So Here’s What’s Cookin’

One of my favorite things about my friend Elise is that she loves to eat. Now I certainly don’t mean that she sits around stuffing her face with Cheetos all day, because if you want to know the truth of it all, girlfriend has got it goin’ on.

And besides, if anyone is going to be the Official Cheetos Face-Stuffer, I believe I have a lock on the title. 

However, Elise does enjoy some tasty Southern cuisine. And since Elise and her second-born are coming into town tonight, I’ve been thinking for the last couple of days about what I can fix for supper. After all, planning a meal is oftentimes just as fun as preparing it and eating it – especially if you love to cook like I do.

Those of you who only recently started reading my blog probably aren’t familiar with the tragedy that hit Elise’s family last July. Tonight will be the first time that I’ve seen my sweet friend since I left Paul’s funeral, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about being able to love on her a little bit by cooking supper for her and one of her little men.

And in the South, that can only mean one thing: I will be serving fried chicken. 

When we were in college, Elise and I both spent a substantial portion of our weekly allowances at Popeye’s, and as a result, my, um, posterior “portions” became significantly more, um, “substantial.” Elise somehow managed to stay cute and skinny, but I do not hold that against her unless you count the deep well of bitterness that resides in the pit of my stomach. Other than that I’m perfectly fine with all of her well-toned hotness.

Now if you are not familiar with Popeye’s, all I can tell you is how deeply sorry I am, because their fried chicken and homemade biscuits are so fine that it is nearly impossible to consume them without GIVING THANKS TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER FOR HIS DELICIOUS PROVISION. And while you may be thinking, “Well, I think KFC is pretty good,” I am here to tell you – in the most gentle way I know – that KFC AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ ON THE POPEYE’S. 

As someone who has never met a piece of deep-fried poultry that I didn’t like, I know whereof I speak on this one, people. Trust me. 

Over the last few years, Elise – regrettably – has strayed from her Popeye’s fried chicken heritage and become a loyal Church’s Chicken customer. In fact, I believe that when the employees at the Church’s on Meadowbrook Road in Jackson, Mississippi see Elise’s SUV approaching their restaurant, they immediately begin to fill a bag with chicken tenders and jalapeno bombers because they know exactly what kind of fried food fix the lady in the Suburban needs.

All they ask is that she slows down her vehicle long enough for them to throw the food in her car and for her to throw some money at them in return. The obligatory exchange of pleasantries is no longer required.

But tonight, at my house, Popeye’s is once again going to rule the chicken roost. I’m going to pick up a bucket of deep fried goodness, cook us some butterbeans and maybe even some potato casserole, then whip up a little homemade chocolate pudding for dessert. I cannot wait to sit down at the table and break a little bread – in biscuit form, of course – with Elise.

I can’t wait to see her stinkin’ face. I can’t wait to hear her laugh. 

I mean, come on, y’all: eating Popeye’s chicken and spending time with an old friend? 

My cup, it runneth over.

Specifically, it runneth over with piping hot peanut oil.

And I am thankful.

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  1. Lookin’ like I won the BooMama first comment lottery today, boys and girls.

    My husband and I own a restaurant. Our specialties are fried Chicken, fried green tomatoes, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, cube steak and gravy………you get it. There is nothing like southern comfort food.

  2. 1. I’m going to need directions to Lucy’s restaurant

    2. Love that chicken from Popeye’s! (did that come through with the little tune that was running through my head when I typed it?)

    There is a Popeye’s on Government Street in Mobile, AL, which supplied my friends and family with all of our Mardi Gras parade-viewing victuals for many a year.

    Y’all have fun!

  3. Yummm. I’ll be right on over!

  4. I was relieved when you said you were buying the chicken. I was really beginning to feel guilty, although all of the other goodies you are preparing are very admireable. I seem to have missed out on the love of cooking gene but know your mama is proud. Even though I don’t know Elise, please give her my condolences.

  5. OMy GOSH. I LOVED that very same Church’s on Meadowbrook- a frequent haunt for me when I lived in the capital city!! Okay, now I have a craving.

  6. Looks like I missed out on the spelling gene too — make that admirable

  7. Well, as a true Southerner, I have to say that if it’s deep fat fried, it’s good. Although I too was sitting here thinking, “Gah! She’s making the chicken homemade?! Is there nothing that woman can’t do?” I mean I love home cookin’, but even I gave up the cooking fried chicken gambit.

