My approach may seem obvious today. Batters, breading and coatings make good food great because many times when these techniques are employed it signals that frying is not far off. Frying! My goodness what a revelation! How sad the world would be without bubbling pots of fat!

Yes, the topic may suggest I launch into a anecdote about my grandmother's breaded and fried okra or the secret batter she bathed chicken in before frying. But no! I will not slip so easily into these thoughts. Today is for he who wishes to challenge himself, and that he is me. And so, I will tell you about a little known ritual in baseball.

I learned this from my childhood friend and current neighbor Sherwood Day who used to cover minor league baseball for our town's evening newspaper. After a player takes his first professional at-bat, his teammates take turns swatting his posterior with a baguette. After he's sufficiently pummeled by the bread, the team's manager drapes a new coat over the new player's shoulders and offers him a hearty handshake. Welcome to the team, young man!

And there you have it, batter, breading, coating.


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