This is Bettina’s front porch. Bettina is my best friend’s mom. She is one helluva woman. And she owns a spectacular old stone house in Maryland, which is where I spent the better part of my adolescent years (both in the state and in this house). Oh, the memories created along the topsy-turvy path from childhood to adulthood…many of mine are housed here. When I visit, the rush of nostalgia quickly whooshes into a flood of emotions and reminiscences…
And the best part is that wonderful memories are still being created there.
Like just two weekends back when I luxuriated in this blissfully deep tub, listening to a summer rainstorm mingle with sunshine against the windowpanes.
Of course, the weekend also involved food. Shopping for food, preparing food, taking pictures of food, and finally, sitting down in front of one of the loveliest lunches I’ve had to date (one of those 3pm lunches; those are the best).
Here’s beautiful Bettina in her gorgeous kitchen that she remodeled and put together with her very own hands. Here, those capable hands were on their way to her mouth, popping in a salty, warm chicken gizzard she’d just battered and fried right there on the counter.
Yes, we eat fried chicken gizzards in the good ol’ south. Get over it.
Did we make a meal of chicken ventriculuses and call it a day? Heck no! Our original plan was to make a luscious salad and we were quite successful. We spent a few hours shopping around in 3 unique regional markets: 1 – a Mennonite market where we bought fresh produce, spices, and flours/grains/pasta galore; 2 – a Pennsylvania Dutch market where I suddenly came upon the craving for fried gizzards; and 3 – a tiny, old old old-school store full of treasures like Crab House Crunch (peanut brittle with Old Bay seasoning, what!), an unexpected ridiculously good loaf of ciabatta bread, and even some eye candy for certain female patrons…
We went all out. Peppadew peppers, blanched asaparagus, pickled sweet Brussels sprouts, ripe tomato, crisp red leaf lettuce, pistachio- and panko-crusted goat cheese – there was obviously no stopping us.
By the way, Bettina has all of the cute yet functional kitchen equipment that makes cooking that much more fun.
Those capable hands I mentioned earlier? Here they nonchalantly slice a log of goat cheese with dental floss. What did I tell ya? She’s a truly talented lady. That soft, heated goat cheese encased in its crispy coating was ethereal.
So…we cooked, chopped, and assembled and then moseyed into the summer kitchen to enjoy our lunch.
tap tap tap...
Fried Chicken Gizzards, MD style
1 lb. chicken gizzards (ask your butcher or grocery meat man)
Bowl half full of flour
Bowl half full of milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Oil for frying
FryDaddy (Only $19.87 on Amazon.com - so worth it)
Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dip the gizzards, a few at a time, into the bowl of flour, then quickly dip in milk. One last dip into the flour, lightly shake off excess and gently drop into your FryDaddy (don't crowd your pot, make sure they have room to move around a bit). Approximately five minutes in and scoop out when golden brown, tossing with more salt and pepper while still hot.
Start popping and you won't stop.
Makes enough for 2 1/2 hungry women who shopped, chopped, cooked, and assembled and didn't eat until 3pm.