    But now I know. Whew.

    Have a fun time and if you can share the love a bit, give Elise a hug from me, the stranger, as well.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Enjoy the precious time with you dear friend!

  9. The semester after I graduated from college, they opened a Popeye’s chicken right down the street from where I used to live. All I can say is thank God in heaven it wasn’t there while I was a student or they would have had to roll me across the stage to collect my diploma.

  10. Mmmmm, Popeyes… but I can’t afford the WW points to eat it. I’ll settle for making my own fried chicken wing drummettes here at home. Those are the kids’ favorite food (they call it “chicken with the bone” as opposed to “chicken without the bone” [boneless skinless breasts]).

  11. I’m originally from Greenville, SC . . . and Popeye’s was right on my way to work when I worked 2nd shift. How many times I savored a steak biscuit! Gotta love Popeye’s! Now I live in Canada and no Popeye’s is around, although we do have KFC. Enjoy loving on your friend!

  12. I see your comments all the time and decided to come see your blog. I enjoyed it.

  13. Bailey's Leaf says:

    Give Elise some lovin’ from us all. Just make sure that you wipe the chickeny goodness from your hands first!

    PS I confess that I’ve never been to Popeye’s or Church’s. I’m an Ohio kid. Now bagels . . . don’t get me started!

  14. Lea Margaret says:

    Yall have fun! Give Elise a hug and a kiss from me!

  15. I’m just peaking in and i just got finished visiting new blog via blogger party

  16. Only you, BooMama. Wait! That’s a song! Right? Only yoooooo can make my dreams come troo-ooh-oo….

    Only you could ever so gently suggest that we might be buying our fried chicken from the wrong place. I personally am a fan of “ccok that chicken at home, girl.” I am also a fan, I’m so sorry, so, so sorry, of KFC. But I’m sure that’s only because we don’t have Church’s here. Really.

    Now. Ahem. About that butterbean recipe. ‘Cause, you know, that blackeyed pea recipe you sent me pretty much convinced Rob that although he took the girl out of the country, he didn’t kill the country part. *smile*

    I love it that you and Elise are going to be together again. Bless her heart.

  17. Phyllis R. says:

    “As someone who has never met a piece of deep-fried poultry that I didn’t like”….made me like YOU all over again. You haven’t posted a food post in a while, and so this was like, well, delicious. Being the total southern freak of nature that I am (hate to cook) I LOVE that you are purchasing the fried poultry. I know that y’all are going to have a finger licking good time. I’m glad you get to visit with her, but I’m more glad that she gets to visit with you. I just know that you are good for her soul (and her stomach!)

  18. Emma Kate says:

    Give Elise some big lovin from me and enjoy all that yummy food!!!!

  19. I love them both- Popeye’s and Church’s. But I used to really love Bojangle’s. I don’t think they are around anymore. Cajun spices and a deep fryer- yum.

  20. Yes, Popeyes and KFC both have their place, but you gotta “love that chicken from Popeyes. . .”

  21. I’ve never tried Popeyes. But I do love KFC and if you say its better…I’ll head there this weekend.

    Have fun with Elise! Stay outta trouble, ladies.

  22. I am in the crowd you labeled as “new readers”, and I was not aware of Elise’s tragedy. Reading it brought many tears to my eyes.

    Enjoy your weekend with a great friend! And send some good southern food my way. :)

  23. Elise is blessed to have such a friend (I just finished reading Sisterchicks on the Loose, and this post reminded me of them so much!)
    I hope you two have a wonderful evening together.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Give Elise many hugs from me and Mike!!! I wish I could be there to enjoy me some of that fried chicken, butterbeans, and homemade pudding.

    Love you both!!!!

  25. I really hope that y’all are laid out on the couch right now, with your bellies full of fried chicken.

    And shut up about the Oprah school special–so great!

  26. We had a chicken place called Mrs. Winners that I loved growing up. I haven’t seen one in ages, but they were great!

  27. Carmen’s comment made me smile. You know Mama has often said that with my lack of interest in cooking, she can’t believe I’m her child. :)

  28. Do you know I have NEVER had Popeye’s chicken? We have one really close to us, and just the other day as we drove by, I thought — “I need to try that chicken!” Mostly we stick with KFC and Mrs. Winner’s. Ooo, and Chik-Fil-A, of course. ;)

    Hope you and Elise have a great cluck-cluck time!

