Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll takes a roundabout approach to what LEFTIST LOONS SAY: “No More Ethnic Food for You!” She writes:

Every week I make lunch or brunch for Anna, my cleaning woman, depending on her schedule. Being a Jewish mother, I believe it’s borderline criminal to make anyone go more than four hours without eating. Three is better yet, just to be on the safe side. Anna works very hard, is the best housekeeper I have ever had, and I enjoy feeding her. She often brings her little 6th grade boy, Pedro, one of the lights of my life. Smart as a whip, completely bilingual, polite and well-behaved, he is a treasure among children.

She loves my cooking. (It is one of these six paltry skills/talents God gave me: typing, driving, shooting, cooking, speaking and writing amusingly about the passing scene, and, I have recently added “packing” – suitcases, not guns – in order to expand the list and feel better about myself. I once packed one small rollerboard that fit in the overhead for a twelve-day trip to Paris and Israel. Beat that, ladies.)

Anyway, not once has Anna worried either about my culturally appropriating the delicious treats she brings me or being served my Tuna Melt on Brooklyn Rye. But last week was problematic because we were still on Passover Dietary Rules and I didn’t know what to feed her. Was it humane – or even legal? – to inflict matzo on a devout Catholic Latina?

I have a Passover staple dish called Minah de Pesach, which is a kind of cheeseless “lasagna” with a filling of mushrooms, onions, chicken and eggs between layers of – what else? – matzohs. This is paired with leftover charoset from the Seder. Charoset is a singularly unappealing-looking, but delicious concoction meant to symbolize the mortar used for the bricks the Hebrew slaves used. The version I have refined over many years is finely-ground pecans and walnuts mixed with chopped apples, raisins, dates, oranges, figs, currants, mashed bananas and a little sweet wine. It is addictive and also critical to give one’s digestive system a little help in moving along the concretized matzo.

Because Anna and her son know we are Jewish, they had watched some new version of The Ten Commandments show and had learned a great deal about Passover. They were eager and proud to share what they had learned about “Moises.” Imagine that!

Both Anna and Pedro pronounced the food “delicious” and said that they didn’t think that matzo was all that different in taste from flour tortillas. They gobbled up seconds, so I was pretty sure they weren’t just being polite.

The night before, they had been to a big quinceanera party for a friend’s beautiful young girl. They showed us pictures and video from the event, complete with wonderful music and dancing. Pedro is learning to play guitar and studied with Mr. AG, a font of musical knowledge, for over two hours, while Anna and I did our respective work.

To my mind, one of the great benefits of America’s unique and awesome Diversity has always been the back and forth flow of food, recipes, music, dances, and other enriching cross-cultural exchanges. My life would have been greatly diminished without Chinese Potstickers, Indian Massamun Curry, Vietnamese Eggroll, or even Enchiladas and Pizza.

Since Jews have lived in and then been exiled from so many countries, our cuisine is already a mishmash of nearly every great ethnic cuisine the world over. In the 8 days of the holiday this year, for example, I made Yemenite Chicken, a Yiddish Short Rib Stew called a Tzimmes (roughly translated as “yuge hassle”), Greek Salmon Patties and my own take on an Israeli Charoset. No kidding.

Even for your average American, in that same week he might have a pulled pork sammich originating from Puerto Rico, Tacos, and Spaghetti.

But our betters tell us we’ve been doing it all wrong! Eating the food of another culture is a grievous Sin of Cultural Appropriation. Of all the stupid stupidities that the stupid-heads of the Left have thought up, stupidly, this one takes the cake. (And God forbid that cake should be the Dobos Torte from Austria my late mother-in-law won a $50 prize for! Unlike Obama, she even spoke “Austrian,” which is to say German.) And proves once again, how short-sighted and STUPID these people are. Can you imagine ANY ethnic restaurant surviving on only the clientele that matches its ethnicity? Do Leftists care if an Indian or Thai restaurant survives? “They” didn’t build that; their Lightbringer Leader told them that.

If the Oberlin College cafeteria serves a mile-long buffet of ethnic food and you have to present your DNA analysis from Ancestry.com in order to be served your only genetically-sanctioned choice, what possible purpose has been served? How is enjoying a food “appropriating” it? Suppose someone does actually open the Thurston Howell Taco Emporium to compete with Albertos? The marketplace will sort it out right quick. I don’t know who gets to eat good ‘ol American hamburgers or Tuna Casserole. Are Mexican or Chinese students forbidden from that or, as with virtually all “diversity,” do all privileges flow only one way? (They can eat “our” food; we just can’t eat “theirs”? Sounds par for the course.)

When Anna and Pedro were leaving, I heard him speak in rapid Spanish to his mother in which I recognized the word “pan” (bread). Anna shook her head, but I asked him in English if he wanted some more of the matzo “candy” he had enjoyed. (A layer of matzo, a layer of homemade toffee, and topped with melted chocolate and chopped nuts.) No. What he wanted was a few sheets of plain matzo, bless his little heart!

One of Mr. AG’s and my favorite episodes of Cheers involved Henri, a French ladies’ man winning a bet with Sam and yelling, “France wins! France wins!” to which Frasier comments drily, “THERE’S something you never hear.” Mr. AG reprised the line: “May I have some plain matzo for the road?” “There’s something you never hear.” Es verdad.

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