May 24, 2012

More Sensitivity Training....

So.... Manoj has indicated he is interested in getting the US citizenship.  Woot!  I am happily researching the process and SO excited for this.  I have been asking him for YEARS about this but for a variety of reasons, he hasn't expressed interest.

Predictability, Team Chaos had opinions about the matter.

Me: Daddy's going to become an American, Anju!
Anjali: NO!!!!
Me: Why not?
Anjali: Because I want him to still catch us.
Me: Um, Daddy will still play tag with you even if he is American.

Me: Daddy going to become an American, Arun!  What do you think about that?
Arun: Will he become White?  Because I like him better when he is Brown.
Me:  Um, Americans come in all colors.  It doesn't matter what color you are, anyone can become an American.

We're living the Dream over here, folks.

May 21, 2012

Sensitivity Training, We Needz It

Scenes From a Car, Somewhere Deep in the Heart of the Soul-Sucking Suburbs Of Olathe KS

Manoj: So did you hear the news that more minority babies were born than majority babies last year?  Your clan is losing power.

Me: Whatever. Besides, you're in the same boat -- your clan is getting diluted.

Manoj:  What?

Me: Yeah, you're Real Brown, but all these Fake Browns popping up all over the place are going to take over.

(I gesture pointedly toward our own little mixed pickle in the backseat. She is sometimes known as "Anjali".)

Manoj: Seriously, you're losing your White power.

Me: Yeah, and you pledged your troth to a White girl.  Be careful of what you say.

(At this point, I realize that apparently, I've been reading WAY too many romance novels.  Fortunately, Manoj doesn't notice my dorky use of language. Which is why I had to marry him, of course. )

Manoj (laughing): Yeah, that's true.

(Manoj pulls into the parking lot of the Mexican panaderĂ­a.  We are going to a Mexican couple's house for dinner and in Manoj's mind, we should take Mexican pastries to a Mexican couple's house.  Keeping in mind, the Mexican couple is serving NON-Mexican pasta and pizza for dinner.  IT ALL MAKES PERFECT SENSE, AMIRIGHT?)

Manoj (speaking to Anjali's friend in the backseat): Stella, do you want to go to a cool place that sells cheesecake? It's a Hispanic place.  Do you know what "Hispanic" means?

Stella (Hesitantly):

Manoj: It's Brown People.

Stella: Um.... okay??

Anjali: My daddy is from INDIA but he likes Kung Fu Pao chicken which is from CHINA.  It's CHINESE food.


Manoj parks the car and then takes the girls into the panaderĂ­a for some pay de queso and other pastries.  I opt to stay in the car and immediately pull out my Moleskine and my pen so I can frantically scribble what just happened because holy cow, that was one conversation that needed to be recorded for posterity, future therapy or, in a pinch, lawsuits.

May 18, 2012

Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude:
Brain Bytes

Note: Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude is a weekly(ish) feature about food, food and more FOOD. No, I am not an expert, but I do enjoy talking about food prep, cooking food, eating food and making sweet love to food.  Okay, maybe not the "sweet love" part. After all, this is not meant to be an homage to 9 1/2 Weeks.

Recipe Index can be found here. 

Still in a rut!

However, here's some fun food-related stuff I read over the week!

1. A fun article about Mexican food and its variants -- How the Taco Gained in Translation (Hat Tip, Lucky Fatima!)

2. Then....  Fatima shared another GREAT article on the History of the Taco titled "Where did the taco come from?" (my favorite part about Fatima's share was her comment that the taco "came from heaven")

2. Meagan over The Happiest Mom wrote a fun article titled Whatever You've Got Chicken Salad.  I have posted my Avocado Chicken Salad recipe before, but I love that Meagan's article points out that you can make chicken salad with just about anything in your kitchen -- a sort of mix n' match scenario.

3. Over at Throwing Things, the question was posed on whether to tip on take-out at restaurants or not.  Do you tip on take-out from restaurants?  I generally don't tip on take-out that I personally pickup for myself (to clarify) but I do tip on deliveries.  However, the comment section on that post was utterly fascinating and has me rethinking how I tip.  I usually overtip at sit-down restaurants, but tend NOT to tip at places like Starbucks and Sonic.  Are you a tipper at places like that?  If so, how much do you throw in the jar?

4. Over at Casual Kitchen, a reader posed a question to Daniel regarding the cost of eating healthy
As someone who is at this time below the poverty line AND eats healthy, I can assure you all, it is with sacrifice to the wallet. Take into account that my partner and I can't go through food as fast as a family of four could- So for example I bought bananas the other day- they were green, and today they already started to go bruised looking. Had I bought granola bars instead- I'd have a pack of them for a very long time-they won't go bad. Each town and city is different with costs and each family thinks about more then the initial cost.

You can eat healthy! But it does cost.
The comment section on that post is well worth the read -- in particular, many folks offered a variety of ways the reader could use that excess banana.  In my experience, my food bill is significantly higher anytime I stray to the inner aisles.  Furthermore, I am not convinced that a granola bar should even be considered "healthy" -- not all granola bars are created equal and many of them are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial food coloring.  When I give my kids a granola bar, I always consider it a "lesser than two evils" option, considering the other crap they are always begging me for!

May 4, 2012

Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude:
Rut Roh!

Note: Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude is a weekly(ish) feature about food, food and more FOOD. No, I am not an expert, but I do enjoy talking about food prep, cooking food, eating food and making sweet love to food.  Okay, maybe not the "sweet love" part. After all, this is not meant to be an homage to 9 1/2 Weeks.

Recipe Index can be found here. 

You will all be happy to know that we have been invited to dinner tomorrow at Emily and Victor's place and I am totally going to offer to bring dessert. Hopefully, she accepts my offer because I have been sampling a certain cake at our grocery store for a few weeks now and I have needed an excuse to buy it . Yes, NEEDED, since there is no way in hell I would buy an entire cake for our family of 4, particularly since Manoj can't even eat cake.  Team Chaos will probably faint from a combination of relief, shock and excitement when I announce the news that "Yes! We can buy that cake!"

So, I have been in a rut, of sorts.  Primarily in the Writing and Cooking areas which packs a double wallop for my Fridays, no?   Oddly, everything else around here is downright lovely these days, but I am struggling with the Writing and Cooking aspects.  And those are two pieces of my little existence which make me very happy and satisfied.  Therefore, I hope I figure something out soon.  I think the Writing Rut is going to result in a blog redesign.  The Cooking Rut?  Will probably pass on its own, but I am going to nudge it a bit.

How do I do that?  In two ways.

First!  When I find myself bored with my cooking routine, I back off for a week. I purposefully take it easy -- we eat out a bit more, I do simple things like a piece of fish paired with a veggie.  I give myself a break.

Second! I then challenge myself to something new.  This week, I am digging through magazine scraps, print-outs, cookbooks and Pinterest.  My goal for May is to try 6 new recipes and at least 2 old recipes that have not been in our rotation for awhile.

How do you get yourself out of ruts -- cooking or otherwise?  Have you tried any new recipes lately that were To Die For?  Obviously, I am open to ideas!