Food That Proved To Me My Parents Loved Me (Also, Food That Proves Your Parents May Not Have Loved You)

Disclaimer: This is not meant as an indictment or as an unfairly judgemental opinion piece about those for whom constant work is essential. Working however many jobs for god forsakenly long hours just to provide your family with a roof over their heads is love beyond measure. This piece is just in reference to those whose parental skills is comparable to putting a dick in an active blender. It’s a mess for everyone involved and you had better believe those present to witnes such an act will carry the memory with them until the day they die.

I feel sorry for you people. I really do. And, yes, as someone who writes using the continuously oppressed lens of the African-American experience, I recognize how historically charged the phrase “you people” can be, but I have negative minus an additional 37 fucks to give. You people seriously missed out and, in some regards, that makes you less as a person. You see, I had the undeserved fortune to grow up within a family with food as good as our emotional availability with and around each other was horrible. Yeah,I’ll admit that every family gathering was graced with the presence of uncles that did their very best to consolidate every depiction of a crackhead Samuel L. Jackson has ever played into one, unceasing, 50+ year method acted performance, but we still knew how to get down with the get down. Especially when the cooking of the women in my family was involved. And in those sometimes days-long gatherings, there was never a moment in which I doubted the infinite reservoir of love each family member had for us children. It was through motherland dishes like Jollof Rice, Cassava Leaf, and spicier than Satan’s dick Fufu that I a got further affirmation that my family deeply cared about to nourishment of my siblings and me. If only because these dishes were laborious and, as is often the case when feeding ungrateful ass kids, thankless. So, to gather the necessary ingredients, block off the mandatory 38 hours and 46 minutes ( I assume. Depending on whether or not you plan to make enough food for your ENTIRE African family. We tend to crowd a room is what I’m saying.) to prepare the meal, and serve it surely has you contemplating abandoning them on the footsteps of an ACE Hardware store, has to be love or at least something like it.

I use this as the premise for my theory that states as follows: The better your family’s food is, the more they love you. Conversely, if the food in your house while growing up could be mentioned in the same breath as Apartied or any other event throughout human history that illustrated a bankruptcy of the soul, maybe your fam didn’t/doesn’t care for you as much as those unsigned Hallmark cards you get in the mail every year-two months after your birthday-would like you to believe. Here, we can review some dishes that serve as a barometer of sorts as to whether or not your parents considered you and your kin alike regrettable ass births that they’d rather avoid at all costs. (In the interest of saving time: If your family meals consisted mainly of bland meatloaf and/or casserole, you should probably forgo buying the airplane ticket home for the holiday season. Chances are your parents won’t even notice your not there.)

Jollof Rice:
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* 1 pound parboiled rice
* 1 can tomato puree-400 
* grams
* 1 onion, sliced
* 3 cloves garlic
* 6 small or 3 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
* 1 bunch thyme, leaves picked
* 8 chicken bouillon cubes
* 1 loving parent
* ≥ 1 fuck within a parental figure or guardian as to whether or not you find happiness in this life

Traditionally spicy and, as those of you who benefitted from the cooking of parents/guardians who thought your life was worth preserving, is often credited as the basis for much of what makes up southern cooking;Jollof Rice is a delectably versatile dish. Often served with a protein such as chicken, fish, or beef as well as the caring yet scrutinizing gaze of your mother as she painstakingly prepares this dish for you to consume, it is a staple of most West African countries (and happy childhoods.). Make sure to add blended vegetables along with salt, curry powder, and brown chile pepper all with the practiced skill that was taught to you by an elder in your family whom, like every other adult in your relation,cherished you enough to make sure you could responsibly prepare a meal for yourself and, God willing, someday your very own family.

