Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chicken

WMEC usually means Coast Guard Medium Endurance Cutter; just like WHEC usually means Coast Guard High Endurance Cutter. The "W" is a Coast Guard designator that came into use early in the US's involvement in World War II (1942 to exact). There are different schools of thought about why the "W." My favorite is because it wasn't being used by the Navy for anything else.

But everyone who has ever served on either a WMEC or a WHEC knows that there is another, truer meaning of those acronyms. WMEC = We Must Eat Chicken; WHEC = We Havta Eat Chicken. I suspect that FRC (Fast Response Cutter) is really short for Frequently Receiving Chicken, NSC (National Security Cutter) means Now Serving Chicken and OPC (Offshore Patrol Cutter) will be Offering Prime Chicken or maybe Often Preparing Chicken once commissioned.

I do not eat chicken when I'm not on a ship. Maaaybe every once in a very long while I'll get Thai green curry with chicken or chicken pad thai, but I usually opt for shrimp or tofu if given the choice. I don't buy it at the grocery store and I don't order it in restaurants. If I'm at someone's house who serves chicken, I will politely eat it and tell the cook how delicious it is so I'm not rude about it. But left to my own devices, I avoid chicken when I have a choice. Except chicken wings...I got addicted to those damn things when I was OPS on HAMILTON. It was a survival technique since we had chicken wings every single Saturday night at Pizza Night underway. 

I get why CG cooks serve it so much. Chicken is relatively affordable, healthy and can be prepared in any number of creative ways. Just last week we had buffalo chicken sandwiches, baked chicken, lemon garlic chicken, chicken nuggets (two kinds) and bacon chicken wraps. This week was savory baked chicken, grilled cilantro lime chicken, Indian curry chicken, chicken wings and the ever generic, grilled chicken for those who prefer healthier options on pizza night. Other favorites include chicken parmesan, chicken alfredo, fried chicken, chicken fajitas, chicken salad sandwiches, and chicken quesadillas.

Just to be clear, I am **not** bashing CG cooks. We have *great!* cooks. Who care about the quality and healthiness of the food they prepare and serve. They're trying to please 76 different palates three times a day -- that is a nearly impossible task. Our cooks on DILI do a great job, even when we get crappy produce in theatre or run out of milk two days before our next port call. We have biscuits and gravy every Wednesday morning -- yet another glorious reason to love Hump Days (FS3 B.S. knows to put my two over medium (eggs) on top of the biscuits, and then add the gravy over the whole thing with a heavy hand -- divine!). Taco Tuesdays are a total mainstay; though we have Mexican Mondays when we're inport because we have afternoon workouts on Tuesdays and people were grumpy about missing Taco Tuesday. Seafood Fridays (Fish Fridays sounds better, but it's not very accurate) are still a thing. And every Saturday is Pizza Night. 

But by now in the patrol, I am heartily sick of eating chicken. The open-faced turkey sandwiches on the menu for lunch tomorrow -- now that's a different story!

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer
USCGC DILIGENCE (WMEC 616)
**UNDERWAY**



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