Nothing says I enjoy cooking for my family more than handfuls of hot supermarket chicken on a lovingly buttered roll.
But one of my children has potentially decided to reject what is, by some accounts, my best ‘recipe’.
And what brought this madness on? Is she incomprehensibly sick of the taste? Is there a limit of hot chook meals per week I’ve unwittingly crossed? Was it perhaps undercooked, or overcooked? Did I accidentally snap the wishbone as I snacked in the car on the way home?
This sad tale started wonderfully enough.
I’d spent the night in Melbourne enjoying their comedy festival. This is a huge thing for me. I live in Gympie and the only comedian I’ve ever seen in town was Austen Tayshus back in the eighties. Over the years I think I’ve seen every Youtube click of performances for this event.
So when I discovered we chanced to be only an hour or so from Melbourne while it was on I booked a few sessions, including a couple on this last week’s Tightarse Tuesday.
As expected, David O’Doherty and Jason Byrne made the back of my head hurt, and I was one happy bugger as I walked back to where I parked the car. So happy, realising my car wasn’t parked where I thought it was and wandering around in the dungeon under the Hyatt looking like I was checking to see if anyone had left keys in their door didn’t dampen my mood at all. Primarily because it wasn’t stolen. I’d just forgotten what floor I was on.
During this wander, a message arrived from Tracey enquiring briefly if I’d had a good night before segueing abruptly into a shopping list complete with a screenshot of the closing time for a supermarket on the way home. As luck would have it, I love shopping for toothpaste at midnight. Sleep is for wimps and people who don’t like falling asleep at the wheel.
But any thoughts of jumping into bed were quickly dispelled as I entered the store.
“Hello customers,” a voice rang out. “We’ve reduced the price of our hot chickens to just $2.50. Check them out near the deli. Just $2.50.”
I tried to make it look like I just happened to be running past the chicken stand. There were five whole chooks left. I grabbed a couple.
“Only the two?” the woman with the price gun asked me hopefully. I took it from her tone and the fact she had to stamp the new price over one which read $5 they’d had some issues moving the birds this evening. But I couldn’t bring myself to to take them all. Someone less fleet of foot – not saying this is likely but it’s possible – might at that very moment have been shuffling frantically through the frozen aisles.
“I tell you what,” I said, “I’ll do my shopping and come back. If there’s still one left I’ll grab it.”
Quickest. Shop. Ever.
As I approached the deli the woman lifted two bags into the air.
“I’ll take them,” I puffed.
Four hot chooks! For ten dollars!
As I drove home my mind was filled with images of wraps and curries and pasta dishes even as my mouth was filled with the odd wing.
It wasn’t until the next morning it all went downhill.
“What’s for breakfast?” Miss6 asked as she gave me a hug.
“Cereal,” I said. It’s always cereal.
“I don’t want that,” she told me. Possibly because she’d spotted the chunks of white meat on my toast.
“What about chicken then?” I grinned, pulling a bag out of the fridge.
With Miss6 cheering I shoved a hand in and, after some fumbling, pulled out a chicken leg.
Or at least, that was the plan.
“Two chicken legs,” squealed Miss6 excitedly.
I’d withdrawn two legs tied together by a rubber band or something at the ‘ankles’. Usually I’d take a moment to separate them but I knew I had another six in the fridge so I decided Miss6 could have both of these. I mean, why not?
I found out a few moments later as Miss6’s face clambered through a series of emotions, from joy to doubt to utter utter disgust.
“I don’t think I can eat chicken anymore,” she told me. handing the legs back to me like they still had feathers. “I can’t eat anything which uses hairbands.”
I confess I was hoping the flock of birds in our fridge meant I wouldn’t have to actually cook for a couple of days, but lucky for her my recipe for two minute noodles is pretty awesome as well.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
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