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Sundays growing up always meant church at either Floods Chapel Free Will Baptist or Gold Valley Methodist Church — the former before 16 years old and the latter until I married at age 21. It also meant Mama’s Southern fried chicken, homegrown vegetables and biscuits made only the way she could make them. You know, I have tried every way I can to make them light and fluffy, but they always come out thicker and with a brown crust.
Now, everyone knows what Southern fried chicken means, right? You have a pulley bone (wishbone for those not born below the Mason-Dixon line) which the person who is fortunate enough to get it has someone to help pull it apart and the one with the longest (or shortest — whichever is called first) side of it gets his or her wish.
I can cut up a chicken to have said pulley bone, but this wonderful thing called arthritis makes it a little difficult. However, this past weekend when I bought three chickens to cook for my family on Sunday, the meat cutter had no idea what I was talking about. When I tried to explain what a pulley bone was, it became perfectly clear from which direction he was born with reference to said Mason-Dixon line. So, I brought the chickens home and prepared them Southern-style.
I’ve begun my mama and daddy’s tradition of having them all over once a month for Sunday dinner (lunch to some) and they have asked each month for fried chicken. I see instructions for a meat cutter on how to cut up chicken Southern-style in my near future.
Just to make anyone reading this a little hungrier, we also had banana pudding (along with the vegetables, of course). Mark’s only request was that his have some of the “cookies” in it. That was no problem, but I remember a Christmas when I made a banana pudding only to find when we began eating it that I had forgotten to put in the bananas. It was the best “cookies” and custard pudding ever.
Jan Mills is The Enterprise’s customer service representative. Reach her at 252-478-3651 and firstname.lastname@example.org.