Sunday, June 23, 2013

About Paula Deen and my own funny brand of racism. In situations where I have to choose a seat in public, walking down the isle of a bus, for instance, I will always choose to sit next to the oldest black guy. Over the years I've noticed that old black guys are reliably kind, consistent, and moral. Almost always profoundly devout, generally far more conservative than myself, but reliably kind. Perhaps because they have survived society up till now, having neither been shot or jailed like the other 75% of their peer group. Actually, I have no idea how many black boys end up shot or jailed in the United States. But no one needs to run down the stat to know its maybe most of them. Old black guys in other countries are probably, as with old white guys here, a mixed bag of nuts. In the United States they are a sifted group, specifically select.

Which is why, book shopping with my husband this weekend, waiting for our kids in the mall, I ended up sitting next to an inner city preacher. We read companionably next to each other for 30 minutes or so before we started chatting. He asked me what I was reading. Perhaps predictably: "The Art of French Cooking" and "The Joy  of Cooking." I was considering buying the one and replacing my dissolving copy of the other. He was, of course, reading a book about God.

Life is funny. Partly because my kids are growing up and partly because I had a melanoma removed last month, I've been in a funk. I'm sad, at oddsbodkins with myself, pondering mortality and what to do with the rest of my life. I'm trying to be a big girl about the whole situation. But mortality just fries my shorts. I'm having a hard time getting over it. I have too much time on my hands without enough gumption to know what to do next. The only thing I do well is baby wrangling. And cattle wrangling. (Are these two different things?) The situation is pissing me off. Only a white girl could figure out how to be upset about so much good fortune, right?

We had been silent for a while when Dr. Preacher surprised me with another question, "Do you mind if I ask if you might consider volunteering for my church?" He then spoke to me for 5 full minutes about diabetes in the black community, inner city food deserts, and his concerns for the nutritional status of the people in his church. He wondered if I might be willing to teach some cooking classes and if I had ideas about nutrition.

So it really wasn't my fault. But the next time my husband saw me, I was speaking at great length about urban farming, fresh milk, Weston Price, the fallacy of the food pyramid, and mineral starvation. In a word, cows. Someone needed to hear what I think about cows and food. Someone might want my help. Imagine my joy! I'm very excited to discover where this goes. I hope the preacher calls me back. I have goats. I have time. I will travel.

What foods would you choose to teach first? I'm thinking fried chicken liver, steamed kale with garlic butter, and possibly garlic rosemary mushroom roasted potatoes. Though, I'm not sure about the potatoes for a group of diabetics. Maybe roasted beets with squash and pecans instead? Next class I could take a goat to demonstrate milking. Then make saag paneer with the fresh milk, sauteed meat, and an onion relish. I do hope he calls me back.

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