My mother had two ex-husbands, two kids, two jobs, and one chicken and dumplings recipe. Once, when I told her I preferred the food at a friend’s house, where the mother stayed home to serve ants on a log after school—and never dumped leftovers topped with Velveeta into a casserole dish to be reheated for a midweek dinner—my mom replied with a simple question. “Can her mama make chicken and dumplings from scratch?”She had me there.
The food at the Four Corners, like many gas stations in the South, is simple and tasty; there are no drizzles, no deconstruction. It's built from tradition and served with the care that the cooks and owners would take in making a meal for their own families. In short, the food is honest.
Before I had cancer, I could pretend "poverty" was performance art. My clothes mostly used to belong to other people: an old man's plaid bathrobe, a silly mom sweater embroidered with chessmen. My gaudy dishes came from garage sales and antique stores. The couch came from the returned-or-irregular section of Ikea.