On Food, Family, and Love: A Recipe For Memory

68. Fried Chicken by jon oropeza. CCBY SA 2.0

Atlanta chef and culinary teacher Tim Patridge says there is a difference between reunion and funeral chicken. Reunion chicken, he explains, is fried fast and hot, in a hurry to get to the park and the party. It has a crust that is consequently crisper than the more tender crust of funeral chicken. Funeral chicken is fried slowly. Reluctant for the day to progress, the cook takes her time, turning the burner lower, braising as well as frying. As she stands at the stove, turning the pieces, raising and lowering the heat, she is lost in the act of remembering the person who has gone before. That memory, Tim suggests, may also flavor funeral chicken.

At Oxford American, Ronni Lundy reflects on the simple shared pleasures of food and on how recipes become maps through memory.

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