Friday, July 5, 2013

The 4th of July and Lumpias

I hate it when, after going grocery shopping and having unloaded everything you've bought, you realize that you forgot to buy an ingredient for a dish that you're making.

And it's always something small (like chocolate chips), but vital to the dish. (Because how are you supposed to make chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips?)

Grocery shopping for a 4th of July shindig was no different. I went to the grocery store a total of 3 times.  The first time I bought most of the ingredients, forgot a handful of them so the next day had to stop at a specialty Asian store for some other one. As I was starting to cook, I realized I forgot to buy ranch so had to go back a 3rd time just for ranch.

I should probably develop a more efficient grocery buying process so I only have to go to the store once... I'm working on that.

As I stood in line to buy my ranch dressing (and ginger ale and bbq sauce, which I realized I needed to get while at the grocery store) the cashier was eyeing me weirdly, like he was trying to figure out something. He was a young kid, probably in high school, or just out of high school. Profiling him just based on his looks, he looked like he was into math, chess, and anime cartoons; he maybe played tennis, but if he did, probably never made it to Varsity; if he did have a girlfriend, she probably was one of those little Asian girls who had thick round nerd glasses and who liked to read books about vampires and magic.

"I'm sorry," he finally says. "I can't seem to figure out your nationality"

I don't know why knowing other people's nationality is important to other Asians. There have been countless times where Asian people have asked me that question.  'White' people don't really care since we supposedly all look alike (or do they care and I just don't know it?), but I feel like Asian people have to distinguish other Asians.

"Filipino" I respond. I can feel us having a bonding moment as he was Filipino as well.

"Are you making lumpia for the 4th?" he asks.

"Why yes I am"

"Me to."

We had another bonding moment as I swiped my card to pay.

But why not make lumpia for the 4th? I mean, sure we can have burgers and steaks - classic 'American' dishes, but I'm Filipino, I'm American, and I like lumpias. Besides, America is a melting pot of different cultures, the food should reflect as such.

I was going to make an analogy between food  and European monarchs who kept within royalty when reproducing: cousins married cousins, brothers married their dead brothers wives and their children either ended up being unattractive or died from being sickly. Anyways, I don't know how well that analogy would've worked and whether people gotten the overall point of  diversify your food like monarchs back in the day should've diversified their choices of spouses.

I don't know, I'll stop there. I'm super tired.

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