat cleavers...
|Sharpening cleaver blades at the Foster Brother's Company|
The other vintage butchering tool I used this year for the first time is a French poultry killing knife that was made by the G.P. Pulling Company...
|Vintage French poultry killing knife|
I learned about the knife from the book, Caponizing, by George P. Pilling (click link to purchase an inexpensive copy).
The idea of a French poultry killing knife is that, instead of cutting a chicken's neck to bleed it, you skillfully sever a vein in the back of the bird's mouth. Make a nick of the blade, and they bleed out the mouth.
That old knife is a very rare item. I bought it on Ebay for $30. I waited a long time for one to come up for sale.
In a future blog post (when I have more time to write) I will further discuss the French poultry killing knife and my experience with slicing the artery at the back of the throat.
|Nicely sharpened French poultry killing knife.|