Cycle 12 – Cycle 197
21 (Wed) July 2021
Chicken in the Rough
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (62) (see 100 NEWBERY M&Ms)
While reading the 100 books that have been awarded the annual Newbery Medal since 1922, I am attempting to create one dish for every book, a dish that is directly referenced in or indirectly inspired by the events of the book. The dishes will be featured as posts on Give Me This Day.
Criss Cross (2006) by Lynne Rae Perkins. The book is about Debbie, as well as her friends Patty, Hector, Lenny, and Phil, and how they spend their summer.
I liked it. Though nothing really happens, the quiet slice-of-life multi-narrative story is about how everyone’s lives touch upon each other, whether significantly or tangentially. Reminded me of those movies with interwoven plot lines (e.g., Traffic, Crash, Babel) that came out around the same time as this book was published – must’ve been an ought thing. The author also uses a range of writing styles and techniques at different points throughout the book, which make for interesting reading.
Hector’s twin sister Rowanne is also a character.
[paraphrased in part]
They were sitting on a bench at the Tastee-Freez, eating ice cream cones. The bench looked out over the A&P parking lot. Also in sight were the used car lot, the gas station, and the Idle Hour Restaurant, with its bobbing neon chicken advertising “Chicken in the Rough.” That meant you ate it out of a plastic basket lined with wax paper instead of from a dish. They were in the heart, though not quite the entirety, of Seldem’s Commercial district.
I appreciate the banality of suburbia conveyed throughout the book.
My version of “Chicken in the Rough” involved pre-made boneless fried chicken from E-Mart, reheated in the air-fryer, served with hot sauce. Not really “by me,” but close enough. I couldn’t find a plastic food basket, so I had to settle for a wicker basket, close enough. Anyway, I overcooked the chicken, which turned out unpleasantly dry.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)