We knew it was bad for us, but we ate it anyhow because it was what we packed on our annual excursion up to the White Mountains. Auntie would get the cast iron skillet hot and her husband Gene would dredge the chicken in flour, salt and pepper and perhaps a few secret ingredients. Certainly, the basket was filled with other goodies, most likely from the farmer's market, but I don't remember. All I remember was the fried chicken and the years that I saw the crumbling nose of the "Old Man in the Mountain" through a thick fog. Some years the foliage was so brilliant that we would pull the car over to the side of the road and just gawk with a chorus of "Ooohs and aaaahs."
Only as an adult do I now realize how important those traditions and annual family outings are to children. Those are the memories that after all these years make me smile and wish I could recall all the fine details. Auntie was a spontaneous free spirit who engineered a good number of my childhood memories, including dreams about her fried chicken. Most importantly she loved life. I just hope a little of her rubbed off on me.