Sunday, October 16, 2005

One Ghetto FOB-ulous Potluck BBQ

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 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!


eatdrinknbmerry said...

haha nice post pam. i'm sometimes, on the same 'boat' as you. my parents are 50% fobby, but still i grew up here w/ roots still attached. (if you remember my post on trading cuttlefish/haw flakes with the white kids.) i think it's good to have cultural appreciation and understanding, but why do some ppl have to wear versace shirts and tapered white jeans!? when i was in HK recently, i had to make my mom refrain from using the fanny pack to store her belongings. she got pissed haha. but then again, who in HK would've cared???

ahhhh... the 40 oz hite pitchers. for some reason i still prefer the bottles. that bottle has the ODDEST shape ever... looks like a bowling pin yet it dispenses crisp beer. what next? drunk bowling?

as far as LB's midget town, my friends have gone there. they've approached the gate that has a big red button that says "Do Not Press". Upon pressing it, they saw this TINY gocart approaching them. That was the end of their story. i believe it though. The houses are normal sized, yet they have small doors.

search for "LONG BEACH" in the text haha.

Kirk said...

Hi Pam - You hit it right on the nose as usual....nothing like an FOB Char-B-Que, or potluck or party. I've been to my share of Hamburger & Hot Dog BBQ's, you know where everybody bring Chips and Salsa...and I'd be the only one with Salt and Pepper Wings and a couple of steaks! I'd also bring a case of beer cause I know people would only bring a six me whatever, 3rd generation FOB, or what not, but we know how to throw a cook-out!

Daily Gluttony said...


You mean you don't wear Versace shirts with the tapered white jeans??? C'mon, what's wrong with you? Ha ha

Oooh, your friends went to the midget town? Were they drunk too? And why would there be a BUTTON that says "Do Not Press"? Hmm, the mystery remains...


We SURE DO know how to throw a cookout, huh? FO-BBQ's rule!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

if i see a "i love pad thai" fanny pack. i'm sending it your way. haha.

MEalCentric said...

I know what you mean about the Fobbiness. My middle eastern parents insist on making traditional persian dishes along with the thanksgiving spread. So it like turkey, potatos, corn, a few persian stews and plain yogurt. WTF? I used to be embarasssed, but damn if it aint good grub.

40oz's of Hite?! that one major cheap booze headache.

Great post!

elmomonster said...

Awesome post! Relate to everything you said. Although I think I am still a FOB even after 22 years in the U.S.

Zora said...

Nice blog--my husband pointed me over here! Weird about the Southwest Airlines in-flight mag--I have a recipe for a quickie meat sauce that I clipped out of there years ago. Who knew such a random source could yield more than one treat?

Daily Gluttony said...


Deal. Conversely, if I see a cool Versace short/Tapered white jeans outfit, I'm sending it your way.


Thanks! Mmm, persian stew and turkey sound good!


Thanks! Once a fob, always a fob. Hey, I was born here and I'm still a fob!


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!! Yes, once in awhile that Southwest Spirit magazine's got some really useful articles. There was another one I tore out re: the 10 best cheap wines. Sometimes I feel bad for the person sitting in that seat after me, though. They're missing out on all the articles I tear out! =P

James said...

i am so hungry now!

Oberon said...

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