Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree and Rising.
A completely unexpected hankering hit me when I was on my way to the hardware store to get new spark plugs. A hankering for something I haven’t had in years.
No, no. Not sex. Though at one point today, I was ready to trade half my kingdom for a man who can change lawn mower blades.
Isn’t it funny how something from deep in your subconscious torques loose and bubbles to the top? And you have absolutely no idea what triggered it?
But something hit me as I was turning between the credit union and Body Dynamics gym and I could suddenly see, smell, and taste the barbecue chicken recipe I used to make in college when I was on my own. Yes, a hankering to make barbecue chicken by that recipe and no other.
I couldn’t afford convenience foods or fancy dishes in college, but that’s where I learned to cook and learned to make some fabulous dishes I haven’t made in years, like braised beef tips with mushrooms and wine sauce over wild rice, barbecue chicken, and…tuna salad sandwiches.
Those days, I couldn’t afford boneless chicken, so I’d buy the gargantuan family pack of cheap chicken legs or thighs and freeze 2/3rds of them. (I was big on freezers and crock pots and still am.) I’d put the other third into a casserole dish with a couple of tablespoons of water, a teaspoon or two of barbecue sauce (often from a local fast food restaurant’s condiment stand), and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Then I’d cover it tightly in tin foil and let it simmer in the oven for the next hour. By the time it was done, I had enough chicken for several days or for guests, the entire apartment smelled yummy, and it was the tenderest chicken ever.
I don’t know where that came from, but I couldn’t tamp down the hankering so I headed over to the grocery to shop and home to (gasp!) cook, which is something I haven’t had much time to do recently. But that flashback is why I’m cooking tonight and my whole house smells wonderful.
If a guy shows up offering to fix my lawn mower, I’m probably in trouble….