26 January 2018

It's Chicken in Any Language

No. 4--26 Jan. 2018
Topic: Invite to dinner

Kyckling, Poulet, Hähnchen, Sicin, Kip:
It’s chicken in any language
 By Myra Vanderpool Gormley ©2018

 If we went to “grandma’s” for dinner — you could bet there would be chicken on the menu. It didn’t matter which grandmother’s house we visited on our Sunday and holiday trips.  That’s how it was back in the “old days” when I was a kid growing up in the hills of eastern Oklahoma. But, how the chicken was prepared depended on the grandma.

Both of my grannies were Southerners — one was from Alabama and the other from Tennessee — and they were born within a decade of each other. Their cuisine was similar in various ways, and both served fresh vegetables from their home gardens. They also created bowls of mashed potatoes, sinfully rich with real cream and butter. Of course, that was back in the days when none of us worried about our waistlines or cholesterol levels.

If we went to my paternal grandmother’s, there would always be fried chicken — and I’d usually help with the plucking of the feathers after Grandmother or Dad had “killed the old red roosters.” My squeamish older sister declined to help with that chore. But, she didn’t have any problem eating the chicken I noticed.  My younger cousins and I were served a platter of fried chicken at the “kids’ table” — it consisted of drumsticks and wings. I didn’t know there was any other part of the chicken until I was grown. Of course, we could have all the mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies that we wanted. Then we’d line up for dessert, which often was coconut cake or chocolate pie.

At my maternal grandmother’s, she served smothered chicken and dumplings, along with the usual fresh vegetables, including okra, which I loved, but never learned to cook like she did. Often there’d be corn-on-the-cob from her garden and watermelon in the summertime. Dessert frequently was a cobbler — made from fresh blackberries in the summer or apples or peaches at other times. Sometimes she’d make a vinegar pie, which was my all-time favorite.

My daughter who lives in Alaska, called the other day. She requested a recipe. “Send it by e-mail,” she said. Guess you never know which dish will be a favorite to be passed along in the family. She wants my tuna salad recipe.

Well, that’s something I can do off the top of my head. I’m so relieved her request wasn’t for Granny’s dumplings or for Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. I might have a problem finding those recipes which are stashed away willy-nilly somewhere in my dozens of cookbooks and assorted recipe notebooks. Organizing ancestors is something I can do, but not 50 years of recipes.

Isn’t there an app for that yet?

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