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Day 47 - Atlanta, Georgia

Subscribers Sue, Hazel, and Ryan met us at the airport. Now that we're on the final leg of the trip, there's all kinds of parades, mayors and even governors going on whenever we arrive. But to me, even a President wouldn't take the place of a subscriber or two meeting us.

Sue, Hazel, and Ryan were very interested to see what hat Ziggy was going to wear. Well, I was already forewarned about what hat Ziggy was to wear and I did tell her way ahead of time. So, she did not disappoint anyone.

Ziggy and I were treated to a little history of Georgia. I read aloud, in my Facts About America book, that Georgia was the 4th state in the USA and it became a state on January 2, 1788. They showed us the Capitol Building of Georgia.

"Yes," said Sue, "But did you know James Earl Carter, Jr., was born in Plains on October 1, 1924?"

Ziggy meowed, "Who is James Earl Carter?" And everyone replied at the same time, "JIMMY CARTER!"

She meowed back, "No need to get testy!"

Sue remarked, "Georgia was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence, despite a large population of people loyal to the crown. Following the war, it became the fourth state of the United States of America after ratifying the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788. Georgia established its first state constitution in 1777. The state established new constitutions in 1788, 1799, 1861, 1865, 1868, 1877, 1945, 1976, and 1983, for a total of 10 — more constitutions than any other state."

Hazel said, "On January 18, 1861 Georgia joined the Confederacy and became a major theater of the American Civil War. In December 1864, a large swath of the state from Atlanta to Savannah was destroyed during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. This event served as the historical background for the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the 1939 film of the same name. On July 15, 1870, following Reconstruction, Georgia became the last former Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union."

Then Ryan said, "Georgia has had five official state capitals: colonial Savannah, which later alternated with Augusta; then for a decade at Louisville (pronounced Lewis-ville), and from 1806 through the American Civil War, at Milledgeville. In 1868, Atlanta became the fifth capital of the state. The state's legislature also met at other temporary sites, including Macon, especially during the Civil War."

Then, we smelled it. The most beautiful aroma of fried chicken you ever smelled whisping through the air. Ziggy looked as though she was floating 3 feet above the ground in the direction it was coming. We all followed her. She got in the car and pointed North. Sue drove. And drove and drove and drove until Ziggy jumped from the car and started running up this gravel road. We stopped, backed up and followed from a short distance. It was coming from a plantation home.

We got out of the car, knocked on the door and a lady answered.

"What, may I ask, can I do for you folks." she asked.

She introduced herself as Mrs. Elvira Barnes and asked us to come in. On the table in the dining room were 4 plates loaded with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, yams, and cole slaw. She told us to help ourselves. It was almost like she knew we were coming. It was truly amazing. Like she was psychic or something.

We sat down to the finest Fried Chicken I ever had!

Fried Chicken! What can I say about Fried Chicken you don't already know? Here's the recipe.

Georgia Southern Fried Chicken
Serves 8

2 frying chickens, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds each, cut into serving pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup milk
vegetable shortening for frying
1 tablespoon bacon drippings

Wash chicken and pat dry.

In a heavy brown paper bag or large food storage bag, combine the flour and salt and pepper; shake to blend well. Pour the milk into a wide shallow bowl.

Heat 2 to 3 inches of shortening in a deep heavy skillet over medium heat, or electric fry pan set at 375° F.

Add the bacon grease. When a drop of water spatters when it hits the hot oil, dip some of the chicken pieces into the milk then place in the bag and shake to coat evenly. Arrange the chicken pieces in the fat, making sure not to overcrowd.

Fry the chicken until outside is golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once to brown both sides. Reduce heat to 350° F and fry until cooked through golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.

Turn once. Drain chicken on brown paper or paper towels, adding a little more shortening and bacon grease if necessary, setting or regulating the temperature as for the first batch.

Transfer the chicken to a large platter for serving and baby, chow down.

Elvira's Fried Chicken,
Was a waiting for some folks,
But we showed up and ate it all.
And had to make some mo'.

_______________________________

After dinner, Mrs. Elvira Barnes told us a little poem about a chicken. Click the title. Your default player should play it.

ONCE THERE WAS A PRETTY CHICKEN

We had to leave after that cause we're goin a way back up to New Jersey and then Pennsylvania tomorrow. So we thanked Mrs. Barnes for the Fried Chicken and told her we had to be on our way back to the airport.

It was only then we found out that she was expecting The Georgia Ladies Guild Flower and Garden Commitee. They were supposed to look at and grade her garden for some kind of a prize. That's who the Fried Chicken was for. I guess she wasn't a psychic after all. Hazel and Ryan stayed behind to help Elvira make more chicken.

Once we got to the airport, there were hugs and much gratitude for taking us around their fair State of Georgia. Sue gave Ziggy a good squeeze for wearing an Atlanta Braves Cap. Ziggy was smiling from ear to ear. Sue said she was going back to Elvira's house to help them make some more chicken. How nice is that? Sorry Elvira, we would have stayed and helped but we are on a time schedule.

See ya in Trenton, New Jersey tomorrow in the AM!

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