I’m the spirit of being festive this 4th of July, I thought what a great opportunity it would be to share with you my list of “very American things”.
Before I get to the list, I’d like to share with you how I’ve comprised it. You see, I’m the only member of my family born in the U.S. and my dad just got his citizenship a few months ago (he had a green card for the over thirty years living in the U.S., so don’t go thinking my family area bunch of illegal immigrants. We don’t live in Arizona because it’s too hot and we like the beach).
Having immigrant parents made me quite the traveler, by the time I was 12, I already visited eight countries (and believe it or not, I live four hours in the car from Mexico and I’ve never been!). My family is spread out all over. You can blame World War II for that. Since I’m a Jew on both sides, my family living in europe relocated to different places during and after the war. I have lots of family in Australia (where a lot of Jews were shipped over in WWII), Holland, Vienna, France, England, and Israel, of course, where my mother was born. I’m getting to my point…
So anyhow, over the years, the house I grew up here in LA has turned into a little B&B for all our out of town family and friends. Hence I’ve heard all sorts of non-Americans talk about things that are simply put, very American. Some of the things are funny, and some kinda sad. But all in all, I’m proud I can at least live in a country where I can voice my opinions and publish such a list to begin with. Without further ado, here we go:
-suing for everything. A lot of foreigners will ask me, (imagine some funny accent)”why you sue so much!? I open my mouth in American and someone want to sue me!”. Indeed! We sue fast food companies for selling use food which WE BUY and blame them for making us obese. We sue when a mom brings peanut butter cookies to a baseball game and a kid whose allergic eats one and goes to the hospital (get a damn epi pen you soccer mom!). I dont know why we do it. Maybe have too many lawyers walking around with no cases. I have advice to those lawyers, get another job, most people look at you badly anyhow. (PS, if there are any lawyers reading this, dont take this personally).
-Buying in bulk: O yes, I admit, I do this too. I just visited the mothership of bulk stores this friday (I got the handy ice cream maker for so killer ice cream recipes for y’all!). But its kind of insane. Foreign friend and family will come visit and they are simply marveled and a little confused by this whole “costco” thing. What? Why would someone need a 7 pound tub of mayo, a twin pack of 24oz ketchup, 60 individual hot dog buns, and a wine that comes in a box for a household?? I’d like to give an explanation, but I can’t. All I know is, that I’m an “executive member” at Costco, I love going for my free samples, and I kinda like having 4lbs of strawberries in the fridge.
-Breaking the world record by creating largest….(insert noun here): You know what I mean, “Worlds Largest Ball of Twine”, “Worlds Largest Thermometer”, “Worlds Largest Cookie”….its crazy but we like to up the ante and out do everyone. And for some reason, families plan road trips (also, a very American past time) surrounding visits to these things. I dont know, but when I was a kid, oversized objects freaked me out, it was like I was living in that “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” movie. Scary!
– Glorifying people for doing nothing but spend money: I’m actually gonna blame this on the fact that we dont have a royal family. So instead, we watch people on tv with money do nothing and this fascinates us and we pay a lot of money to publications for taking pictures of these people. A foreigner asked me about the Kardashians and why they are so popular. The only answer I could give is that Americans like seeing rich people shop, and they arent blonde so that makes them “exotic”.
-The fortune cookie: yep, invented in San Francisco as American as a Wal Mart
-Dressing your dog like its human: I’ve taken foreigners on tours of L.A. and its embarrassing when you notice half of the Prada clad crowd on Rodeo Dr have four legs. Americans also like to give the manicures and highlights. I swear, I think some people treat their dogs better than they treat themselves. If I were a dog and my owner dressed me in some burberry sweater, I’d be a bitch too (although I already am one 🙂 )
-Ordering double cheese-burgers, supersize fries, and a diet coke: Not that I think there is anything wrong with fries and burgers, but with all that extra, you really think that aspartame infused soda is gonna make a difference? And while where on that subject…..
-“Diet” foods: Although we have weight issues in American (both over and under), America is the parent of diet anything. Diet sodas, diet frozen meals, diet yogurts, diet bread, diet cookies, diet peanut butter, diet, diet, diet, diet! I bet theres even diet water! You’d think we’d all be emaciated by now? But most of these diet products are unsatisfying and not always healthy. An exchange student once asked me how there could be low fat butter. Isn’t that what butter is? Fat? All I can say is that we need to start eating foods that can be “dietfied”. Like when’s the last time you heard of diet almonds? Exactly.
Thats my list for today. If I offended anyone, please note that I in no way hate America. I love it, all in all. I love that I can say what a want without going to jail, I love I can elect my leaders democratically, I love cheesy theme parks and oreos, and yes, I admit, I love diet soda. So sue me!
Today’s recipe is simple because I wanted to get this post put before the day is over and I’m waiting for my ice cream maker to freeze. Thought I’d share what I did with my excess zucchini and tuna cans I got (yep, still from that massive sale last week). I made a “nooch” tuna salad with:
-1 can tuna (chunk light, it has the least mercury)
-about 1 tbs of beet horseradish (REALLY good stuff!)
-2 celery stalks chopped finely
-a generous squirt of yellow or spicy mustary
-1 tbs nooch (nutritional yeast)
-Some fresh or dried basil
-1 small grated zucchini
Sautee the zucchini on a well greased pan and cook until slightly golden. Fold it in with the rest of the ingredients and let it chill in the fridge to let the flavors get nice and happy.
Happy 4th of July! I can’t wait till Bastille Day!