Sunday, July 29, 2012

O Fried Chicken Ye Tuna O' The Land

There was no egg wash or batter with corn flakes and bread crumbs. Mom would just coat it with a bit of flour and throw it in a cast iron skillet in rendered bacon fat that she got from 5 inches away on the top of the stove in a mason jar. Dad made fun of her for saving things such as bacon fat and leftovers in general. Dad hated leftovers. Of course Verna, dad's mom, did the same thing. So dad saw it as a sign of poverty because dad grew up poor. So mom would say, "Well at least we didn't have to eat field corn." "We didn't have to eat field corn! We liked the lack of flavor!" This exchange, as predictable as sunday dinner, made mom and I laugh as if no one was ever going to die ever, not even the dogs.

It should be noted that the chicken mom grew up eating was alive shortly before it hit the pan, which is why whenever we moved around one of the first things she always looked for was a good butcher with "connections".

Now frying chicken in bacon fat is probably something that those genius nutritionismists would look down upon in scorn and condescending assholedness because they know everything there is to know about food, namely, that food is nothing more than the collection of a bunch of chemicals. Do not dispute them or you will have to punch them in the head.

Now eating chicken fried in bacon fat just after watching tv all day and just before drinking beer all night may indeed not be the ideal diet. But most of my and your people come from those whose day went from sunup to sundown, then started again at sundown and went to sunup in the winter on account of livestock, who are like children in their neediness but are much more worthwhile and are nicer people with non-psychotic tendencies, unless they're chickens. So my people, needing fuel as much as their horses, then their tractors, did eat things like boiled potatoes doing the butterfly in a lap pool of butter and salt. Grandpa Kading's favorite lunch was cold chicken leftover from last night's supper. During planting and harvest my mom would take it out to him and his brothers to save time. Their farms weren't at all huge by today's standards, but "making hay while the sun shines" wasn't just a metaphor and actually has its origins in farming, if you can even believe that!

So cold chicken, also called by many "the lobster of the midwest" (where "many" means "me"), with it's high fat content, protein and other chemicals we need to live (oh you nutty nutritionistas!), was the perfect fuel for men who smoked and washed their hands in gasoline and died at 63.

Rambling a bit here. I've been on a 2-week Kentucky Fried Chicken binge. It's the gravy.

Mom liked it when I rambled on the phone. Today is her 72nd birthday. She was 10 times smarter than all her kids combined. My siblings would agree with this tacitly, believing in their hearts that this couldn't possibly be true. Problem is, shit-for-brains, it was and is true. And it's your sense of self-importance and unearned arrogance that prevents you from realizing it and therefore renders you incapable appreciating who she was. Idiots. It's always the baby of the family who bears the brunt of inconsolable loss. But I'm learning to bear it gratefully.

Nota Bene: When my sister had the idea of sauteing chicken without the skin, without the skin, and in a non-fat substance with the look of snot, dad tasted it and said, "Perhaps it would've been better had you just boiled it." My dad was funny without being mean. Most of the time.

12 comments:

switters said...

So. This weekend's "The Splendid Table", someone calls in seeking help in preparing something uniquely American for dear friends visiting from Italy, and Lynne says, "You know what you could do? Take some corn on the cob, brush it with butter, and then roll it in parmesan cheese, and grill it!"

[deep sigh]





WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!!???

Michael said...

Oh well, when it Rome...take crazy pills. Me to one of my guys about a week after he started working for me...15 years ago..."If you want the best Polish sausage in the world you have GOT to go to Nick's on Harlem Avenue." Dude grew up like, 5 minutes outside of Krakow. He reminds me of that, quite often. Havin' a heat wave, a tropical heat wave...

switters said...

Last 2 weeks we've dodged the bullets and got good rain without deadly wind, so I swear Tom's beans have doubled in size. But the last 2 days have been perfect framing weather. If the house blows over, I'm certain what I've done this past week will be the only thing standing, fingers crossed.

Isonomist said...

I'm going to apologize right now for the sudden uptick in your hit count here. I'm being hounded by psychos. They already have everyone's blog links, though I did consider taking them down at first. They're looking for stuff to be outraged by, so pretty much anything will suffice. I won't give their insanity the dignity of describing what set them off on me. They'll go away eventually, anyway. But till then, they are probably cutting and pasting stuff from your (everyone's) blogs and saying awful things about us. It *is* kind of funny when you think about it that way.

switters said...

Iso, you might want to remind them of the issue that's on everyone's mind, namely, will Matt Lauer and Ryan Seacrest (Seecreste?) stage a synchronized diving demonstration to the welcomed hilarity of a grateful nation?

Isonomist said...

Top of mind, dude. Plus I just ate some leftover chicken. I should bring that up as well.

switters said...

I'm not seeing their comments at your blog. I'd wonder if it were possible to shame them away, but I suspect they belong to that particular species known as those without shame. It should go without saying that I am at your service.

NPR is my official spoiler source of the 2012 Summer Olympics, And Chinese Juicing Games.

rundeep said...

Juicing: sweet Jesus. Really, like they can deny that with a straight face. My husband said they probably put it in her food so she can pass a lie detector test. Yuck.

switters said...

I just watched the 200 medley. I don't know what to think. I don't want not to care, because, well, it's the olympics and all. And athletic perfection is something we should all admire, or something. And winning can be so much fun. I'm just not sure what gets won if one cheats, not that that's what's happening in this case. I mean, is the Chinese mafia running some kind of numbers game, hedging bets on whether or not the Jap gymnast is gonna fly out of control and take out the Norwegian tumbling team?

I'm going over to Al's tomorrow to haul my mini-truck back here. Wish me luck and grace on all fronts and in every sense.

switters said...

Also, I don't mean to be cynical and/or sensitive, but after seeing that nut case gym mom in the stands, I'm beginning to wonder if certain parents shouldn't be banned from all events forever until further notice. And then show up the next morning on Today only to prove that we can only hope that insufferability skips at least one or two generations.

It may be just me, but the olympics don't seem fun this year, unless I'm blogging non-stop about national highlights as dictated by Jason Beaver.

switters said...

And another thing: I'm beginning to think that the only full-contact sport left that isn't "swimming" (chortle) with performance-enhancing drugs is The Van Cliburn Competition, unless you count coffee and gin as performance-enhancing drugs, which I do.

Michael said...

Iso- What Switters said, but you already knew that. Internet stalkers are gutless cowardly turds, but you already knew that too.

I caved and re-connected cable TV to my apartment yesterday after 3 or 4 months of nothing but snow on the screen. My God, what happened to Bob Costas? Remember that scene in Brazil where Katherine Helmond has her faced pulled back with hemostats and vise-grips? I watched men's synchronized diving last night. Our medalists reminded me of Ace & Gary. Obviously they spend most or all of their time together, in order to be that good at diving and spinning and flipping and making teeny tiny splashes in unison like that. And that announcer...oh my, just sensational. He really painted the picture. It was almost like being in a Speedo myself. I watched one US guy straddle the pommel horse for a few minutes. He gagged on the dismount...lost a full point. Saw Soni break the world record in the pool, that was cool, although not as homoerotic as the men's synchronized diving or the pommel horse. When do they run the women's 110 meter hurdles? What? What? She's 19. So what if I'm 52, so what if I have Chuck Taylors that are older than her, so what if she's 2 years younger than my niece (awww shit, outta my head creepy bad thought,out!) As with Iso, if Michelle Jenneke ever needs a favor in Chicago, I'm totally there for her too. OY