When I became Kitchen Steward for the Sigma Chi Fraternity at Emory in 1977, I was given many recipes that had been collected over the years to help me plan daily meals for 86 brothers. One dinner was Chicken Chow Mein.
C.C.M. was popular with past kitchen stewards because it was cheap when the budget got tight. Several #10 cans of chicken chow mein and more cans of fried noodles cost less than any meal in the repertoire. C.C.M. was popular with our beloved cooks, Ethel & Pearl. Open, pour, heat… one pot clean-up… home early.
C.C.M. was not popular with anyone who tried it. What little “chicken” there was among the soggy celery was questionable. The watery sauce was gray—the color of a mouse. We were actually relieved to find it had no flavor (spare us the imagined alternative).
Each person could “sign off” one meal a week and almost everyone got in a long line to sign off the night chicken chow mein was up.
After my second experience of mass sign-off protest, I took our last #10 can of Chicken Chow Mein down to our chapter meeting and announced its official retirement. As I hung up the can as an iconic reminder of “never again”, I received my only kitchen steward standing ovation.
What is something you keep doing, that you could allow to cease? How did you start on that path in your family system or community system? What steps do you take to discern what to let go? How would your change affect those around you? What would it take for you to act?
One thought on “Chicken? Chow Mein”
This is a perfect story for Easter…. Jesus gets up Easter morning and leaves behind every deadly thing that might still be clinging to him, all those things no longer useable, leaves the old stuff wadded up like the cloth on the floor of a tomb… for Easter to happen for us, we need to leave lots behind… like Chicken Chow Mein… only then can we get on to something good and nutritious… behold, all things have been made new…