Humble Turkey

I might have been the Grinch or Scrooge in another life because sometimes I do tend to be annoyed by holidays. Not by the food, but maybe it’s just the commercialization of it all. Maybe I just got too old for it. Halloween too. It’s just at times I don’t connect or I put an expectation on it that never happens. I think maybe I’d make a good lawyer for the Grinch or Scrooge. Scrooge because he’d probably pay better, but Grinch probably would steal me something awesome.

Just up until the beginning of the year we had a permanent place that we could call home. Our family home was finally finished after so many years of anticipation. The project was just put on hold and we managed to live wherever.  Maybe the concept of a home wasn’t as important to us as before but now that it exists, I see it differently. It’s real in the sense that there is a lifelong place to start traditions. Before I was never in that place. It was always kind of temporary or not really ours. It was just a lease.

There is a space that we can fill, but there are responsibilities that need to be dealt with. Maintenance and cleaning and when my niece is at the house, we need food. All that stuff, but it’s worth it when you can call a place home.

I want to turn my holiday frown upside down and put an effort into the Thanksgiving meal. And I want to have the dinner at our house. I’ll do the turkey, even the stuffing. Besides pumpkin pie, I really just want to have humble pie. I want to cook a good meal for my family. I guess the sense of home grounds me, and my responsibilities can be as simple as cooking the dinner for a holiday I could care less about. At least there the food will be good. But I am thankful for having my family and a home. So I am not so sure if I am improving or only getting worse when it comes to my Scrooge attitude. I am still being submissive to a holiday in order to have a nice meal, oh well if it’s for food.

You know maybe Grinch and Scrooge just never got invited to a good homemade thanksgiving meal. I wonder. The possibilities are endless when you’ve had a wonderful meal.

Humble pie is probably the best kind of pie because it has the least amount of sugar and less calories.

The origin of “Thanksgiving” has an American history tied to it and displays the gratitude of people of different societies all coming together to share a meal and be thankful. I agree with the concept and it really defines what my blog is about, but everyday is a good day to be thankful. Everyday I want to share a meal with people I am connected with.

From a Native American perspective there may be some resentment toward the holiday. I mean Thanksgiving and the origin of how it came to be these pilgrims sitting at the table with the natives celebrating the harvest and this union. It’s a glorified moment in American history, that overthrows all these other moments and accounts of iniquity and injustice put on the Native people. I know this is the twenty-first century and we’re not living in the same conditions as before, but one thing I do remember learning from grade school was “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

I am the one who defines “Thanksgiving” at my house and by giving it new meaning it can be a fresh start. Different but in all fairness, it is just hungry people all gathered around the table ready to be feed. But that’s something to be thankful for.


Stories Baked With Lies Still Make A Good Truth

To “spill the beans,” the context of the saying has to do with elections and voting. But it is always referring to information not yet revealed. To learn of this or to “spill the beans” meant to reveal information that is not known which may cause harm. It actually refers to a Greek method of voting.

I remember having these late dinners at my aunts and they were usually on school nights. My aunt had three sons of her own, so she always had to cook meals for them. Of course when her two nephews, my brother and I, were over, we would have taco’s, pinto beans, and Spanish rice. My Aunty makes taco’s that are different than my mom and my grandma’s. They’re both good; it’s just that my aunties were associated with a fun night talking up a storm. Her three sons were still older than my brother than I, so we looked up to them and were always excited to be at my aunty’s house. I remember those late night dinners because we always stayed at the table to talk.

I had an instructor tell me one time that if the person you were talking about is not present, then that is gossip. My other cousins had more life experience by then, so they had more interesting things to say and I never spoke. I just would listen, very intrigued because I was young and sometimes I got to hear conversations where assumptions made the story more interesting. A lie? Sometimes. Good stories to tell at the dinner table? Probably, I don’t know because we were only entertaining ourselves.

Food author MFK Fisher of How To Cook A Wolf shares something that was said to her: “Never ruin a good story by sticking to the truth.” I agree with that because that story needs to be amusing for the dinner table. I miss those times when my cousins and I were all young and all had to go to grade school in the morning, and those late taco nights were the highlight of the week in our busy schedule. So gossip is sometimes false information but it is also the stories we tell to amuse the people at the table. So all with good intentions.

I see how this matters now that I am no longer a child at the table. I am now the adult and that doubled edged sword can cut you at the dinner table. So easy for me to forget all the rules that distinguish you from a child. Talking loud, making up ambiguous stories, eating way too many tacos than necessary, and enjoying the company of all my family. Bending the truth at the dinner table, not such a bad thing.

