Friday, August 22, 2008

here comes Sander Claus

The first stop on our current road trip was technically a make-good for an old trip. About five years ago, my son and I went to the World Chicken Festival in London, Kentucky. Because the words chicken and Kentucky were involved, I thought the festival would be a little closer than it was to the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

After watching the parade, eating some chicken cooked in the World's Largest Skillet, having a deep-fried Twinkie for dessert, meeting a Colonel Sanders look-alike, meeting a Food Network camera crew, and watching the cluck-off competition, we just wanted to go home. Neither of us felt like stopping off in Corbin to see the original Sanders Cafe. By the way, the deep-fried Twinkie was not as good as it sounds. Oreos hold up much better to deep-frying.

The modern KFC attached to the old Sanders Cafe wasn't open yet when we got there last Saturday. The workers who had already arrived let us look around and take pictures. They asked if we were in town for the Nibroc Festival (Corbin spelled backwards), which happened to be that same weekend. Alas, we were only passing through.

The historical marker sign out front tells the story of how Colonel Sanders started serving food when the Depression slowed traffic at his gas station. Inside, there's a statue of a ghostly Colonel and a model of the motel and restaurant he opened to grow the business. He experimented with various ingredients and pressure frying methods until he came up with the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. His kitchen has been restored to what it looked like in 1940. In 1956, the Colonel heard the news that Interstate 75 would bypass his location. He sold that restaurant and began traveling and selling his fried chicken recipe to other restaurants.

The museum area has a display case with a Halloween mask of the Colonel. Another case has a record album titled "Christmas Eve with Colonel Sanders." While it would have been great to hear the Colonel sing, I can appreciate the fact that he included my favorite Christmas medley on his compilation disc.

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Blogger bean said...

frank, did they say if sanders was a real colonel or is he a big fat fake like that dr pepper guy?

thanks for the postcard!!!


Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

You did Harland right by that post, and I enjoyed it too. I wonder if the Sanders family is from Holland. I’d like to know what significance the wooden shoes in the display case had.

Blogger Tony W said...

The chicken sounds good but a twinkie some things just aren't made to deep fry.


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