Food Traditions

Day 107 of Safer-at-Home here in Panama City Beach, Florid. Today’s Department of Health’s (DOH) statistics for COVID-19 for Bay County are 322 cases and 4 deaths, and for Florida are 141,075 cases and 3,419 deaths. The statistics from Florida’s Community Coronavirus Dashboard for Bay County are 338 cases and 6 deaths, and for Florida are 151,521 cases and 3,518 deaths. It really upsets me that DOH does not count non-Florida residents’ deaths. And that probably means they are not counted anywhere. And their deaths should count. Though they may have not lived in Florida, they suffered and died here. Plus the death count is based on death certificates received by the state and this could take anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks after death. So who knows what the death count really is.

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

I started watching Padma Lakshmi’s series entitled “Taste the Nation” on Hulu. I had been watching Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s series entitled “No Passport Required ” on PBS. They both focus on immigrants and food. Watching these shows has made me think about the food traditions in my family and where they came from. As a genealogist I have researched that my ancestors were here mostly from colonial times and whatever food traditions they had have been lost through the generations.

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

From what I can tell, the food I eat has been influenced first by my mother and maternal grandmother who were mainly Southern cooks. And this food had to be influenced by African-Americans, because unfortunately some of my ancestor’s were slave owners. Another influence in their cooking was that they lived in El Paso for awhile. It has always been a tradition in my family to have Mexican food when we get together ever since I can remember. Plus having lived in California and Texas, Mexican food is probably my comfort food. When I moved to Connecticut, I really began to start cooking Mexican food because at the time there were not too many Mexican restaurants and the few that existed were not that good.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in my family were pretty traditional: Turkey and cornbread dressing, mashed potato with giblet gravy, iceberg lettuce wedges with homemade thousand island dressing, canned cranberry sauce, a relish tray. I am sure there was a vegetable. My grandmother usually made the cornbread and the gravy.

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

Otherwise I have started getting ready for the class I begin teaching on July 6, at GCSC on Enameling and Metalsmithing. I almost have the sample done for week 1. In addition I sent the participants an email saying they must wear masks in my classroom. And my daughter Carolyn in Colorado asked me what I was doing about shared tools and cross contamination. I have to figure that out.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

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