Today, I taught Pocket Monkey how to make Dad’s(his Grandpa’s) Gumbo. It is the simple version that doesn’t involve a roux. I was laughing because he tried every ingredient after he chopped it. Just like me! In the course of preparing the meal, he took a bite of half dozen veggies, and a bit of chicken. I would chop something to show him how I wanted it chopped, and then turn him loose with the kitchen knife. He succeeded.
Pocket Monkey just turned 10, so he is of a good age to teach basic cooking skills. By the time we are done with him, he will be able to cook like a Chamorro or a hillbilly at his leisure. He can already cook rice and Spam, which are basic Chamorro staples.
Mrs. Snipe and I were deciding what we would name a restaurant if we had it an settled on the name Chamoule That is Guam slang for a half white and half Chamorro person. . She would cook the Islander favorites, and I would do the southern comfort food.
We invited a neighbor to try the gumbo, and therefore had to use the “spice for Yankees” rule. If you want it spicy, add your own hot sauce. Most gumbo recipes I am familiar with include the phrase: If you are cooking for Yankees, the elderly or the sick, spice with caution. Of course, our neighbor loved it.
I love cooking, and love sharing with my friends. That is all. Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.
I feel that I can can confidently say that I am mulit-cultural. I was raised a Christian by two white folks, and later a white guy named Dad and a Korean lady. Dad was determined to teach us about open-mindedness, without forcing it down our throats. I have dined with families that represented a large portion of races and cultures. I am ashamed to say now, looking back, that my first response to Dad dating a Korean was, “But, why!”. Unfortunately, some of my family is racist, and i was young and impressionable. Now, 15 years later, I count among friends and respected colleagues several LEGAL immigrants, and many different races. I have attended culturally traditional events in the company of Indians(both kinds), Germans, Mexicans, Koreans, and Chamorros. Friends, you have not seen a shindig until you attend a Korean child’s first birthday, or a Chamorro child’s confirmation. I have learned enough language to be polite in a couple of countries. Because of Dad’s efforts, I have learned to truly appreciate different cultures, and what they can teach me. I am forever grateful to him for that, and many other lessons. The one lesson that really stuck in my head, was to not be an Ugly American, and refuse to try a food that looked or smelled funny, until i had tasted it. That is very rude in the Korean culture Dad was becoming a part of by marriage number two. That lesson has taken me farther in the Western Pacific AOR than several others. By the way, I learned the other languages I mentioned while visitng their country. Perhaps our illegal immigrants would be so kind. Every LEGAL immigrant I know speaks English well enough to be understood. I didn’t have anybody cramming a desire to learn language down my throat, I learned what I could as a gesture of courtesy to hosts. It goes back to my tenet of a little bit of respect goes a long way. There will be psots about what I leaned from other cultures as the lessons come to mind. They are never far away, and i still apply them when appropriate.