Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 28, 2010

Fried Chicken

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Growing up, I could always anticipate having fried chicken for Sunday dinner.  My grandmother and grandfather Jolly always welcomed the family for Sunday dinner.  With the exception of Thanksgiving or Christmas, I knew there would be fried chicken.  In fact, there was a large platter of chicken.  Georgia, the cook, would kill and dress several chickens to provide for the large family that would eat.  Like many families in the south, fried chicken was synonymous with Sunday dinner after church.

There is one occasion when I had friend chicken that can never be forgotten.  I had traveled by train to Limon from San Jose, Costa Rica.  From Limon I journeyed by rail on a train going deep into the interior to transport bananas.  From my exit from the train, I then went up the river several miles in a dugout canoe.  Leaving the canoe, I walked several miles into the dense jungle.  At last I came to the home where I was to be welcomed.   When dinner time came, two other men joined us.  The four of us sat at the table while the ladies would serve us, and then eat later as was the custom.

The table was crudely made from wood and not very stable.  The floor of the home was dirt, and dogs and chickens would pass through the house.  As we were talking, the host reached down quickly and grabbed one of the chickens.  He threw it on the table, picked up his machete, and with the broad side of the machete he hit the chicken several times.  It not only killed the chicken, but broke most of the bones.  He called for his wife who picked the chicken up.  She quickly moved to the outside wood stove where upon it was a large vat of hot grease.  She dropped the chicken into the hot grease.

I suddenly realized that she did not pluck the feathers from the chicken, nor did she clean the entrails from the chicken.  As the men continued to talk, my mind was on that chicken.  This would be the truest fried chicken I had ever eaten, if I was going to eat it!  This was truly a ‘stuffed’ chicken.

It a few minutes, the chicken was removed from the vat and placed on a large wooden platter.  I looked at that natural fried chicken.  The host asked that we bow for a blessing.  He began to bless the food.  He gave thanks for all God was providing at that table.  I believe I had one eye open looking at that chicken.  I believe my thoughts were, “Thankful for that chicken?”

As must be, I would eat that chicken.  I did not want to offend my host.  I was careful to allow them to pull it apart where I could avoid the feathers.  I was relieved to see them pluck the feathers and lay them aside.  It was in the spirit of commitment to the Lord that I ate that day.  However, Judy and I had a song that we would sing to ourselves on such occasions.

“Lord, I’ll go where you want me to go.  I’ll eat what you want me to eat.  I’ll swallow it down, without a frown, but, Oh, dear Lord, you’ll have to keep it down.”

And He did!

No matter what, we are to be thankful!

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)



  1. Oh dear Mr. Jolly,

    Your recollection made me smile and even laugh out loud a little bit this morning. You are so precious and I can just picture this whole situation in my mind. I can also picture you and Mrs. Jolly singing that song 🙂

    Comment by Kathryn McCall — February 28, 2010 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  2. You brought a smile to my heart and face. You also helped me see my life with gratitude. Thank you for your words and reflections. I enjoy reading and learning from them.

    Comment by Angela — February 28, 2010 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  3. I remember you telling me this story! Oh SO funny! =)

    Comment by Jonathan McMath — February 28, 2010 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  4. Thanks for this cute story. I like that song you would sing with Mrs. Jolly. ha Yes, we are to be thankful for all things, even when it seems we can’t possibly be.

    Comment by Pearl Rogers — March 2, 2010 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

  5. Oh, my, God really gave you strength. You didn’t say if Mrs. Jolly ate some too, but I assume she did! God bless you both, that would have been a loooong dinner! Culture has put a lot of missionaries in some real predicaments as they travel! Love the song!

    Comment by D. White — February 21, 2011 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

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