Ancestral Eating and Shopping

This week has been one for the books, that is, the history books.  Around Cinco de Mayo I began craving Hispanic food, but not just anything.  I wanted plantains, and beans and rice.  Then, I wanted fritters, specifically black eye pea and corn fritters.  So, I found the nearest Latin grocery and went shopping.  I could hear a voice in the back of my mind saying, “Welcome Home Kimberly.”  The papaya called out to me, so did the mango and avocado and plantains and something that I remember having to mix up myself — flour and cornmeal.  I looked over at the coconuts and was stopped cold, but I didn’t pick it up.  Seems I have to relearn somethings, and introduce myself to some new things. There must be someone with a Caribbean background in my family tree trying to come to me in the kitchen.  I tell you, this ancestor is speaking to me in a wide variety of ways.  Why, just yesterday on Friday, she made me strip my bed of its linen and go to the laundromat.  I still have bags and bags of dirty clothes to clean, but she was firm and sweet.  She said, “Stop sitting on your hands, strip that bed so you won’t be tempted to fall back to sleep.”  Then she softened it by taking my face in her hands and sweetly saying, “Work now, and I will fix you something yummy for that tummy when we come home.”  Boy, that got my attention!  So what?  I’m a food whore, especially when it’s good, homemade food.  So to honor my Caribbean and African ancestors on this Mother’s Day weekend, I will make fritters, homemade hot sauce, greens, sweet potatoes and baked chicken with a nice herb sauce.  Oh yeah, and I’ll keep cleaning house.  What!? I’m a work in progress just like everybody else.

Copyright © 2011 Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter

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