Monday, December 24, 2007

Bah humbug

Oh yeah Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy “insert whatever holiday you celebrate here”.

I’m spending Christmas in NYC with my mom and cousins and am having a great time reconnecting with them all since they live in Europe and Miami. It is however hard for five women to get ready in a reasonable time with only one bathroom. It takes us FOREVER, to get out of the house. Since I’m time crazed and getting five different personalities to follow a schedule is like herding cats I had a little mini melt down as we started our 9 hour shopping marathon.

I’m anal regarding time and I know it, so I took a deep breath and decided to let things go as they are. So what we don’t make it to all the stores and sightseeing spots on our list. We’re enjoying the holiday season and all the NYC Christmas sights.

On our way home via subway we were serenaded by a man playing a sax. He came in to the subway car spouting all kinds of nonsense and then started playing his sax; he refused to stop until someone gave him some money. There were some kids on the train who were trying to shut him up and it just got funnier and funnier. What did I do? Filmed it of course. Only in NY!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Bible

I’ve never read the bible, and no one in my immediate family (parents, step mom or siblings) has a bible. The bible is a book I’ve seen in Church pews when I attended mass with my grandmother as a child and when I attend weddings but it’s never a book I’ve actually picked up and read. My parents grew up in the Catholic Church and my mom shockingly enough has never read the bible either. She studied the history of the catholic religion and the catechism as required in her catholic school but never actually read the bible from cover to cover. My step mom’s dad was a Methodist minister and none of her siblings participate in any form of organized religion.

I took an introductory religion class in college but it focused on the history and brief teachings of the world’s largest religions but never drilled down into the details. I was talking to my step mom not too long ago and mentioned how the bible is referenced in literature, movies, songs, and now that religion is a hot button issue on the political circuit I’m feeling that my overall education is lacking. I’d love to understand what the references mean even if I don’t agree with them, so I got online and purchased the bible experience. I’ve taken to listening to books on CD to help the commute go by faster so why not the bible on CD.

No worries Hostess, I won’t try to set up my own cult and force you guys into it. Similar to how Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Salinger are required reading to give kids a well rounded education of the classics, the bible, the Koran and other religious texts should be included to give kids a point of reference when passages from those texts are mentioned in every day literature.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Blast from the past

This morning I tuned into my favorite Caribbean radio station online and they played one of my favorite zouk tunes from the late 80's.

It immediately conjured up memories of a summer in Haiti, visiting family, spending time with my grandmother, mom, uncle, cousins and our trips to the beach. Listening to zouk and compass songs and having an amazing summer.

I haven’t been to Haiti since 2001 for my grandmother’s funeral and for me that’s such a long time. I used to travel there almost every other summer as a child and when I graduated from college and lived at home I went once or twice a year. For the last few years there hasn’t been a reason to go, the country was in turmoil, my cousins have all pretty much moved to the U.S. or Canada and life there wasn’t as carefree as I’d remembered as a child.
Christmas 2008 will be spent in Haiti, rediscovering some of my favorite beaches, reconnecting with family, listening and hopefully writing down some memorable family tales. It’ll be the year my cousin introduces his wife and kids to one half of his heritage. It’ll be the year I meet my uncle’s new wife and my new cousin through marriage. Although Christmas 2007 hasn’t passed yet I’m looking forward to next year where I’ll be frolicking on the beach in a bathing suit listening to some awesome tunes as the waves crash onto shore.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Following Up

Last week I exchanged emails with an old colleague who recently moved to Europe with her husband and kids. I met her when I first moved to D.C. and we worked for the same company. I haven’t seen her in a while and when I told her that I hosted my very first thanksgiving dinner she said “You go girl; I'm so proud of you. I remember when all you did was make chicken on your ge.orge grill”. I chuckled because that’s all I did. Chicken and rice, or chicken and salad, that was it. I’ve always cooked, even in college but it was always chicken breaded and sautéed in a little oil and rice or corn or insert some random vegetable.

I can’t remember when my interest in cooking meals for variety and flavor instead of just cooking for subsistence happened. I just know that for the last few years I’ve started buying cookbooks and dropping hints to my parents that a gift certificate from William Son.oma would make my birthday/Christmas extra special.

Gone are the days of grilled chicken on the GF grill, tonight I made Mediterranean style chicken breasts stuffed with feta and olive tapenade with a side spinach salad.

Here are some pictures from my Thanksgiving dinner table.