Immigrant Nation Recipe Exchange

So my foundation is on Day Two of being repaired.  Not much to report, unless you count the gas leak, the rain, or the triple-thick foundation pour my house has got (they burned out a jackhammer!)…

The supervisor will be coming to keep a watch on the levelling process.  But the site boss, Eustacio Ayala, is from El Salvador, and his wife is Guatemalan… and I gave them our number so that we can maybe start setting up a recipe exchange.  Assimilation can be fun.  He needs to work on his English, and I on my Spanish, and so we talked a little bit about language and what it takes to get settled into different places (I didn’t tell the more embarrassing stories about Hungary, but I did tell the one about why I’m a Mitchell and not a Micelli…).  Mr. Ayala is already hooked on Korean food, for instance, and I tempted him with visions of Turostyussza, which is God’s Own Artery Attack.  The Guatemalans, on the other hand, seem to fry their plaintains up in one huge piece, and eat it with cream… which sounds just like I’m about to get fat…

all I have to do is sell some local foodies on the idea, and we may have some new cooking buddies.  And as a guy about to go full-bore teaching US History, with the “hate-America 24/7” going on in the news, it’s really nice to see somebody who appreciates the benefits of American assimilation, and what it offers.  We spent the better part of almost four hundred years now learning how to engage in massive assimilation w/o mandating the loss of identity, and a lot of places could benefit from the example.  My great-granddad’s assimilation choice meant that he willingly left behind a lot of “Italianness” even on the food front.

Hopefully when Mrs. Ayala talks to her relatives on the same phone cards my wife looks at, some of that wonderful message will spread, with a cost-benefit ratio at least as good.

Leave a comment


  1. Amen to that.

  2. Yeah really.. Anyone unwilling to assimilate should not be let in.

  3. Chris - Wichita

     /  September 12, 2006


    If you’ve never had El Salvadoran food – it’s just flat out amazing. Has most Mexican stuff beat all to heck and gone in my book.

    There is a place in Lawrence that serves Mexican and El Salvadoran, and I’ve really developed a taste for the latter. There’s also a tapas bar in Lawrence, but we’re not going to talk about that disaster.

  4. ‘Nother example:

    One of my students, a stout black man, said to me after class, “Hey, you need to bring lumpia!”

    “You know about lumpia?” I asked.

    “Yeah! When I was living in Houston, I lived next to a Filipino family. Mmm-mmm-mmmm, eggrolls were good!”

    Where else but in America? 🙂

  5. I LOVE lumpia, adobo, pansit, crabs in coconut sauce……..and many other dishes from Filipino cuisine. When my sis-in-law comes down this summer, I want to have a Filipino cook day and have you over as well. I will just sit (b-b-q with some Mama-sita’s sauce) and eat until I explode. Are you guys game for that?

  6. russ

     /  September 12, 2006

    Not only game, but I have a request… chocolate meat!!

  7. *sniff*.. I want lumpia.. 😦

  8. blair

     /  September 13, 2006

    You need korean recipes, lemme know.

  9. Well, Superbiff, I know people whose houses go beep you could stay with…

    Denuguan with puto = the awesome. Even if puto is supposed to be dessert food.

    I think fried plantain with creme would go really well with hungarian stuffed cabbage, and the only thing that could be better than lumpia and bulgogi would be a second helping of chocolate meat with it…

    (and then watch Happycrow’s HappyArteries HappyExplode)

  10. Nah I think one ill-fated trip to Texas per lifetime is my limit.. Thanks tho..

  11. Well, you might be in luck: Anna thinks she’s going to be taught how to make them…

  12. Kewl.. I should learn too.. Plenty of places around here to learn.. Man everything else you describe above sounds nasty as hell though 🙂

    Well other than bulgogi.. I had that for lunch.. Fried Plantain with Creme and Stuffed Cabbage though.. Gak!

  13. Anna

     /  September 14, 2006

    Um, those are two separate dishes, Chris, and I think you just insulted me national pride with that stuffed cabbage remark…:-) I shall declare blood feud on your house, obviously…Oh wait, your brother IS in my house, or I am in his, so that means…nevermind…:-)

  14. Yeah, some ethnic foods look strange and the ingredients in them even stranger. Dinuguan, for instance. It looks like fatty pork chunks in melted, oily chocolate. There’s no chocolate in it, though. You eat it served over rice (unless you’re Russ ::grin::). I tell non-Filipino folks, “Don’t ask — just eat. If you think it’s yummy, then I’ll tell you what’s in it.” 🙂

  15. I know they are separate dishes.. I’m not that dense.. but I declare war on plantains in general (bleck) and the idea of putting any kind of cream on top of them.. double bleck.

    Stuffed Cabbage I’m generally gak on b/c I don’t like cabbage.. Although I do like kimchi (the more smelly and disgusting the better) so who knows..

    Go ahead and make your blood fued; I maintain I’m adopted.

  16. Anna

     /  September 15, 2006

    you are weird…:-)

  17. Well, we’re shaping up pretty good: lumpia, toltottkaposzta, and maybe ethiopian and bulgogi. Maybe frybread if we’re lucky.


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