Friday, March 30, 2007
Fried Chicken And Potato Salad
When we went shopping for groceries and we went down the cereal isle at Meijer, we would (like all other children) grab Lucky Charms, and Fruit Loops, and Captain Crunch. My mom would shake her head and point to the Nutrition Facts on the side of the box and say, "Unless sugar is at least the 3rd ingredient, I'm not buying it." I doubt I even have to tell you that that eliminates all the good cereal. In most of the good cereals, sugar was either the first or the second - which means, of course, that it is the largest or the second largest ingredient. No Lucky Charms. No Fruit Loops. And definitely not Captain Crunch. Instead, we got Raisin Bran, and Cheerios, and when she was feeling imprudent we would get Kix. We loved Kix weeks. We devoured Kix.
We spent one weekend a month with my Grandma Ramseyer, because she had had a stroke and needed to be taken care of all the time. It always amazed me that this woman had raised my mother, because this woman made things like lard sandwiches, and had a pie at almost every meal. My grandma liked food. She was not afraid of sugar. My mom said she remembers my grandma getting up early every Sunday morning to make ice-cream, just in case someone new would be at church and then she could invite them over for ice-cream. Now to me, that sounds like a lot of ice-cream that would have to be eaten on the non-visitor days. But that's the way she was. She liked food. When we went to her house for the weekend, she always had Velveeta cheese, whole milk, and peppermints. Always. And sometimes she had movie theater butter microwave popcorn. She often had lots of cookies, and was never without Schwann's Chocolate Push-ups in the freezer in the garage. On hot summer weekends, Jeff and I would have about 3 or so a day, and throw out the sticks and wrappers in the trash can in the garage so no one knew how many we ate. Of course, they probably wondered why every time Jeff and I were over, they were suddenly low on push-ups. To this day, however, I find comfort in Velveeta cheese and whole milk. Sometimes, when milk is on sale, I'll get one gallon of that watered-down 1% garbage that we normally drink (for Brian), and one gallon of whole (for me).
Having been raised by my very healthy mother, I have taken on more of her tendencies than my grandmothers. Although, I won't kick and scream if someone wants to feed me Doritos for dinner. However, when I make dinner for Brian and I, I more often cook like my mom. We're talking we have a salad (or fresh veggies), a cooked veggie, a starch, and a lean meat at every meal. I cut the fat off of chicken, I don't even own straight vegetable oil, and I'm more than a little stingy with the butter. We almost never have candy in the house, and I don't know that I've ever bought Velveeta cheese. But last night, I wanted fat. Not just boring ol' "I'm putting more butter in the mashed potatoes tonight". Oh no, I wanted fat. I wanted mayonnaise. I wanted white bread, I wanted cheese. And I didn't want salad. And I didn't want steamed broccoli. I wanted fried chicken and potato salad. So, that's what I made. I've never made either. I felt a little guilty as I poured several cups of oil into our deep electric skillet. But I got over it. I used olive oil that makes it better, right? That makes me kinda like my mom (a healthy substitution) and kinda like my grandma (to a fatty food).