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Menu Swap: March 23rd

Posted Mar 22 2009 3:04pm
O bserving the world from every angle is a commendable gift to hold. I always thought I was a very observant person without anyone to match but I now know I’m wrong. A few days ago, Wednesday I believe it was, Phillip’s grandfather passed away. A lot of buried emotions came rushing out, not just by the immediate family, but with me because of mom. It’s been almost a year since she died and I know I’m going on very strong. I’m living up to her expectations, I hope, and am trying to be the most successful daughter she ever raised. Yesterday was, as its called in Virginia, “Family Night” or what I know and may be more commonly known is a wake or viewing. I was fine until I stepped into the funeral parlor where I almost had a panic attack. I could feel my chest tightening and I felt very weak and dizzy despite that constant sentiment has been with me for a few days (I lost weight again from being sick last week but that’s another story).

So I go to the room and I stand in the doorway. The hall seemed endless, stretching miles to the casket. All I could see was my mother. The same pastiness, the same lack of life, luster. I wanted to cry and throw up because I thought all these emotions were settled. I hadn’t realized how much I missed her until that point. Eventually I manned up and stood in line to greet the entire family. I finally got my wish of having a lovingly large family. There were siblings, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, aunts, uncles, second uncles - I mean it was amazing. All these people will be related to me; its unreal. People knew me too, not by face, but by name and even my aspirations of starting a business and my future career. Word honestly travels fast in a large family.

There were two people I have to mention, due to what they said and did. One is my soon to be aunt, and the other is a church member. My soon to be aunt was, just like me, the caretaker of Phillip’s grandfather and grandmother even though she was married into the family and her husband passed away. She didn’t say much last night, which was understandable, but I brought her a bunny to cheer her up. At one point, I finally got her to sit along with me and she laid her head against mine. We sat there, in silence, just watching people and cuddling. When her grandchildren came, she removed herself after squeezing my hand. I don’t think I ever had a moment like that with any of my direct family. They just never connected to their emotions or found ways to express it. The other elder woman works at the church assisting my soon to be aunt with tasks and whatnot. She came up to me, as she went down the line, hugged me, and whispered, “It must be hard on you most of all.” I turned to Phillip, who heard her too, and I think he winced knowing she hit a button. I was fine but it was just shocking to have someone read me when I know I’m not an easily read person.

I can’t say it was hard on me because it was worse on my father in law since it was his father and Phillip due to his strong bond with his grandfather but I can relate to their emotions. I lost both my grandmother and mother at the same time and I know how they’re feeling. Losing someone reminds me of what soldiers experience as a phantom limb. They were once there but no longer are yet you feel they still exist. Upon realizing 100% that they aren’t there any longer, you get depressed. That, to me, is the perfect explanation of losing someone. Today I couldn’t go to the burial because at this moment, I just couldn’t have handled it but it was nice to know everyone was asking for me. So, at least I made a great impression.

Onto a lighter note - which is drastically needed at this point -, its time for the weekly ingredient which happens to be a style of food this time around: the food of Latin America hosted by Weird and Surprisingly Good. There isn’t really a plausible way to sum up Latin America. Often its referred to the entire region south of the USA. Within these countries, mostly Spanish and Portuguese is spoken and a bond of similar flavors is utilized within their culinary field. Starch is at the heart of Latin American cuisine in various forms: rice, corn, plantains, cassava, and potatoes. Eggs, beans, and meats are their main source of protein unless the area is close to the coastline, which is when seafood pops up on the menu. A week would never be enough to express every essence of Latin American food, due to the many variations and techniques, but a week is well deserved because Latin American food is not just Taco Bell; it is the food of the ancients.

Weekly Menu of March 23rd
Arroz con Dulce

Sundried Tomato & Avocado Quesadilla
Platanos Asados con Queso (Baked Plantains with Cheese)
New Mexican Red Chile Pumpkin Soup

Ensalada de Papas Concamarón (Shrimp Potato Salad)
Costa Rican Beans & Rice
Rotini Napolitan (Wafuu Pasta #2) - Japanese

Baked Goods
Birthday Tigger Cake
Fluffy Biscuits
Gluten Free Dairy Free Cheesecake (If I get tormented enough by the sight of the real stuff in the fridge)

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