i wanted some comfort in my mouth,
and i also might sometimes miss my old italian chicken-eatin' elderlies
from back in the not-so-good-ol' days.
when i think of my grandma,
a woman i never ever EVER called grannie, gram, nana, or any of that noise,
i think, inevitably of chicken.
she ate a whole lot of chicken.
i mean, a LOT.
i'm not about that poultry life, but i do associate those flavors with mae.
she was born amora, which means love, yo.
i only ever knew her as mae,
and i dunno how kids end up deciding what you're gonna be called,
but she was mae when first i met her,
and she was mae when she shrugged off the mortal coil.
here's the thing, neighbors-
i was thinking of her, and all the times i used to spend at her place as a kid,
where the whole flippin' house smelled like roast chicken more often than not.
food as a tool of spirit and memory is some powerful stuff.
it's been twenty years since i had any of her yardbird,
and fifteen since i said goodbye to the old battleaxe,
but i was missin' on her something fierce,
so i made the most of what i had around,
and cooked up a little tribute to that chicken-lickin' instigator from my youth.
check the teleport:
spelt, chia, and flaxmeal crepes,
super thin, very soft, and totally awesome,
seasoned with salt and pepper, and ready to receive the blessings of a big meal.
i put it down with a little crawnchy salad style produce first-
red cabbage and pea tendrils to be precise,
and on top of that,
things really started happening.
broth-braised fried red potatoes, with butterish, and GPOP,
cubed all sorts of small, and boiled off and sizzled up,
for a full-bodied supersaturated mash-up of hot and heavy starchy marching
directly into the next layer of deliciousness-
steamed, garlic-glazed brussels sprouts quarters.
garlic oil at the end of a searing steam session really browns up the edges,
and boosts the flavors into the atmosphere-
the whole house smelled just like my childhood weekends.
i love it.
i HAD to fire up some tofu in the style of the old st. john street gas oven, too.
rosemary, GPOP, paprika, ground mustard seed, sage, thyme, nootch,
paprika, black pepper, malt vinegar, soy sauce, liquid smoke,
and every last ounce of nostalgia i could summon from the cupboards in my heart.
just because i know the rules,
i also added jalapeno-laced fried red onions,
juicy sweet red grape tomatoes,
and a blend of parsley and scallion sprankles.
they're big, they're very full,
and they taste like the far-flung corners of warmth and good times that
haven't been around in some time.
i ate every last morsel,
and i felt fatter than i have in years,
while feeling full in a different way, albeit since a span of similar duration.
i think sometimes a singular focus, or a sequence of excoriating events
can subtly alter the path of progress,
while there's a lot of motion, commotion, confrontation, and consternation,
a little backtracking might be necessary to set the road to success aright.
i don't know how far back i've got to double back on;
i figured a detour down the double-decade driveway of family togetherness
couldn't lead me far astray from where i want to go, though.
some time ago i might've lost track of where i wanted to go.
i've kept moving, slogging along straight through the swamps,
and honestly, i thought that pushing on, harder and harder,
was the no-questions absolutely right call-
i'm starting to suspect that standing still for a second or two might
illuminate just who and what are travelling alongside me,
and what's running away faster than i can catch up.
one good meal,
and i've got introspection welling up like a fountain.
it's all really happening,
we've just got to find out where it's heading;
never quiet, never soft.....