I remember those late nights at Aunty Rachael’s house with Calvin, Clinton, and Joseph (Hush). My brother and I were still in elementary school, and my cousins had to be in middle school, even high school. I remember even back then I knew and everybody else around me knew that I didn’t like cheese. My auntie made a special batch of tacos that were not touched with cheese. I remember how even though people left the table there was still a conversation in motion. I remember feeling young but in the presences of young adults. I remember overhearing conversations that made no sense. I felt like a camcorder documenting long exploited rumors. I soon realized that this knowledge could be not true, or maybe it was true and it just didn’t happen yet. Whatever it was, I just tried to keep my mouth shut because I didn’t want to be the one who spilled the beans.

Bossy Cake

Out of touch with her people, Marie Antoinette, when she hears that citizens have no bread, her response is “let them eat cake.” This is interesting because the context of the saying really exemplifies politics and the lack of concern in the system when the governing official is just some spoiled queen that eats cake while the masses have no bread. Funny how life changes when you have plenty of food and are never hungry compared to never having enough food and always starving.

It’s not the pink elephant in the room; it’s more like the camouflaged elephant in the room because hunger is something that has been getting ignored since, well, forever. I don’t have any statistics on hand, but it is just a truth that exists; people die from hunger all the time. Not just in the United States, but the entire world lives with hunger around them. In the case of the saying “let them eat cake”, I see a society where food means wealth and the leaders have it in abundance, and the poor civilians don’t have any.  Does food equal wealth in America? There are value meals, but do those values have any meaning to a person’s humanity?

Who doesn’t like cake? Cake is such a universal element for a celebration, a dessert to follow a meaningful meal. If there’s a party, then there is probably a cake. Cake is just attached to all these significant moments in life. Almost too many to remember for me because I celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries all year long. Even if you don’t eat cake; the opportunity is still there symbolically in many ways.

Usually cakes on a large scale you leave in the hands of the bakery. The ovens and ingredients and the importance of the occasion sometimes need to be taken into consideration and a bakery would be best for a large cake. But what about having the cake being homemade. And this is what usually happens, at least for my family. If we have a small family get-together or watching an important game, someone will just make a cake, but I never thought of it as celebrating each other’s company. Cake and family go together well.

Cake and politics are on my brain because now in this modern society to a certain extent, we are wealthy because we have access to cake but also we are able to somehow be in touch with our leaders yet not on a grand level. I could write an elected official a letter, and voice my concerns. I have that option, but will there be instant results? I try not to be negative so I will say that the relationship exists in our imagination.

This post really was going to be about the Presidental election coming up. I was ignoring all the debates and news channels because I’m just not interested in it. I know this is American and it’s my right and my vote counts. Yes, I know all that good stuff, but that doesn’t mean that the politics don’t get annoying and over analytical. This is like the reverse situation for the food saying we started off with. In my case, I am ignoring that connection only because the governing and potential governing individuals babble to justify their stances, and it’s overwhelming. It may help, but I just see the arguments as lack of experience that show the two parties only just wanting to protect their own beliefs. There is never a time when the two groups have a party and eat cake together. At least they don’t show any bonding between the two during debates or any other time.

It is exhausting to get involved, and maybe that is the main reason why I don’t pay attention. One person can make a difference, but I think that person may not have to vote. A person’s individual motives are what make the world a better place, and it can be easy to get caught up in debates. And this is where I detach myself from all the political drama because it is distracting, but I cannot deny my own influence on the way the system is.

I probably won’t go to any political events this election cycle. No rallies for either of the candidates, too wrapped up in my own problems. Wait maybe if there’s cake at the polls.


Squash & Cheez-its

When your exposed and everyone knows your lying. It is a reference to someone baking a cake who cannot tell that egg is on their face. Traces of egg are visible on skin and at times a person will have egg on their face and not know and may catch themselves is odd situations where they openly lie about it and not realize still be exposed.

Egg on my face, this expression can be applied to my life. And writing any it down might makes me feel really weird. I know I’m weird but writing it down makes me look a little silly. Well, all my silliness puts me in these strange positions and I deal with them the best I can.

So I just don’t like cheese; well, I don’t like most cheeses. I can’t have a cheeseburger. I don’t like cheese on my tacos, or any other Mexican dishes. Not even on my sandwiches; don’t put it on there. One of my old friends from high school would even call me anti-American because I didn’t touch the stuff.  If I were going on a road trip all over the United States I would skip Wisconsin. Am I exaggerating to much? It is weird because I remember as a kid just munching on cheese sticks galore. I remember the taste I didn’t mind. It was just food. Since then or really most of my life I have never liked cheese. Or certain cheeses. I’m a hypocrite like that because I’ll eat pizza, nachos, and whatever else I can, not caring that cheese is used.  No cheese on a cracker please, but I’ll eat a cheez-it.

