Coke and Ketchup Chicken. Yes, it's an acquired taste

In the Heart section of Culinary Therapy Decade 4, we are to "reach back into your memory for a dish that has sentimental ties. Well, if I reach all the way back, then what I remember was pretty awful. Sorry Mom.

My Mom is not a great cook. Also, she doesn't care. That makes it better I think. I don't actually know what she did all day when we were at school. She was a nurse, but gave that up when my brother was born sick. She never went back and was a stay at home Mom. We lived in a small town, so there was none of that drive and dash Mom stuff back then. She wasn't in the PTO, she didn't volunteer at our school. She didn't garden or sew. I think she had a lot of coffee with the neighbors and watched a lot of tv. Oh, and garage sales. Don't let me forget the garage sales. Whatever she did- it wasn't look at cookbooks or recipes. The one recipe she did manage to find was Coke and Ketchup chicken.

I think it was supposed to be like a bbq chicken. I don't know. It was a sauce of some kind-obviously made from Coke and ketchup, and the chicken was baked in it. It was AWFUL. To this day though, my Mom defends this abomination when I make fun of it. Says it "wasn't that bad". It was. Even the dog wouldn't eat it.

Her dishes were all pretty simple, meat, potatoes, veggie. No real seasonings. I think my Mom rebelled against the way HER mom cooked. My Grandmother was the original Paula Deen. In her mind, there wasn't anything that couldn't be improved upon if you just added enough butter. Or margarine. Or drank enough pink champagne to cloud your judgement. Grandma was one of those women who made a great t bone steak,cooked it until it was quite black, then added a huge dollop of butter on top. Served it with a salad that had a wedge of iceberg, a quarter tomato and a cup of blue cheese dressing. Macaroni and cheese with a pound of Velveeta served 4.

When I moved to Texas I was stunned. Flavor! Color! Different levels of done-ness! Meat not swimming in butter. Meals that didn't even have meat in them! It was amazing.

Listen, my Mom did her best. This was the 70's and she watched the "Galloping Gourmet" so I'm just thankful I didn't return home to find her passed out drunk with a pot of butter and cream on the stove boiling over!

1 comment:

scb said...

Hmmm... we used to do baked apples cooked with ginger ale poured over them, or with some sort of fruity pop, but Coke and Ketchup... um, doesn't sound quite like what I'd like.

It's fascinating, getting these glimpses into people's childhood food memories!