Sunday, August 12, 2012

Frying Up Memories

I spent the entire weekend cooking for my mother's birthday. One of the meals I made began with life's most perfect food - the fried chicken cutlet. Not only do fried chicken cutlets bring me back to my childhood - as they've been made by everyone in my family - but there is nothing else I think I'd rather eat. They're irresistible.

Since I was cooking for a crowd, I had to make a lot of them. Let me tell you, it's backbreaking work. I know you're probably laughing at that, but until you've done it, you can't possibly know how long it takes and how involved it is.
First you must filet the chicken breasts, then you must pound them thinner (if you didn't filet thinly enough), then they first get dredges in flour (in one pan), coated in egg (in another pan), and dipped in breadcrumbs (in the final pan). This is done one by one before you drop them into the frying pan to start the beautification process.

Since there's only so much room in a frying pan, you can only do a few at a time. It takes forever, standing over a frying pan filled with hot oil and frying each one golden brown. As you can see, mine are far from golden. I don't have the patience to let them get that beautiful. I don't mind a little brown around the edges, and since these were going to become Chicken Parmigiana (with a side of Thin Spaghetti), I didn't think anyone would notice. And they didn't - the meal was amazing.

As I was cooking, I couldn't help but think of those who cooked before me; my father, my father's
Aunt Jennie, my Aunt Ronni, my grandmother. All of these people in my life cooked for large crowds of people and they all made it look effortless. It's really exhausting and they did it all the time, not just once in a while. I wonder if this every happened to them - a piece of chicken that looked like a fish.
Aunt Jennie and Grandma cooked this way every Sunday; we had courses at our meals. And after they served us all and we all ate, they cleaned the entire kitchen, doing all the dishes, and putting everything away. Where did they get the energy?? (Clean-up is my least favorite part, by the way.)

I'm happy when the people I cook for enjoy what I've made, but it's always over so quickly! I always appreciate when people cook for me, especially an elaborate or labor intensive meal, because I know what goes into it. And I know why they do it. It really doesn't matter if it's for two or twenty people, I know I'll do it again in a heartbeat.

As long as there's someone around to eat.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Icy Beverages, Sun, And Sand
2010: Smalltopia And Rowdy Kittens
2009: Severely Disabled
2008: Boys In Dresses
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: When I’m Done Peeing, Do I Bang On The Pipes Or Just Yell When I Need Someone To Take Me Back To My Cell?
2005: The Emerald City

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