In grade 8, when I made friends with the new girl at school, I discovered a culinary sensation.
Every Friday after school my BF Bonnie and I would race to her house and wait in her kitchen for the delivery. Her grandfather Jimmy would pull up in the four-door sedan to drop off the food that Bubby Katy and her sister-in-law Rosie had spent all day cooking and baking. Jimmy would shlep boxes from the car filled with still-hot home-cooked food from the old country covered in tinfoil for Friday night dinner. The women had cooked the meal and it was the same every week: chicken soup, goulash, chicken paprikash, Bubby’s chicken (breaded chicken strips) and Rosie’s squares (a dessert made from ground almonds and chocolate, referred to by those in the know as simply “Rosie’s”—to this day, I dream of Rosie’s). It was his greatest joy to drop off this food for his children and grandchildren (and his granddaughter’s bestie).
Bubby’s Chicken was everything: tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside, flattened and crispy-coated strips of chicken that had been cooked in a vat of oil and then patted dry with paper towel. I will never taste a chicken finger like that again.
Though I try.