Hot Chicken at Cages Bend

We have not posted a blog in quite a while, being occupied with helping long-time friends clear out one of their dwellings for an imminent sale, and then with getting Kat’s Cradle shined up. You might ask “What mentally competent retiree moves furniture?” And “What kind of fool shines up a 20 year old mobile home?” I had the same concerns. I dealt with them by messing with mostly lighter items in the move, and did what could generously be described as “no heavy lifting”. Kat did too much but managed to not hurt herself. As for The Shining (of the Airstream), we hired out the work and agreed that as Kat’s Project, she would oversee the work and that I would stay out of it. The Shiners finished up a week ago. Our symptoms of PTSD are beginning to fade and we’ve each had a couple of nights’ good sleep since The Shiners left.

Needs a Little More Work but The Worst Is Done

Kat’s Cradle still needs some fine finish work, but she looks pretty doggone good right now, and her resale value has grown by more than the price extracted by The Shiners, at least the price paid in dollars. Not that we plan to sell or leave the open road anytime soon. Another way to look at The Shining is “Hey, we live here”.

Back Window at Sunset

Our last care-free campground was the lovely Corps of Engineers park called Cages Bend on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, TN. Gallatin is a suburb of Nashville and a small city with all the conveniences about six miles from your campsite at Cages Bend. Among ‘conveniences’ I count first class groceries, good restaurants, and of course a Wal-Mart for when you just need to feel at home.

Thornton Prince in the 1930’s

Nashville is the Mecca of Hot Chicken. Road Food recommends several purveyors of this fiery bone-in fried chicken, and as it happens the originator of this delicacy is still in business, operated by the 4th generation of the Prince family. And it is but 30 miles from Cages Bend. Kat and I rolled into the parking lot of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (the one on Ewing Street) about 1:00 p.m. on a warm August Tuesday. I had done my research so we knew Prince offers four shades of heat – mild, medium, hot, and extra hot. Kat has become a pepper fiend and insisted on Medium. I, a reformed pepper fiend, chose Mild, but since the Tuesday special is whole wings, I also ordered them in the hot version. (A local legend holds that an unaccompanied, pale-skinned kid from up North spent his hour in line with everybody else, and ordered Extra Hot. The cashier, one of the Princes, eyed him warily, then calmly informed him “You can’t handle Extra Hot. Try Medium; it’ll still burn you up!” The skinny kid shook his head “I have come here from Minnesota to experience hot chicken. I insist on Extra Hot, ma’am.” With a shake of her head she calls his order back to the kitchen “One Dead Man Walkin’!)

Ordering … Didn’t Know They Had 6 Grades of Heat

Mild tastes about like KFC’s hot chicken. I liked it, but my chunk stayed too long in the fryer and was rather dry. Kat’s Medium was tasty (she said) but much hotter. The Hot wing (it took three days to finish all three) made my face and lips feel badly sunburned. My scalp poured sweat. Dessert and two Budweisers later my capsaicin sensors registered no more than right after a bowl of spicy Thai curry.

My Order; Redder Is Hotter

When you go to Nashville you must visit one of their famed hot chicken joints. Road Food likes Pepperfire, Prince’s, and Hattie B’s. Call ahead to be sure they haven’t run out of cold beer.

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