I am most definitely American, and most definitely Californian. I have very American and Californian views. And while I try to appreciate other cultures, and understand their ways of life. Some days you just can't help pointing, staring and being really, really confused.
This girl at work, she's 22, grew up in.. hmm, i can't remember... the middle east somewhere. moved here like 1 year before high school. she speaks perfect english, with only a small hint of a foreign accent every now and then. She speaks 3 languages well, and dabbles in others. I always forget she's not American though. Then yesterday she comes to me, because she knows I like to cook. She is seriously freaking out, because she's having a thanksgiving potluck that night with her friends from college, and she's been assigned to bring green bean casserole. Not some fancy ass green bean casserole, the one from campbells. She's never had it before, she never heard of it, and she especially hasn't heard of the French's fried onions that you need to make it. And I tried to calm her down. I would have taken her to the store myself, but she leaves work 1 hr before me. I explained to her how to procure all the ingredients from the store, and that all you have to do is dump everying into a casserole dish and stir it. I told her it was easier than macaroni and cheese from a box, because everything is already cooked, but she could not be calmed. I got a call from her at the grocery store. She managed to find a green bean casserole kit, and was a a bit more confident, but still worried. But she made it, and it turned out fine, and next time she said she's going to try making it from "scratch", meaning she'd have to brave the aisles and gather the can of soup, cans of green beans and can/pouch of onions herself.
I know that my mom is 100% American and we ate all the foods that the brand names said to eat. I know when I was little i ate many more casseroles than my friends who had foreign born parents. My mom loves to cook, but hates to experiment with anything new, or seemingly complicated. She gets mad when i don't folow recipes exactly. I know we were a little sheltered, but never in my life did i bother to think about the majority of the world who, when forced to come up with something quickly for a healthy dinner does not reach into the pantry for a can of campbells soup, pour it over some kind of meat and some kind of starch, cook and serve. There's a whole world out there who doesn't eat green bean casserole for thanksgiving. They don't even celebrate thanksgiving. I went out to lunch with my department yesterday, out of 8 people, I was the only one who had a real (American) thanksgiving!
As much as I hate to admit it right now, I have much more in common with those red states than people outside the US. I bet they all cook like my mom (who didn't vote for Bush).
Does Canada have green bean casserole for their thanksgiving? I'll have to look into it.
Apple pie, baseball and green bean casserole, great American traditions (minus the baseball of course)