Sunday, September 9, 2007

Would You Like That Wet, Rubbery, or Peglegged?

Welcome to Sunday! and welcome to Sunday dinner and other events that included chicken.

Grandma Mae made THEE best lemon pie and divinity. We nearly always went to their house for dinner on Christmas Day and Easter. Who is Grandma Mae? She is my step grandmother, the second wife of Phillip Lundberg.

Crude as it was, Daddy would always say, "I suppose Mae will have wet chicken". And Mother would click her tongue on the top of her mouth in disgust. Grandma Mae would brown the chicken pieces in Crisco in a cast iron skillet. THEN! She covered it with water and let it cook. When it got to the table, it had a white, wet, soggy look. With the wet chicken we would have mashed potatoes and white gravy. For dessert, lemon pie, piled high with meringue and white divinity.

We ate in the dining room on a lovely oak table which was covered with a tablecloth she had received as a gift from my parent's. The cloth was purchased in Arizona; it featured burros, sombreros, and people wearing blankets. Her dishes were red and white and the silverware had red plastic handles. The complementary serving dishes were cherry blossom depression glass.

In grade school, before each holiday, our teacher would give us a ditto of place cards. I loved to bring them to Grandma Mae's, even if there was only five of us. I knew were everyone sat, it wasn't like they had to search a mighty hall to find the seat. Of course, Grandpa Phil who ate in his bed needed a place card too!

At our house, chicken was always Sunday dinner with apple pie for dessert. Mother browned the chicken on the stove and put it in the oven to finish out. It was always very, very good. Secretly, I wondered what people did that went to church on Sunday; how could they have such a marvelous meal at 12 o'clock high?

When was the last time you fried a whole chicken? Do you know how to cut it up into pieces? Did your family have specific pieces? Do you know what I am talking about?

The parts of the chicken typically are:

Two breasts
2 legs
2 thighs
2 drumsticks
2 wings

1 back
1 gizzard
1 heart
1 neck
1 liver

The last four are parts are called giblets.

In family style serving, each person appeared to have dibs on specific pieces. Excuse the pun, I wondered if there was a pecking order. My grandmother ate the giblets and so did Tom's mother. I always thought grandma took them because there wasn't anything else left. Tom's mother, having a personality of a she bear, ate them because that was her choice.

I ate the wings and still like them. Daddy liked the breast, Mother ate dark meat, general a thigh or a drum stick and when Greg was home, ate the rest. The dogs got the heart, liver, and gizzard.

Ryen reminded me of a one legged chicken he saw when he was little. We had gone to the country to visit a friend. The chicken had one leg and the other was taped up above the spur with duct tape. A animal had gotten a hold of it. We had a full discussion about just where the chicken's 'knee' was. Yes, they have a joint in the leg other than the ankle. I woke Tom up last night to ask him about it. We don't get the feet at the market and I never saw any chicken toes on our family platter.

Just one more note on chicken. Did you ever go to a banquet or special dinner where they served chicken? Was it rubbery? Did you imagine it would bounce?

What are chicken feet good for? Chicken feet is known to be a natural anti-wrinkle agent, thanks to the high collagen content. The are eaten in Asia and Africa along with the head. Are you ready for that?

Delicate Dining!