Cracker Barrel is about to make your summer with their brand new pool accessory: the fried chicken float! Yes, you read that correctly. To celebrate the arrival of their new handmade from scratch Southern fried chicken recipe, everyone's favorite road trip restaurant wants to know your best chicken-inspired saying or pun ("Why does the chicken cross the road? To get to Cracker Barrel!" ). Friends, I'm giving that one away for free. Submit your best Chickenism on their website for a chance to win a limited-edition fried chicken pool float between now and June 21. Winners will be announced the week of June 24.
Like many of you (over 217 million, in fact), I've eaten at Cracker Barrel restaurants for as long as I can remember. Their hush puppies and fried okra were among my favorite menu items, but as a kid, what I remember most about the place is the country store you had to navigate through before entering the dining area. No matter which interstate we had just exited, or what state for that matter, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was the same, and I have to say there was something comforting about that familiarity. Old-fashioned candy lined up along the counter in mason jars, fluffy stuffed animals, vintage replica toys, and corny but lovable gift items were just waiting to be discovered around every corner. And every time we stopped in for a meal, I would beg my parents to buy me a piece of rock candy. (Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't.)
Now that I have a family of my own, we've stopped in Cracker Barrel restaurants many times during long road trips to visit my parents down south. And just as I did, my children now wander the aisles, completely in awe of the same toys and candy that I swooned over (sometimes I buy them a piece of candy, sometimes I don't). But at least one of us always orders the fried chicken.
In honor of Cracker Barrel's 50th anniversary, Southern Fried Chicken will become a permanent fixture on the menu. Per their website, the meal will include "four generous pieces of chicken, hand-breaded with our signature seasoning, perfectly crispy on the outside, perfectly juicy on the inside. The double-battered meal is served with honey for drizzling, two country sides, and homemade Buttermilk Biscuits or Corn Muffins." Wow. Is it lunchtime yet?
With Memorial Day right around the corner, I fully endorse the way the Chickenisms contest (hello, fried chicken pool float!) brings so many fun, celebratory items together. Why in this very post I have gone down memory lane (happy-inducing), gotten hungry thinking about southern fried chicken (yum), and dreamed about summertime fun at the pool (hurry up, vacation days).
Kitschy pool floats are all the rage these days, so Cracker Barrel Old Country Store could not have come up with a more appropriate promotional item for this contest. According to The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), there are over 10 million residential pools in the United States, and over 300,000 public swimming pools. Clearly, Americans like to splash around in chlorine. Just don't use your pool time as a bathtub, please.
As you wipe that image out of your brain, start working on your best chickenisms, and perhaps, a visit to your local Cracker Barrel to enjoy some fried chicken... for inspiration, of course. But remember, don't cluck around the chicken yard too long and miss a chance at summer's must-have pool accessory. Enter before June 21 as a limited quantity of floats are available. Go get punny, chickadees.