Curried Sumac Pulled Chicken ~ The Perks of Being Invisible

When she was young, Sister Madly thought her looks were ordinary; she couldn’t understand how people even recognized her. There was nothing special about her hair or her eyes, she was short, and her nose was simply there- in other words, she was that typical, run-of-the-mill moppet that couldn’t be distinguished from any other.

In fact, her looks so ordinary, it practically made her invisible.*

* She could, however, throw a tantrum of epic proportions, which would render her invisibility temporarily null and void.

Now invisibility had its perks: she could make faces at passing strangers, not eat her vegetables, even get away with murder (once she figured out what murder was and why she would want to get away with it) all without consequence. Of course, Sister Madly would grow up being overlooked and trampled underfoot, a plight for which her mother must have some secret sympathy, enough at least to compel her to buy her daughter the mercury she’d been begging for the past week.

At is turned out, her mother hadn’t much sympathy at all, which left Sister Madly sulking in the basement with a coloring book and not an ounce of mercury to her name (nor a hammer- one simply cannot play with mercury without a hammer!) She wasn’t completely heartless, though, as she invited Serafina over in hopes of cheering Sister Madly out of her no-mercury funk.

After getting the Hula Hoop stuck in a tree yet again (a favorite pastime in the Madliverse*) the girls wandered down to the corner party store for candy cigarettes, which naturally resulted in the two deciding to cut their own hair. Serafina’s decimated lock ended up being easily tucked behind her ear, but Sister Madly’s- well, her lock stuck straight up in the back, much like the fuse on a cartoon bomb.

* Not so much for the Pater Madly, who had to retrieve said Hula Hoop.

The impromptu makeover was not a particular blow to her vanity, as Sister Madly lacked a certain awareness at that age. Surely the Mater Madly would agree that this ‘new do’ was an improvement, as Sister Madly was sporting a rather unflattering pixie cut* at the time.

* Aka, a ‘Dorothy Hamill,’ named after the only individual on the planet who could pull off such a style.

As it turned out, the ‘new do’ was as subtle as a brick through the window. There was a lengthy lecture that evening, during which the Parental Madlys explained exactly why they didn’t want their daughter personally modifying her pint-sized physique: she could harm herself, it wasn’t a necessity in order to survive, and heaven knows she wasn’t doing it for a worthy cause. It would grow back, sure, it was only hair- but it was only hair this time. They didn’t want to know what would happen next time, and sought to discourage further experimentation before Sister Madly emerged from the basement one Sunday afternoon with various piercings and badly executed tattoos.

The Mater Madly was particularly frustrated: not only were Sister Madly’s class pictures upcoming, she was also to be in her cousin’s wedding the following weekend.

Still, Sister Madly didn’t see why they made such a fuss; she was invisible, after all. Had her mother been in a slightly less end-of-the-world frame of mind, Sister Madly would have pointed out the likelihood of her pictures turning out blank- it is impossible to photograph the invisible, that’s just common sense. She also would’ve suggested that Tallulah take her place in the wedding- Sister Madly wasn’t exactly sure what a wedding was or its purpose, but her mother made it sound important, and her cousin would probably want a flower girl who could be photographed.

About a week after the wedding, the pictures revealed something rather shocking: Sister Madly was clearly visible in the photos, right down to the wispy, fuse-of-the-bomb hairdo. While initially perplexed by this development, the answer was suddenly so obvious that she felt silly for not recognizing it: Sister Madly, you see, was invisible to the world, not to herself. Therefore, just as she could see herself in a mirror, she would be able to see herself in a photo. No doubt her class picture would reflect the same.

This is the rationale that has sustained her into adulthood. Logic is a dying art.


