Trying to go somewhere with my family can be pretty crazy. I love them, but we are all pretty impatient with each other, we all talk over one another, and making plans is always an ordeal. Which is why the best kinds of trips with my family are the relaxing kind, without much of a plan.
When we took our little mini trip to Cloudland Canyon and Chattanooga the other weekend, my mom asked us all what the one thing we wanted to do was, which is generally a pretty good way to go. Usually we can accomplish everyone’s one thing, and for me, in this instance, that one thing was going to eat at Tupelo Honey Cafe, which probably ranks as my absolute favorite restaurant ever since Gerrit and I went to eat at the original in Asheville on our honeymoon.
And while travelling with my family can sometime feel like herding kittens (which really, there are only five of us so I’m not sure how that is possible), perhaps the best thing is when we go out to eat together on a trip. Because we all get excited about food, and we all want to make sure we are eating really well. And when you go out to eat with the five people in my family, there is always plate passing and reaching over the table with our forks and so much food sharing. We all want to taste everything. I’m not sure if other families do this, but we do and I love it.
Since I’ve always ordered the same thing when I’ve been to Tupelo Honey Cafe (Charleston Chicken Sandwich (no cranberry sauce) with fried okra and macaroni and cheese) because it is SO good, the perk of bite sharing means I got to try the nutty fried chicken my brother ordered which, oh my goodness that is SO good, too.
When I came home and pulled out my Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook from my cookbook shelf, which has sat neglected for far too long (and they have a new one out too!), I was so happy to see that the fried chicken recipe was there, in its simple one page glory. Soak the chicken in buttermilk, bread it in ground mixed nuts and bread crumbs, and fry it. It comes out perfectly golden brown, the color fried chicken should always be, and nutty in such a subtly sweet and salty way.