Down Memory Lane: Squirrel By Any Other Name Is . . . Chicken?
Hello y’all – I’m taking a bit of a trip down Memory Lane today, and hope you don’t mind coming with me. The post below was originally published here in 2009. I remembered it today while sitting at the kitchen window watching the squirrels race around outside. This details a conversation I had with my father-in-law, who passed away several years ago. I still miss him every day. He was something of a character, as you will see.
My father-in-law, known as Papa and adored by all who know him, is a terrific cook. When he moved in several years ago, I was delighted to hand over the Golden Spatula and let him have at it. He cooks for us almost every night, and we enjoy meals ranging from Tomato Basil Shrimp to Pork Medallions with Curry Sauce. Yeah, we’re spoiled. We’re also gaining weight, but that’s another story.
Over the course of the last few years some of the recipe names have been changed to make them sound more like comfort foods. For instance, Chicken St. Thomas became Chicken with ‘Shrooms & Cheese. Getting in the spirit of things, Papa created Redneck Wellington, which is Beef Wellington with ground beef (think meatloaf) instead of filet mignon. Papa cackles every time he thinks about it, and Papa cackling is always a good thing.
As I passed by Papa’s room this evening I heard the TV. Papa was watching a cooking show. The chef was preparing—gulp!—Chicken Fried Squirrel. Maybe, I thought, this Redneck stuff was getting a little out of hand. Maybe, you know, Papa was going off the deep end.
I stuck my head into his room and waved. “Hey there,” I said. “Is that guy serious? Chicken Fried Squirrel? You aren’t thinking about . . . you know?”
“Chicken Fried Squirrel.” He nodded. “You deep fry it, just like chicken.”
“I don’t think that would go over very well,” I said, trying to be diplomatic.
“Really? Okay. We’ll call it Redneck Chicken instead,” he suggested, straight-faced. “Serve it up with a little cream gravy and a side salad.”
“You’re a funny guy.”
“Just watch me laugh the next time we eat chicken,” he deadpanned.
“I’ll revoke your kitchen privileges,” I threatened.
“Avgolemono soup and shrimp salad is on the menu tomorrow night,” he reminded me, and had the audacity to look smug when I started drooling. “I don’t think you’ll strip me of my apron just yet.”
Damn. The man knows me too well. There will be no kicking him out of the kitchen tomorrow night, that’s for sure. Now, come Thursday, if he tells me we’re having chicken, well, I may have to revoke his Golden Spatula.
I’ll keep you apprised of the menu –
****Do you have alternate names for foods and meals in your home? Did you ever make up a fancy name for an old recipe just to give it a new kick? What’s the craziest name of something you love to cook? Leave a comment, Buttercup, and share your foodie fun stuff.
Thanks for walking down Memory Lane with me. 🙂
Please come back next week to meet author Leigh Lee, whose historical novel, Vows of Pain & Passion, has spent six weeks on Amazon’s bestseller list for Medieval romance. I’m interviewing Leigh and look forward to learning more about her book, especially all the research she did prior to ever penning a word of the novel.
See you then, and thanks for hanging out here at Writing in the Buff!