Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This year I’m tweaking our traditional menu. I’m thinking about cooking roasted Turducken, a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. That sounds like GOODNESS to me!
I am going to roll up my sleeves and learn how to de-bone and stuff poultry because I love the decadent, excessive act of slicing into a layered multi-bird roast and devouring it. Mmpphh! Oh, and my side dishes will include jollof rice, chapatis and dengu - African dishes that I can prepare with eyes wide shut.
You see, as is customary in many African cultures my Shangazi (paternal Aunt), taught me how to cook when I was a pubescent teen. For that I am truly thankful. I do feel a little cheated though because some of my sisters from Uganda received extra training. In the Baganda and Basoga cultures, the Ssenga (paternal Aunt), delivered skills for the kitchen as well as the bedroom.
Early last month a friend sent me an email with the subject FW: Student Cultural Exchange.
"Exciting opportunity," the two words leaped at me as I slugged three short paragraphs to grasp the important details. Age range: 13-16, male or female. Commitment: 1 week, July 6th to 13th. I made note that only eight privileged friends were recipients of the message. Until I read the last sentence, "Feel free to share with others!" My friend is charming, but she is also practical.
Interestingly, our thirteen-year-old conceded reluctantly to the novel idea of hosting a Chinese student for one week. My guess is that his regular summer routine - daily swim team practices, and swim meets every Thursday evening - causes little anxiety. In addition, sticking to his assigned school projects and reading lists, is easy and comfortable. Moreover, when we sat to discuss the opportunity that evening, he must have thought hard about the adjustments required, about coming out of a co…