Monday, July 23, 2007
My family reunion was here in Chicago last week. I've been hosting people since Wednesday. For the last two days, there have been six people plus me in my apartment. I have not been handling it well. There are people and stuff everywhere. After the way people complained about the perfectly al dente green beans the hotel prepared the night of our family auction, I decided to play it safe. For dinner tonight, we had grilled steak, chicken, broccoli, salad, baked potatoes and roasted carrots. My cousin and I made a devil's food cake with coffee icing earlier for desert. My brothers took care of the steak and baked potatoes. My younger brother actually came up with the menu. I tried to cater to their tastes. I overcooked the broccoli. I didn't use as much red pepper flake as usual. I made a very basic vinaigrette. Baby spring mixed greens, tomato, cucumber and an orange bell pepper were all that were in the salad. (Of course if it isn't swimming in ranch dressing, some people won't eat salad.) I used less rosemary than I normally would have on the carrots. The chicken was the same seasoning we grew up with at home, with the exception of smoked in place of regular paprika. After my sister-in-law practically cleaned her plate, she commented, "You are a strange bird." I asked what prompted that comment. "This food. ... I mean, I guess we should eat like this every day. But you. ... you cook like white people." How utterly hurtful. I waited until it wouldn't cause a scene and I quietly left the table. I had to write. I had to cry. How could I ever share my dreams with them? How would I ever talk to them about the excitement I get from supper club? How a co-worker paid me to fix a five-course upscale (I'm not gourmet yet) meal for her and a friend? I guess when I think about it, this is no different from everything else I don't share. I have not grown past my family, but I have grown around them. Thank God I have lived in different cites and had different experiences. When I have children, please don't let me pass on ignorance.
at 10:43 PM