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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fried Chicken

My husband and I love living in New England, have been trying to get back here ever since we left, and are over the moon with joy now that we're here. In spite of all that, North Carolina was a nice place to live (in a hotel room). Although I never had a good hair day there, I do have pangs of nostalgia for the last place we lived.

For one, some parts of the hotel felt like home. On the morning we left, the staff explained that they would give themselves some time before they rented out the room where we stayed for nearly eight months to avoid the feeling that something was terribly wrong when someone else was in "our room." They also got to know my husband's morning coffee habits so well that they gave him a bagful of his favorite creamer and chocolate as a parting gift. I thought that was really touching. My husband made sure to treat everyone there well from the beginning, but I maintained my shy standoffishness even through all their southern openness and charm.

The immediate difference I've noticed has been our eating habits. In North Carolina, it was possible for me to go weeks with chicken as my only protein. Fried chicken has always been my favorite food (aside from chocolate, which is not food so much as life force), so perhaps you can imagine the bliss of living in a place where all anyone ever eats is fried chicken or pork barbecue. Every restaurant does it differently, and yet every place does it right. How can that be? Even the chain restaurants gave consistently virtuosic performances, with my favorites being Smithfield's (they show you that KFC clearly uses too much black pepper), Zaxby's, and O'Charley's. Any time one of them wants to franchise in New England, I will give them a southern welcome.