Whether you're Asian or not, you've all heard the phrase FOB which stands for Fresh Off (the) Boat. I use this term or variations of it (e.g. "fobby", "fobbish") to endearingly make fun of friends or relatives who have just come over to the States, or even those who have been here for a while but who still seem to hang on to the old country. You know, stuff like the fact that they think Versace shirts are hip or that they prefer to squat on the ground instead of sitting in a chair or leaning against a wall or the fact that after years of being here, their clothes still smell like mothballs AND they still have not mastered the English language. I know many people like this--hell, even my parents are a little on the fobby side--and I love each and every one of them to bits, but I have to admit there was a time when I was a kid growing up, that I was a little embarrased to be surrounded by all this fobbiness. I didn't understand why they couldn't try harder to assimilate, why someone always had to bring braised beef tongue to a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. I got over it soon enough, learning to appreciate and embrace the mix of cultures.
So it comes as no surprise, then, that as I've gotten older, I've incorporated some fobbiness into some of the things I do, even though I am SOOO not a fob. Like I always bring a pack of dried squid and shrimp chips along on road trips. I still eat porridge and noodles for my birthday. I still have an aversion to the number 4 because the number 4 in Chinese sounds like the word for death. And at barbeques, my friends and I always like to fob it up a little--we cook stuff on the grill, but there's always, ALWAYS rice. We did one this Saturday which was not at all refined, no need for any sort of ambiance, 'cause we're all like family anyways. There were no place settings or proper utensils. Tin foil and bags were strewn all over the counters and table. But the food? The food was DAMN GOOD! So without further ado, I now present to you our ghetto FOB-ulous BBQ...
When we first got to my friend T's house, we all had to take off our shoes and leave them with the sea of shoes in the foyer...
Check out my friend's new shoes. Aren't they fobby??? He likes to wear these with jeans. But that's OK 'cause he likes them and that's all that matters!
OK, enough about shoes. These were really the star of the show...my friend T grilled up some steaks for us which were damn good. Here is the pile o' meat after T took them off the BBQ. Notice the random Target bag in the background.
No fobby BBQ is complete without rice (not shown) and kimchee:
Or without a few 40's of Hite Beer:
My friend H made these kick-ass egg rolls complete with dipping sauce (not shown)! Mmmm...
There was even some more "Westernized" stuff in the mix, like these grilled zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms. These...
Became these...My fave was the zucchini.
I didn't get a chance to take a pic of what I brought, which were potatoes au gratin with bacon, but if you look in the photo below of the mess on the table, they were in that glass baking dish. I used a recipe that I had torn out of a Southwest Airlines magazine, and they turned out really good! I'll make them again one day and do a whole post on them.
For dessert, my friend T's girlfriend J baked these really awesome chocolate macadamia nut cookies. We also had watermelon, red seedless grapes and a cake from Chinatown's Phoenix Bakery 'cause it was my friend M's birthday. Now see that greased up pot o'grease in the background?
Here's a close up of it. See how the grease is just caked on all up and down the sides of the pot? Mmmm. We were wondering what that ceramic pie on the stove was--turns out it's a bacon grease container. Now that's ghetto.
Here they are again but this time you get a view of the range controls, one which does not work and is taped over with paper and masking tape with the words "Do Not Touch" on it.
So there you have it, our ghetto FOB-ulous potluck BBQ. I love these kinds of functions--totally low key, no pretention, kick-ass food and drink, and lots of laughs. The topic of the evening this time was whether or not there really is a midget village with like midget sized houses in a midget sized community in Long Beach. My friend M swears he saw it once. But he was drunk and can't remember where it is exactly. So if anyone has ever seen it, been to it, or knows where it is, please let me know!