Friday, March 22, 2013
Pop's Chicken Dinners SOLC2013 #22 of 31
Chicken dinners hold a special place in our family heritage. And I guess I need to qualify, fried chicken dinners to be specific. It didn't matter where we went to eat with my grandfather, he ordered the chicken dinner with a doggie bag. I do not remember him ever ordering anything different. If chicken was on the menu, chicken is what he got.
Growing up, we had a few special places where we dined with Grandma and Pop. We followed the same routine: get coats on at
4:15 while Pop backed the car out of the garage. Arrive at Laconi's by 4:30. As Pop ever so slowly pulled into the parking space, he and Grandma both opened their car doors to make sure he was in between the yellow lines. The kids would chorus, "Don't fall out!" If all was well, we hopped out and darted into the restaurant. My grandparents were regulars there and had their own booth. Pop didn't need a menu. The waitress knew what he wanted: three piece chicken dinner with jojos and a doggie bag. (Jojos are the quintesssential broasted potato served with chicken in the Cuyahoga Falls/Akron area). After we ordered, he'd tell the waitress that he was paying the first quarter and to give the check to me. I never grew tired of hearing him say that. He continued to say those words even after I was grown up and had my own children.
The doggie bag was a must have. Pop never ate all of his chicken. I'm not sure if he wanted to eat it or not. No matter, because one or two pieces were reserved for the dog. Yes, the doggie bag was really for the dog. We carried chicken home to the dog no matter what. You won't be surprised to learn that their dogs were all overweight. (If there wasn't chicken in the evening, the dogs got bologna and cheese while Grandma had a glass of wine.)
Today, I spent the afternoon looking through old pictures at my mom and dad's house. So many memories came flooding back, among them Pop's chicken dinners. My grandfather was a man of few words. Some thought him intimidating, but never once did any of us kids not feel totally loved and cherished by him. Tonight, I had a 3 piece chicken dinner in his honor, and yes, I got a box for the leftovers.
Thank you to Ruth and Stacey for hosting Slice of Life Challenge.