Monday, November 5, 2007


With the pantry finished (except I still need to make a skirt for that water heater) and reloaded, when I was preparing to fry chicken and saw that my supply of coconut oil was sparse, I looked for the lard. When I didn't spy it in the pantry right away, I thought maybe we'd failed to put it back, so I walked to the den, where Charles and Son3 were watching the Chiefs game, and asked, "Has anyone seen lard sitting around?"

I reckon I cued them up right proper, because each immediately said, "Yeah," and pointed to the other. They both burst into laughter, so pleased with themselves. I checked corners in the living room for an overlooked bucket of lard, then scoured the pantry again and did find it -- no thanks to the jokesters -- hiding behind a couple of jars of peanut butter.

As I rinsed those chicken thighs and checked for large slabs of skin which butchers tuck beneath the tidily packaged meat, I remembered the day when I offered my assistance in my new mother-in-law's kitchen, nearly 30 years ago. "Well, yes, you can help me get the fat off of this chicken," she said, and she told me where to find a knife.

Clutch. Bigtime clutch. I wanted to make a good impression on my mother-in-law, and I'd helped my own mother cook since I was a wee child, but I'd never cut fat from a chicken in my life. Moreover, I was in a world of hurt when I selected my first piece to work on, because I was locating precious little fat, and what little bits I could find, I was having a whale of a time removing. It seemed to me that this strange task might be better performed with a magnifying glass and a surgeon's scalpel, but I stayed the course.

Managing to discover and remove a little quarter-inch strip of fat from that first piece, I moved on to the second, feeling more nervous and inept with each passing moment. When piece number two was yielding no fat at all, I gathered my courage and said, "You know, I'm having a really hard time finding any fat on this chicken."

She turned, looked at me and my two pieces of chicken, then said, "Well, it's right there. See."

I looked at my chicken pieces...then I looked at her chicken pieces...and that's when I discovered she was pulling the SKIN from her chicken. "Oh! You want the skin off!"

Blending families. You should have heard me laughing the first time Charles said, "Hmm, that's a water bug."

"A water bug," I said. "A water bug? What are you talking about? That's a roach!" Having moved around the country and lived in more houses than I can count, we've encountered a few "water bugs" over the past few decades and always share a good laugh over them as we exterminate. OUR home has never had roaches, because I married into the right family.

We have plenty of chicken fat and lard, too.

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. ~John 6:40

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