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Saving Summer

Grandparents can be magic

By Kendrick BakerPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Saving Summer
Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

It was the summer of my freshman year in college. We were all winding down getting ready to go home for summer break and finishing up our last few exams at the same time. I had taken on the unofficial role as the chef for my group of friends. I often made our meals with the financial backing of my friends. On this particular day, my friend Lucas approached me and told me that when he got home he wanted to cook something for his mother. Since he left for school he hadn’t seen her much, and he wanted to cook for her this summer to show her how much he had missed her. He confided in me that he didn’t know how to cook anything but bologna sandwiches. So we needed something simple, and tasty, but most importantly we needed something that brought them together again. Immediately, I thought about my grandmother’s chicken salad. She often made it in the summer because Apples are in season around late July. That was her secret ingredient, a little apple. When my grandmother made her chicken-salad, it didn’t matter what was going on, everyone wanted to get some. Family members who were fueding would have a temporary ceasefire just to eat some, cause there was no fighting at grandma’s table.

With the recipe decided, I set upon teaching it to Lucas. First things first we needed to dice up some onion, and garlic. I made sure to explain to him that onion was no joke, those sulfur tears would have you in tears if you didn’t take them seriously. Then we got some butter in a skillet. Lucas asked if we could use olive oil, as it was a healthier choice. I could hear my grandmother cackling like she was in the room with us, and I knew what she would say.

“Butter has saved the world more times than you know baby. Olive oil may be good for your body, but butter is good for your soul. Let’s feed your soul right now.”

I laughed and told him not in this case man, butter is the way to go. We had the onion and garlic sauteeing together. That buttery salty aroma filled the kitchen and I saw his eyes light up as he smelled it. That face said “Damn we are cooking something delicous.”, and I just laughed and nodded. The next step was to get the chicken cooked as well. I opened two cans of diced chicken breasts and added them to the butter, onion and garlic mixture. Taking my time to mix them in slowly breaking them up and turning them more into a shredded consistency. That step done, I took out my spices ( Garlic Salt, Italian Seasoning, and Black Pepper), and added them to the skillet as well. Lucas asked, “How are you measuring those spices?”. I told him I never really measured spices when I cooked, I just know. My grandmother always said cook with your heart, not your head. That way, people can taste the love in your food.

Now that we had the chicken, garlic, and onion cooked and seasoned I added the mixture to a bowl with a full block of cream cheese in it. Then I added two spoons of mayo as well as a can of diced green chiles. I took the time here to add in a little more seasoning. Then I diced up my apple and added it as well. All the ingredients in the bowl I mixed it together until my chicken salad was of a luxuriously creamy consistency. Lucas immediately wanted to jump in, but I told him we had to let it chill in the fridge. When the chicken salad gets cold it is ten times as good. A few hours later we sat down and had some with crackers and he couldn’t stop eating. I had to tell him to slow down because the chicken salad wasn’t going anywhere. We both laughed at that.

He went home and made the chicken salad for his mother. It went over so well that he called me the same day to tell me about it. Apparently, his mother had liked it so much that she said “ Too bad I don’t have any daughters to marry off to this boy!”. He was so happy that she had enjoyed it and for him, it was one of the first steps in her recognizing he was a man now. For me, I just loved being able to make something my grandmother had taught me and being able to see that food bring another family together. My grandmother had always been a magical person to me, so it was amazing to see her work her summertime magic once again.


About the Creator

Kendrick Baker

Hello! I am an aspiring writer from Texas. Some of my favorite authors and influences are Neil Gaiman, and Rupi Kaur. I love the way that both authors entrance readers, and that is what I set out to do with my own writing.

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