April 02, 2003

American food

I have ranted to my students on this subject for three weeks in a row now, so I thought I would share the rant with my gentle readers. Here goes.

Many of my ESL students work in restaurants or work jobs where they have to take very brief lunch breaks. As such, American fast food figures prominently in their lives. Recently, my students had to do presentations where they compared several aspects of two cultures. I lost count of the number of times that they said American food was different because it was "all hamburgers and hot dogs."

This drives me batty. I told them that, if they came over to my house for dinner, they would see hamburgers and hot dogs about once a year, max. I brought in three different "American" cookbooks -- one published in Minnesota in 1903, one full of recipes by elderly women from the church, and one full of things that can be cooked in a CrockPot. I explained that, as a nation of immigrants, much American food (ie pizza) was an amalgam of our own tastes and the recipes that immigrants brought with them. They remained unconvinced.

I think the strength of American food is in its baking. Think biscuits, cookies, cakes, quickbreads, and even apple pie. Also, pot roast. Vegetable soup. Clam chowder. Gumbo. Pork chops with applesauce.

So, gentle readers, what do _you_ think constitutes American cooking? Send any interesting hyperlinks my way. And, if I ever get a ^(&%$$&* WYSIWYG editor for my stupid iBook, I'll add them into my next entry.

Hasta la pasta. Or should I say "hasta la hamburger"?

Posted by Meredith at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)

April 01, 2003

Why I love Point Reyes

Hello again, gentle readers. I'm back. And, while I'm sure that nothing would be more interesting to you than the sturm und drang of my life these past three months, I will instead write about this past weekend.

So sue me.

Mike and I just got back from a weekend getaway to Point Reyes. We ate yummy popovers at our favorite restaurant. Mike got to see whales for the first time ever. (They were gray and spouty. Also, they were headed down to Baja for the summer. I want to be a whale). We saw California sea otters frolicking in the waves, and baby elephant seals making an awkward transition from land to sea.

On Sunday, we hiked to the top of Mount Wittenberg, where we sat under a tree with some wild lilies for a picnic. Mike's legs are still sore. Mine are not. Maybe mine are just always sore, so one more strenuous hike didn't really matter. Who knows.

My overall reaction to the weekend was that, when we were alone (i.e. more than 1000 feet off the parking lot of the national park), I had a great time. When there were millions of other people around, I started to panic in a way I hadn't felt since my last trip to Walmart.

Perhaps all these years of living with an introvert have affected me after all.

Posted by Meredith at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)