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 havenâ€™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.
Isnâ€™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 couldnâ€™t afford convenience foods or fancy dishes in college, but thatâ€™s where I learned to cook and learned to make some fabulous dishes I havenâ€™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 couldnâ€™t afford boneless chicken, so Iâ€™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.) Iâ€™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 restaurantâ€™s condiment stand), and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Then Iâ€™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 donâ€™t know where that came from, but I couldnâ€™t tamp down the hankering so I headed over to the grocery to shop and home to (gasp!) cook, which is something I havenâ€™t had much time to do recently. But that flashback is why Iâ€™m cooking tonight and my whole house smells wonderful.
If a guy shows up offering to fix my lawn mower, Iâ€™m probably in trouble….