As I Remember It: Cooking For Dad

Mom took the bus to California to help my sister when my niece was born when I was in my early teens,  so I was to be responsible for the household for a bit.    It was just Dad and me in the house.

I had never excelled much in homemaking skills.  I wasn’t much interested in homemaking skills.  When I pursued homemaking skills, Mom occasionally ended up in hysterical laughter, trying to figure out how I got what I thought she wanted me to do from what she actually told me to do.  Lots of mysteries.  I preferred the cats in the barn, the cactus in the haystack, bicycles in the pasture, big green worms in the cottonwoods, fresh peas in the garden, crocuses on the big hill, climbing the Sugar Top and twirling my baton.

So–before the time of Mom’s departure a daily menu for each day of the entire time she would be gone was developed, and I practiced cooking each meal that I was going to be preparing for Dad.  It went as well as could be expected.  Probably.  Didn’t seem to be any major problems.  I had very detailed notes on each menu’s requirements in addition to the advance practice I had gone through.

The day came for fried chicken at noon.  I started early because I knew this was going to be a tough one.  The directions gave me specific steps:  melt butter in the pan, roll the chicken pieces in flour before frying, salt the chicken when turning it over.

The project is well underway and looking good.  About 11 am my Aunt Elvina drove into the yard and came to the door, saying she had come to see how I was doing.  She inspected the chicken, decided that everything seemed to be in order, so she went on back home.  I did have one concern: I was afraid of the chicken not getting thoroughly done and also afraid of having it burn.   I turned it often, so it would be a nice golden color and would not burn.

And, according to my directions, I salted the chicken when I turned it.  I salted it every time I turned it.  It still looked good.  It looked real good.

I set the table and served the chicken.  Dad sat down and started to eat.  Then he suggested we throw it out in the cottonwood trees for the birds.  I think we had sandwiches then.

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