June 7, 2009

Dinner Around the World and Hockey Pucks

I grew up with two families. There was my mom and her parents (Noni & Papa), and my dad, his wife, her son (his blog name shall be Gulley) and dad's parents. We had a few changes in players over the years (mom divorced second husband, dad divorced second wife, dad married #3), but these folks all made a strong impression on me in my formative years. My dad's second wife had a passion for culture and introduced us to things that as kids we thought were totally whack-a-doodle. Things like attending community events (political activism), sharing something good that happened each day at the dinner table, and going to restaurants of a different culture once a month. My mom was also on a path of cultural enlightenment and I credit both moms for my mastery of chopsticks. I recall Gulley not being enamored of culture Fridays. He would order a hamburger every time (picture scowling mother) and when the waiter/waitress asked how he wanted it done, he'd say "well, like a hockey puck". I'm very visual and the thought of a hockey puck on a plate with some fancy ketchup swirls and a cloth napkin still cracks me up. My second thought is him trying to cut the puck with a fork and knife only to have it go airborne and land on an unfortunate diner's plate (picture the escargot scene in Pretty Woman). I try to introduce my kids to cultural cuisine but it's probably "americanized". It can be pretty pricey too and who wants to spend a lot of money on food that may go uneaten (not to mention un-green). Chunky's version of a hockey puck is chicken nuggets. Good gravy. I made a fabulous find this past holiday season when looking for a unique gift for my mother: Destination Dinners. The packaging is nifty and how cool is it to have all the fixins to make your own authentic culinary delight and dine around the world without a passport?!

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