Side note: the Cantonese name for "chicken feet" translates directly to "phoenix claw." Kinda funny to think about since I was preparing to watch the movie Arrival. And don't think I didn't write phoenix claw on the to go box!
Side side note: The movie was great and I would highly recommend watching it. If you don't know anything about it, don't research it first.
After microwaving these two items, I needed to choose a utensil to portion out my comparable serving of sticky rice to go with my phoenix claw. When you open a drawer in my household, you have the option of silverware or chopsticks. If my wife were still awake, we would definitely select the latter. However, being that she was not and I happen to be a Filipino American, I went with a good ol' spoon.
As I used the spoon to scrape the sticky rice from the leaf into the bowl, I thought about the utensil decision that I consciously and subconsciously just made; analyzing the delicacy of the chopsticks versus the barbarism of the spoon. A point from my only sushi lesson from a buddy of mine came to mind, "Touch every grain." This made me think of the scene from Kill Bill, when the bride is eating rice with Pai Mei. How hungry she must've been and how important each grain must be. I also thought of one of the old parental reminders, "don't waste your food."
The parental reminder brought up the image of my dad as a child, working his ass off on a farm in the provinces of the Philippines. How everyone must have had to work together to get the food they were going to eat. I don't even know if he ever farmed rice, but for sure SOMEONE did. And whatever they farmed was their life source. Every leaf and stem of every vegetable and every grain of rice had to be planted as a seed, watered, given sun, and taken care of until ready to reap. Then, after preparing, and cooking, each morsel on each plate should be shown that respect and eaten.
This is the importance of hard work. Putting food on the table.
This term has many different meanings for many different people. In America, it usually means having a job to get a paycheck to buy groceries, or even less literally to site a different term, it just basically means to "bring home the bacon." Even though my dad didn't work on a farm here in America, he and my mom still put food on a table, brought home bacon and they made sure we all didn't waste our food.
Why was it, perhaps, so easy for us to disregard the importance of food? Because we didn't have to plant it. We didn't have to water it. We didn't have to pick it and a lot of times we didn't have to prepare it or cook it! We lived in America, where we could just buy it from a person in a window without even leaving the comfort of our cars. We didn't think of the hard work it took for our food to get there. Or the animal sacrifice! We didn't have to raise piglets and chicks and watch them grow to become pigs and chickens, slaughter them, butcher them, prepare them, and cook them. We didn't have to do any of this. We were a few steps removed and a little more entitled.
There are varying levels of hard work instilled in each of us, from either nurture or nature. The same can be said for entitlement. America is a prime example of this dichotomy and my thought is that it the level of entitlement often correlates to how many generations removed that individual is from having to do hard work themselves or how well the parents teach them the importance of that hard work.
At this point, I'm basically babbling. The lessons...
- Work hard.
- Don't waste your food.
- Think about where your food came from.
- Teach the importance of hard work to the kids so they don't become entitled little brats!
- Appreciate your parents!!