  • Ghee/Oil for sauteing
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, whole
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp curry powder (used Japanese Curry)
  • 1½ – 2 tsp Harissa
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt to taste

Saute onions until caramelized; 45-50 minutes
Add garlic; saute 3 minutes
Add spices; saute 30 secs
Add chicken; stir to coat
Add stock; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes
Shredded chicken w/2 forks in sauce
Simmer to reduce/thicken (if needed)
Let stand 2 minutes; serve

THEME SONG: Invisible, U2

Image 4.) Anna Spencer Photography


14 responses

  1. Such well described antics of SM!😃 Ended well with a great recipe! Hope the wedding photos of your relative turned out well. I’m sure your hairdo was ok ha ha! Thanks for a lovely fun read 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    June 11, 2017 at 5:28 AM

  2. Perhaps the Madly Parental units were cognizant of untimely demise and ritual tattooing? This would explain basement banishment.

    I do know what a Hamill Camel is and am wondering what the Madly Manoeuvre equivalent is. I’m also thinking the coif may have been the very stylish and often maligned AlAmill. This is the coif cross between Ms Hamill and Mr Alfalfa. Tres chic!

    I have my own hairpiece (don’t say that fast) dilema. If I go with the AlAmill, add in taking my doctors advice, I’ll be the spitting (for real) image of Ed Grimley. Not pleasant!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 11, 2017 at 7:01 AM

    • Tres Not-Very Chic, actually.

      A M Maneuver is a pratfall, preceded by left-footed trip or two. On special occasions, a pirouette is included.

      Ed Grimley…Not pleasant indeed! Sounds like bad advice to me- don’t do it!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 11, 2017 at 10:30 AM

      • A different Ed agrees with you. With where he lives, his opinion could be biased.

        Thank you Ms Madly!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 11, 2017 at 11:21 AM

  3. I am amazed at Sister Madly’s ability to render something invisible, null and void. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing or so the song says. I guess the song is wrong. Sister Madly most assuredly is correct – no white out needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 11, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    • No white out, but perhaps a blackout or two. Interesting things happen when it’s dark!


      Liked by 1 person

      June 11, 2017 at 10:32 AM

  4. This CURRIED SUMAC PULLED CHICKEN looks so delicious.

    Can I also substitute vegan chicken in the mix? Now, I’m hungry. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    June 12, 2017 at 1:36 PM

  5. Never had trouble seeing moppets, however visible they thought they weren’t. S’pose it’s a wildness thing – compared to trees, all moppets appear to have neon signs and sirens, cautioning the prudent Bear to remain discreet.
    You (yes, even you) may be surprised by the antics ‘people’ will get up to in the presence of a Bear who simply isn’t making himself obvious. Even foxes have been known to walk right up without realizing, and then walk away without believing. Cunning? Yeah, right.
    Now Gnomes… they’re good. Used to play “How long can I stand in front of the Bear before he sees me even though he knows I’m there” – and I think the record was about 11 minutes at a distance of 8 feet, which is pretty good going. Of course, that’s not counting the one that I never, ever saw. Yes, Gnomes are subtle. Moppets, less so.
    I totally get the bit about sticky-up fur. Frankly, I am the fluffiest creature I know, and life got easier when I simply accepted the fact, and got on with it. Clowns dream of wigs that are as fluffy as my natural fur. Ho hum.
    And in all honesty, I have never, ever met a vegan chicken. They are voracious carnivores without the wit to feel pain. Thank goodness they’re small enough to step on. Eat them all, before they learn to cooperate. You are outnumbered.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2017 at 12:23 PM

    • I have to wonder what this Moppet has done in the presence of a Bear thinking she was alone… oh dear…

      However, I’d like to think that I would notice a gnome even if I did overlook the bear- is that just wishful thinking?


      June 15, 2017 at 8:03 PM

  6. It’s OK – I won’t tell…

    As for the gnomes; I’m not talking about those Disney concrete caricatures in the bright paintjobs. Wild Gnomes are the colour of fallen leaves, and if they don’t want to be seen, they won’t be. Actually they are so natural they often have difficulty getting humans to notice them at all – most ‘people’ refuse to believe what is in front of their faces. It must be their ‘education’.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 16, 2017 at 6:31 PM

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