Before November ends, I have a special treat for all of you this Thanksgiving season. I am happy to feature our blogger of this month, KP of kosheradobo.com who is a fellow Filipino who grew up in Saudi Arabia now happily living in the United States dating a handsome American Jew. Lets learn more about this witty and charming blog. For this Thanksgiving, kosheradobo.com treats us to a story of how a Filipino-American Thanksgiving dinner is being celebrated.
Blog URL: www.kosheradobo.com
Blog Type: They’re mostly stories about being a Filipino expatriate who grew up Catholic in Saudi Arabia, moved to New England, USA, and fell in love with J., an American Jew from just outside of Boston. I think that the blog is shaping up into a series of love letters, really, to J., my family and friends, and the three countries that I’ve called home.
1. What made you start blogging? When did you start blogging?
My younger sister M., who began her own chronicle of her cooking adventures with her fiance, inspired me to blog. I started writing this blog because I was often googling “Jewish and Filipino” and found only a few, mostly pejorative articles about how those relationships are not only rare but difficult. When I read or saw videos about Saudi-ARAMCO, they were about American expats, with no mention of Filipinos. This blog ultimately came out of a frustration with that paucity of stories, that absence. When my blog was Freshly Pressed, the greatest thrill was seeing how readers came not just from the Philippines but from all over the world, and, in my tiny way, I get to share what I love so much about being Filipino with other Filipinos and with them, who might not know much about the Philippines.
2. How did you pick the name for your blog?
One of my favorite Filipino foods is adobo and my nod to J. is the word “kosher,” a word I rarely, if ever used, until we began dating. It’s a recognition of how it’s an interracial, intercultural, and interreligious relationship, which is a sweet metaphor, I think, for what it’s like to live in America, too.
3. Who are your favourite bloggers?
My favorite blogs are www.smittenkitchen.com,http://myraandjimmycookandeat.wordpress.com, and www.intothegloss.com. I love cooking and the author’s voice is so warmly encouraging. Myraandjimmycookandeat, my sister’s blog, is pure fun, watching as she experiments with recipes. Intothegloss fulfills a voyeuristic desire of looking into others’ medicine cabinets. I also spend an embarrassing about of time at the pharmacy, just sniffing shampoos and deodorants. One of the managers at a local CVS actually asks me once in a while, “Are you buying today or just sniffing around?”
FILIPINO-AMERICAN THANKSGIVING DINNER
The first time I tasted turkey, I was 12 years old. It was the Gulf War and my dad came home with packets of soldier food. Freeze-dried pears. Astronaut ice cream. Chicken a la king. Turkey divan, which tasted like chicken ala king. Turkey had been an abstraction, nothing more than the November turkey drawings we made by tracing the outline of our hand. I knew that Americans ate it with mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving in the same way that Filipinos had lechon and rice on Christmas Eve or Saudi Arabs, a roasted lamb on top of kabsa during Eid.
The first time I tried to cook a turkey, I was in my first year of teaching in 2001. All employees at the boarding school where I worked received a turkey as a holiday gift, but I did not know that I had to thaw it first. I wrapped a 20-pound bird in towels and a down comforter, thinking that the extra warmth would speed up the process but it didn’t. Not even a little bit. (Writing this now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have known what to do with the turkey even if it had thawed in time.) So, on that Thanksgiving afternoon, my sisters, friends, and I (all of us non-American) were eating I Can’t Believe It’s Not Chicken, a soy blend which we bought in a hurry from a small store, literally minutes before its doors closed for the night. Before and since that day, I’ve celebrated this holiday at someone else’s home — a good friend’s, my sister’s, my sister’s in-laws. They opened up their homes to all my sisters and me, and, with them, their dining rooms became places where I, a Filipino, could experience what I saw in American magazines and books I grew up reading in Saudi Arabia.
Today, J. and I are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time at our two-bedroom home. I picked up my already-cooked turkey last night. My sister M. is in the kitchen, getting started on a chocolate-pear cake. My cousin K., whom I met for the first time on Sunday, is in the guest room and, in the living room, my sister N. is asleep on an inflatable bed. M. tells me they were up until two in the morning, talking. My sister L. and her husband J. will be joining us for breakfast. They are staying at a hotel downtown and I told her to take the toiletries for me. E., my favorite pizzeria’s manager, a Filipino American who knows my regular order (an avocado quesadilla pizza), will stop by at noon to talk sports with J. before he heads to his sister’s where he will have lumpia. Two Chinese international students will be joining us at two-thirty for green beans and stuffing. Tonight we will light the second Hanukkah candle. We will talk about what we’re thankful for and how awesome it is that we are all sitting at the same table together. We will be so full that we will roll each other into the living room where we’ll watch The Avengers. At least one person will fall asleep halfway through the movie. We will call this two-hour movie a ‘hiatus’ and then we will return to the kitchen where we will eat and talk some more.
It’s still six hours from the start of the dinner party, yet the celebrating has already begun.
Thank you, KP, for being a guest blogger of Little Miss Honey. I enjoy reading your blog pots and stories. You are truly a gifted storyteller. For more kosheradobo.com visit this freshly-pressed featured blog at http://kosheradobo.com.