Tuesday, December 5, 2023

I Yam What I Yam

           I love food fights. Let me clarify. I don’t love it when people throw food (or fling mashed potatoes throughout the kitchen by lifting the beaters out of the bowl too soon, St. Bob), but I love what we could call a “Food Dispute.”

          I’ll back up. I had the immense blessing of reconnecting with a long lost cousin, and he brought his family for Thanksgiving. It was magical, like a Hallmark movie. People I have never met poured through the front door and every one of them was happy, smart, and hilarious. It made for lots of laughter and love as 18 of us gathered around.

          We played a game I made up, which gets you beyond small talk, to really get acquainted. First you ask everyone to share something they don’t understand. The whole world seems to get it, except you.  Then we go around and share something you know, or can do, that few others can do. (I curled my tongue in a clover leaf.) Here's someone else doing it:

          One couple began a friendly disagreement about yams vs. sweet potatoes, where they come from, and why they are called what they are called. Neither one would concede an inch. The rest of us were bursting with laughter as it escalated (and now we know what topic to bring up in the future, if things get dull).

          If you want, I can tell you how all this confusion started, but it won’t earn you any points in an argument. What we buy-- the soft-fleshed veggie labeled “Yams”-- are actually sweet potatoes. But slaves who had come from West Africa compared them to the paler-fleshed yams they had grown back home, and the name stuck.

          As for me, I am thankful for both, thankful for all the new cousins I met, and thankful for Richie and Nicole, our only two kids who could make it this year, because they hopped up without even being asked, did all the dishes, and packed up take-home trays for everyone.  I may have over-eaten, but that’s the real reason I was bursting my buttons.

Buy a dozen copies of my super inexpensive book, ALittle Christmas Prayer and hand them out (just $3.49) Great gift for kids or adults, really anyone.

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