Chicken Fingers and Turkey Sandwiches:
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* 1 bag of Tyson’s Crispy Chicken Strips
* 1 container of Kroger Brand Selects Deli-Style Turkey
* 1 or 2 origins of parental neglect as to whether or not you are properly nourished
* ≥ 1 instances of your parents not even bothering to warm the still frozen chicken strips so you could eat them. So now you, tearfully trying to reach the microwave but child’s arms are still too short to grasp the dial, have to find a way to warm it up to feed yourself because no one could be bothered.
* < 1 chance of finding anyone that you can trust in this life. I mean, if you couldn’t even trust the people that brought you into this world to care for you, who can you trust?

Your father remains passed out on the couch midday while a rerun of Mama’s Family plays on the TV in front of his (alarmingly) unmoving frame. As the character of Mama continues to crack wise to a fake tv family you would give anything to be apart of, you realize with grim resignation that the laughter of the show’s studio audience is the only sound of joy you’ve heard in this home for far too many years to count. Mainly because you’re still a child and counting, much like an attentive caregiver, is beyond your grasp. Once your able to, micorwave the chicken strips for 3 minutes. Once heated, give it 1 minute to rest so as to be safe for consumption. When the minute passes, find a quiet corner and eat in silence.

Shortbread:
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* 180 grams (6.3 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 90 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
* 270 grams (1¾ cups + 3 tbsp.) all-purpose flour
* ≥ 1 child providing the laughter that often fills a joyous home
* ≥ 1 prcocious youth adorably handing the preparer the necessary appliances so they can say they helped prepare such a lovingly crafted meal.
* 1 God or other established deity who has not forsaken this home and those within it.

A simple confection with a long history behind it’s perfectly calibrated sweeter notes; Shortbread is often the first item amateur bakers learn how to prepare by themselves. Often, under the tutelage of a parent or guardian who wouldn’t rather find their reflection at the bottom of a bottle than perpetuate the bleak combination of being sober and acutely aware of the hell that they, and by extension, your very presence, has sentenced them to. Shortbread can be paired with many traditional dinner items as well as a standalone after dinner treat. That is if the meal wasn’t made keenly uncomfortable by the unrelenting tenseness eminating from your increasingly resentful parents. Their seemingly unblinking gazes stay affixed to each other as if they could not reliably trust that someone had not poisoned the meal (and again, by extension, your meal as well.) in some vain attempt to regain a hollow facsimile of their lost freedom. A freedom both of your parents consider squandered the moment the pregnancy test came back positive. This knowledge, and the arguments you hear through the walls that your parents have long since stopped trying to have in hushed, pointed whispers, pyrrhically succeeds in keeping you awake every night.

Chopped-Up Hotdogs in Improperly Cooked Mac ‘n Cheese:
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* 1 box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
* 1 package of Oscar Meyer Ballpark Franks
* ≥ 1 bruises on your torso from the impact of the frozen hotdogs that served as your father’s response to you when you had asked him if he’d fix it for you because you’re hungry
* 1 long uncomfortable silence as you remain standing there in the kitchen, staring down at the hotdogs that now litter the floor, and slowly comprehending the fact that this is the moment you have to become an adult.

Dude…that’s dark as fuck. Holy shit, I’m sorry. Nonetheless, the bright side is that all the hotdogs require for consumption are a few minutes in the pot. Now just bend down and pick them up off the floor with your arm that’s hopefully not fractured in several places because your father decided to turn those hotdogs into ballistic missiles. Best of luck!

That ends our first entry into “Fukette Presents: Things My Parents Did For Me To Show That They Loved Me Unconditionally But, Unfortunately, Your Parents Couldn’t Be Bothered To Do For You Because They Don’t. Love You Unconditionally, That Is.” (Ed Note- May want to shorten that title to something catchier and more sensitive. Maybe “Ha Ha My Father Never Drunkenly Called Me A Mistake At My Sister’s Wedding Unlike Yours Did In 2012!”. We’ll See.) Be sure to catch up with us next time or really whenever your expletive-laden confrontation with your parents as a result of the suppressed memories reading this article evokes within you ends in irrepairable consequences. Don’t worry. We’ll wait.

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