Food has always been really important in my family. Thekitchen’s always been a place of gathering. We had an eclectic mix of food for real. My dad was from thesouth but my parents both lived out in California so there was all sorts offood from fried chicken to Indian stuff that I don’t know how to pronounce. All sorts of weird stuff. I remember a Korean friend movinginto town and I didn’t really know him at the time but he comes over for dinnerone night and he asks my mom, he’s like “you sure y’all are from around here?You don’t really eat like it."
We eat some I guess more traditional southern food and weeat Korean food with all sorts of glass noodles and bulgogi and all sorts ofjunk. Squid jerky. It’s really salty. Lots of Cuban food. Blackbeans and rice. Fried plantains. I really like this Cuban dish that’s reallyjust shredded beef that’s fried until it’s crispy and then you eat that withsome black beans and rice. And fried plantains.
My dad cooked a lot growing up. My mom’s very into health food. My dad very muchwas not. He cooked mostof the meals. He did a lot of chili. That’s his favorite, and like soups. He’djust kinda take whatever was around.I cook a good bit. All of my brothers and sisters cook. Atleast know their way around in a kitchen. It’s kind of vital. Growing up, ifyou cooked you didn’t have to clean up and we had five kids and two parents soeverybody wanted to cook because nobody wanted to clean up.
Just as soon as I was old enough I wanted to dowas my brothers were doing, what my dad was doing. One of the earliest memories I have in our house is my dadteaching me how to flip an egg when I was still standing on a stepstool to getto the top of the stove. I sous-chef a lot for real. My brother likes to cook a wholelot so he’s generally over at our house and he’s usually on the stove. But Iusually go for like Italian. Noodles and sauce is pretty simple. Some gnocchi,some ratatouille or whatever. It’s all the same junk. Soups and chili.
My mom would cook more like Indian food and curries. Shewould cook all sorts of weird mixes but she also cooks like down home; what shecalled “cathead biscuits.” And they be like big old chunks of stuff to putgravy on. It would be like a whole wheat lump of biscuit-like doughabout the size as you fist. About theshape of a cat’s head.
I guess they owned a restaurant. In Louisvillethey had like a little hippie joint. Kinda making I guess California food typeof deal. I don’t know. Like weird hippie vegetable food that’s good for you.Indian stuff. It was called Trader Inn I think. They had like “if your wifecan’t cook trade ‘er in.”