Last week a very dear member of my extended family passed away and in my sadness at her loss I felt that cooking her food would be the best way to honor her. I had the chance to spend some time with her last August and while we knew it was likely our goodbye it was a great joy to see her and learn from her. She has been one of the family's best cooks for years and I only learned last summer that she also had published a cookbook. Titled "An Angel in the Kitchen" it was a tribute to her own mother and friends who love cooking. It's a classic community-compiled book, a real treasure in plastic-spiral-bound nostalgia. Her signature dish is fried chicken, and no one makes it better. Even last summer, at a family reunion with more than 12 people, while she was tired and unwell, she cranked out her chicken and we devoured it. I discovered the recipe in her book and decided that my tribute to her would be to make her famous chicken and accompanying coleslaw. This is "Dee's Fried Chicken and Slaw" and it's classic home-style American cooking from my grandparents' generation. Simple, unfussy and completely soul-satisfying.
Here are her recipes, written the same way they are in her cookbook.