It’s the summertime, and the 4th of July is upon us- a day where people can celebrate America and pretend we are not in the 9th circle of hell on earth since Trump took office.
There will be spirited discussions online about the hypocrisy of celebrating a holiday that speaks of independence all while those in power continue to stand on the backs of marginalized people. This will also be a time for Trump and his cult to talk about the American flag, cloaking their racism in hyper-patriotism and love for guns. I can hardly wait!
But for many of us, it is a day off work to sit back, relax and enjoy some good food with family and friends. For some of you, it will be a time to put everything you have learned this year into action and NOT call the police on Black people that will be BBQing, lighting fireworks, playing spades and doing the electric slide. I know-us wild and crazy Black folks doing normal stuff!
I know you are super excited to show everyone that you are not like your racist neighbors and you may even be thinking, “You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to make a dish and bring it to Fred and Janay’s BBQ tomorrow to show them that I am not like #BBQBecky or #PermitPatty.”
And that is great! I believe that neighbors should get out and know one another and what better way to do that than over a meal?
But before you make that dish, let me give you just a few tips that will help your visit to the cookout be just a little bit better:
1. Macaroni and Cheese does NOT need breadcrumbs, cilantro, toasted almonds or any other weird ass, unnecessary ingredient you are thinking about putting in or on top of it. The two ESSENTIAL ingredients are right in the name – macaroni and cheese. This is not a time to get fancy and try to do something Bobby Flay did on Food Network. You are NOT Bobby Flay.And in reality, no one is going to ask you to bring the Mac and Cheese. No one. So just don’t. Leave that to the professionals which isn’t you.
2. Do not bring ANYTHING to eat and say, “Look at what I discovered.” Do not be the Christopher Columbus of food. If it is trendy online or in New York City, odds are Black people have already planted it, grew it, cooked it, served it, ate it, and now you have come along and gentrified it. You did not invent oxtails and spaghetti.You did not invent pickles and Kool-aid.
3. Raisins do NOT belong in potato salad or greens. No. Just no, Karen. Whoever told you to add raisins to these items does not like you.
4. Stop trying to get fancy. You are not now nor will you ever be on Top Chef. You take a perfectly good dish and say, “I wonder how a can of peaches would taste in these baked beans?” STOP! When all else fails KEEP IT SIMPLE! Nothing can outdo BASIC, QUALITY ingredients that actually GO TOGETHER! This is NOT potato salad. This is potatoes and boiled eggs.Adding parsley on it doesn’t make it fancy! You aren’t fooling anyone.
5. Don’t tell us the food is too spicy. That’s just pepper. Relax. We also use a plethora of other spices as well. Wasn’t this part of colonization? How do you disrupt civilizations for spices yet refuse to use any of the spices you killed people for?
6. If you taste something you like, we cannot give you the recipe. We don’t measure shit. We sprinkle until the ancestors tell us, “That’s enough, baby.” We just know.
7. It’s okay just to bring the soda, plates and napkins. Hey, those things are always needed and appreciated. If you do bring those items, pick up some aluminum foil and not that cheap aluminum foil that rips easily. Who am I kidding? Y’all only get Reynold’s.
8. They are collard greens, not colored greens. And more than likely they will have some type of smoked meat in them. Can we make them vegetarian? Of course, we can but don’t get to asking for gluten-flavor-free greens the day of. Like my mom would say, “Pick around it.”
9. If they ask you if you want a to-go plate, just say yes. It’s a sign of disrespect if you leave the house without a to-go plate. Only one. Don’t get 2 or 3 because we will talk about you when you leave.
10. What happens at the cookout, STAYS AT THE COOKOUT!! If you have a problem MINDING YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS, STAY HOME! Uncle Charlie is gonna cuss out his nephew because he reneged during Spades, Junebug and em probably gonna smoke some weed out back, Big Mama is gonna talk about her fast ass granddaughter that still ain’t married, Bam Bam might pull out a gun during dominoes and at the end of the day we will laugh, promise to get together more often and dance to September by Earth, Wind & Fire . NOT THE TAYLOR SWIFT VERSION. We rebuke that in the name of Jesus the same way we rebuke your Kraft stovetop mac and cheese.
Follow these tips, and your visit to your Black neighbor’s BBQ should go off without a hitch! Have a wonderful time and when in doubt, just bring the paper plates and some Henny. Works every time!
Categories: Thoughts, Musings and Reflections