Planning early

Ferdinand loves the dog. He lies down on the floor next to her so they can talk eye to eye. He never walks past her without reaching down to pet her and the dog feels the same about him. Yesterday, he asked me if we could s-t-u-f-f Molly when she dies so that she could live with us forever. (He had to spell it out he said, because he didn’t want to upset her.) I told him maybe we could make a book instead. Or maybe eat her favorite foods in her honor–popcorn, parmesan or bits of beef.
I remember when my stepfather died, (man of the deep south) we had a meal of fried chicken, collard greens, and sweet potatoes. Thank God we didn’t stuff him.
The best fried chicken comes from the great Edna Lewis. She brines it overnight, then soaks it in buttermilk for half a day, infuses lard and butter with country ham until the ham is crisyp, then coats the chicken in cornstarch and flour, and fries it up in the ham infused fat. I like my collard greens with garlic and onions cooked slowly enough to read the paper cover to cover by, and then mixed up in a ratio of 2 parts collards to 1 part cabbage, and my sweet potatoes just as they are with butter, salt and a grind of black pepper, or if I am feeling especially spicey, like the late great Carl Henry, a little cayenne.

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