  29. Very yummy. I mean very funny.

    My favorite line: “but I do not hold that against her unless you count the deep well of bitterness that resides in the pit of my stomach”

    Thanks for saying hello to me. Now that I have returned the visit I can truly say I love your blog too. I really smiled at your profile description.

  30. Okay, BooMama, I am now officially abandoning my happy lazy lurking status. I found your blog through the Wisners or Big Mama or both, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading just about every big and little thing you’ve had to say. And I would have continued reading, just quietly, like Ferdinand the bull under his favorite cork tree, but for these three things:

    1. Your gorgeous eulogy for Elise’s darling Paul, which made me weep.

    2. The fact that I, too, so dearly love that chicken from Popeye’s.

    3. Meadowbrook Road? Now stop it! I had no IDEA you were from the Magnolia State! I was a Jackson girl from (this sounds so times-of-yore I can barely bring myself to type it) 1974 through 1983. That would be preschool (J.A.) through just past elementary (McLeod). LOTS of flare-legged multicolored corduroy pants, one even decorated with, I kid you not, the Hee Haw logo, were worn with pride during this time. How flattering were these on a young girl who had clearly never met a fried chicken she didn’t like? You can only imagine.

    Thanks for prompting this rambling stroll down memory lane. I promise I’ll delurk to comment (more concisely? I make no guarantees) in the future, too.

  31. The chicken sounds good. And more important, spending time with Elise is even better. Her husband died just 13 days after mine. Just remember, Boomama, that it is still just weeks really. Laughter and tears make a wonderful combination, especially with a treasured friend! Have a lot of fun. I wish we had chicken like I am imagining over here too……

  32. I hope you have an awesome time visiting with you friend and her son. Sadly, Ive never had Popeye’s chicken, but it sounds good.

  33. I’m with Barb–we all need a good butterbean recipe, and we know you wouldn’t forsake your “internets” by withholding this valuable information from us!

    Have a sweet time with Elise and love on her lots.

  34. LOL, in college I lived on Bojangles 2 piece fried chicken meal($1.98 then) and Taco Bell (I think tacos were something like .39 a piece…ah the glories of frugalness and comfort food!

  35. When I was in Starkville, I learned to LOVE Popeye’s red beans and rice. Have you ever tried them? I don’t know what they put in them, and I don’t want to know, but they’re SOOOOO yummy…though they could never top the chicken and biscuits. We have a Popeye’s here, but sadly, it’s too far away to frequent. Eat some for me!!!

  36. mmmm hmmmm mmmmm! Popeyes all the way! This southern gal sure does love the fried chicken too.


  37. Popeye’s is my fave fried chicken institution too, and I consume the green beans like they will never grow again.

  38. Give Elise a big ol’ hug for me!!!Make her tell you the story again of Church’s when her old high school (or was it jr. high?)”friend” recognized her!!Tell her Hoffman and I love her!!! I would love to see you both!!!!

  39. Would that be “slap yo mama” pudding you are making? Oh, I do want to try that, but I never could keep it from curdling.

    Will you cook some for me if I come visit you? I’ll by the chicken…

  40. I’ll also “buy” the chicken.

  41. You are blessed and highly favored to have friends like you do…and they are blessed as well. Beautiful stories, they are.

  42. Oh, yeah! Popeye’s! My husband worked at Popeye’s in, you will never guess where……. GERMANY!! That was our first taste of it, because MN just doesn’t have the love. Well, now there is one Popeye’s in the state of Minnesota, and even though its over an hour away, you know we go there! Its even in that part of town where you lock your doors and hope you never have to leave your car, still we go there. With the kids, even.

  43. Boo, I do have to admit that Popeye’s has the biscuits and “bone in” chicken market cornered so, the only reason I have strayed to Church’s is for their strips (or SKRIPS as my boys call them) and bombers. Gillian is still talking about how funny Alex was and that he’s so glad we went to the “Boo’s” house. He really liked BooDaddy and of course enjoyed your company as well. THANKS for having us – I LOVE YOU!!! E :)

  44. Have a wonderful time! Isn’t is a blessing to have such a treasured friend?

    And, although I love KFC’s coleslaw, I WILL agree that Popeye’s chicken is pretty darn good :-)