Summer always reminds me of fried chicken. Hot sunny Sunday afternoons out in the backyard with the smell of fried chicken sneaking out the back screened door. Mama would be standing over what had to be an unbearably hot stove frying up chicken in her two cast iron skillets. Fresh snapped green beans seasoned with country ham bubbled on one burner and potatoes for mashing on another, while fresh homemade biscuits baked in the oven. As soon as the chicken frying was done Daddy would step in to make his secret recipe of southern milk gravy. I was twelve before he passed that secret on to me. It was one of the proudest days of my life. Mama's chicken and Daddy's gravy put Colonel Sanders to shame here in Kentucky.
I have many memories of wonderful meals from over the years, but whenever I catch the smell of chicken frying I am transported back to our first little house and summer Sundays. Of Mama and Daddy in that small hot kitchen cooking up the best meal ever.