I can’t remember the moment when deciding that cheese was not on my favorite list. Really not a good ingredient to disown because cheese can be added to almost everything. Especially because everybody usually likes cheese, even loves it. My brother would eat it straight from the fridge. Teeth marks on the block of cheese. I was always the odd kid that didn’t like it. I called it “cow juice” too gross out my cousins. People still get baffled over it because they’ll see me shoving a pizza down my throat. So depending on the situation I’ll eat cheese but sometimes as kids your not really given an option. Eat what is on the table or starve, giving that guilt trip about all these “other kids starving” or “quit being picky.”

I remember if I would have to eat cheese at someone’s house or my grandmas. I had a way of dealing with these situations because they put cheese in the squash. Squash and Cheese is like a meal cooked all over the Rez. Almost everyone likes “Squash and Cheese.” Squash boiled in a big pot of water, add some salt. Then just throw a bunch of cheese in it. Let it melt and entangle in the squash meat. And I love squash but just not squash and cheese. When it is smothered in it, then I’m not such a big fan.

I know I’m picky but I really shouldn’t complain. Funny how I thought like that as a kid but it was rude and I had to eat. So I would try my hardest to separate the two that were freshly glued ingredients. Get the cheese in one big clot and have a large cup of water ready and just swallow it. It was miserable. Squash just by itself is the best, but having it along with cheese makes me want to starve. Tell me where those starving kids are and I can give them mine. I had a tactic as a kid to deal with this dilemma. And I almost feel bad revealing it because I can’t really understand why I don’t like the taste of cheese.

I would rather have egg on my face than cheese.

Metaphor Soup

I been using a lot of these blog posts to talk about my family and this topic is easy to associate with food and the blog idea, but I spend most of my time on the campus, where we don’t have kitchens to prepare extravagant meals. You would be lucky enough to find a clean microwave that can warm up your cup of noodles. Food is already here. It has already been brought. We’re crazy college kids on the go and we don’t need to worry about where are next meal will come from.

Does anyone cook on campus? This post was inspired by this bizarre idea I had dangling in my head about females knowing how to cook. I know it’s very insensitive for me to assume that all women know how to cook and I wasn’t trying to prove this, but I was trying to figure out how I felt, prior to starting this blog, that all women know something about cooking or being in the kitchen. Sexist or just an asshole, no offense ladies but I want to understand why I think that every woman knows how to cook.

It’s hard not to be biased because everything can be linked together for numerous reasons. So from the start I am aware that cooking is not everybody’s “cup of tea.”

I’m trying to understand this from my cartoon analytical brain. Take for instance the show “The Flintstones.” Fred Flintstone the husband goes to work everyday and then comes home to his wife Wilma. Wilma stays home and takes care of the kids and yes cooks the meals. It sounds dumb but as a kid I watched a lot of tv. I’m programmed to think like we’re still in the stone age. I’m just making the point that in not just cartoons but a good amount of the time the female characters on TV do use the kitchen.

It is not an easy task to talk about gender and roles without being offensive. Everybody male and female has a kitchen, but he or she might not use it. I can relate to not wanting to cook after a long day on campus. Cooking is the last thing I want to deal with some nights. That doesn’t mean that hunger goes away and the society we live in has food available literally twenty-four hours a day. We live in a world where you may not have to cook. There’s plenty of food already available for us to eat, at the food court, the convenience store, and of course the numerous vending machines plotted all over the city.

I’m making a lot off assumptions which is never a good idea and I’m trying to describe things I know nothing about. I have fun cooking at home because I know that my family will eat it and probably enjoy; this is fun for me. I get to share a time with those individuals I care for and vice versa when someone I know cooks a meal for me. When it’s not family it is more difficult to arrange a shared meal and moment.

Do you know the people that cook for you? Can you cook for yourself? Does cooking even matter, if there’s always food to eat? What did your favorite cartoon characters do for meals? Cooking maybe not be your “cup of tea”, but the food you eat comes from somewhere. I can’t remember if Wilma did the hunting herself or did the Flintstones have a grocery store. Maybe the writers were never hungry so the cartoon characters just automatically had food there. I’m pretty sure Wilma cooked from scratch to say the least.

Not every woman cooks and some of the best chefs in the world are men. Growing up a majority of my meals were made by women. So I want to go off the cliff and optimistically assume that if a women has someone she cares and loves like a family member or a significant other, then she might know a thing or two about the kitchen, maybe even about cooking. And if a man gets paid he’ll cook for whomever. This blog is not really sounding like I thought it was going to sound, all about gender. Cooking is an art, and some people just don’t like certain arts. That’s as simple as I can put it.