Monday, November 06, 2006

Help! We have to cook!

The Khartoum American School’s annual International Dinner is this Thursday. We’re supposed to bring two main dishes and one dessert representative of our home country’s cuisine. Dessert is easy. We thought of lots of possibilities—apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie (if we could get pecans), root beer floats (if we could get root beer), brownies, bread pudding. We’re taking chocolate chip cookies (specifically, Ruth’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies—yum!).

For one of the main dishes, we’re going to take chili, but we’re having a hard time thinking of another dish that represents American food. Lasagne? Enchiladas? Pad Thai? And just what are the Italian, Mexican, and Thai families bringing?

Just like my all-American kids are Portuguese-British-Swedish-Norwegian-German-Dutch-French-Americans, I think that real American cuisine, what people eat every day, is Chinese-Mexican-Italian-Thai-Japanese-British-American food.

In Bosnia, Romania, and here in Sudan, people really do eat their national foods pretty much all the time. You can get stuff to make spaghetti, but it’s a rare day that you do it. (Interestingly, the Dutch, while they have traditional Dutch foods, eat food from lots of different culinary traditions in their everyday meals. But then again, they’ve been world travellers for centuries.)

So what do we take for our second main dish? Give us some ideas, even you who up till now have only lurked on the blog. What’s an all-American main dish?


kris said...


Kris Larsen here, I thought that I might as well put my 2 cents in before I pick up Ezra. I don't think that there IS an "all American dish". Diner-type food maybe, but I think regional food might be a better way to think about it. But what region and what ingredients are to be had? Here are some off of the top of my head: North Carolina pulled pork, Maryland crab cakes, Chile Rellenos, crunchy fried chicken, stuffed potato skins, clam chowder, baked beans, Etouffee, Gumbo (file powder may be hard to get), Jambalaya, meatloaf, corn fritters, soft tacos(w/ shredded beef as more Mexican or ground beef as more tex-mex), macaroni salad, stuffed peppers,chicken pot pie, red beans and rice, tabouli ... Hope that helps a little.

Bret said...

Hot dogs?

Ron P said...

Sloppy joes? Tuna noodle casserole?

CuracaoChick said...

Oooh, I like the meatloaf idea. Also, chicken and cornbrean, if you've ever made that, when you bake the chicken into the cornbread. What else? Pasta salad, macaroni and cheese...

Love you guys bunches!

Dave (the Bald Guy) said...

I remember that when Dad was gone on business we had "7 Seas Casserole" a lot of the time. As I recall it is made of rice, tuna fish, vegetables and cream soup. We never had it when Dad was home because he d it.

Coleen says that casserole is not American food, it is Mormon food.


Nathan said...

You make an interesting observation. Because the USA is peopled largely with immigrants, variations on "classic" immigrant fare is, essentially, the "classic american" food, (with apologies to Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). However, this discounts the native dishes that you could make including corn on the cob, squash, or cornbread, though either may be difficult to come across in Africa. Another idea is to select dishes that may not be originally american but have become part of a city or region: Boston clam chowder, Philadelphia Cheesesteak, Buffalo wings, or Chicago style deep dish pizza (written with mouth watering). Then there is always Gram's sourdough pannies (an amazing refinement of what was Scandanavian).

Though I'm not sure that Alicia and I are "typical" americans, I thought I'd send what we had for dinner this week:

Baked potatoes
Beef stew (it's the rainy season in the northwest, and great stew weather)
Green Salad with raspberry vinagrette dressing
Malibu chicken (That even has US place name in it).

I'm pretty sure this didn't help much, but it was fun to think about.


Anonymous said...

Macaroni and Cheese.