Tuesday, November 29, 2005

papa, can you hear me?

When I was a little girl, I thought my dad was the greatest guy in the whole world. I still do. For the longest time, I was convinced that I would marry him one day. (Clearly, I had some Electra issues, but that's beside the point.) I was daddy's little girl and in my book, he could do no wrong.

He did, however, have questionable taste.

And I mean that literally. The son of immigrants, my dad grew up on a farm in a plantation village in Waipahu. With 8 brothers and sisters, money and food were pretty scarce, so he got used to catching and eating all kinds of unusual "prey" for meals. I won't gross you out with all the details. Suffice it to say that the list included some furry four footed friends, a couple of insects and various kinds of fowl (that's if you consider mountain pigeons, "fowl.") I guess the vestiges of his youth have always remained with him, because till this day, he will go the extra gastronomic mile when it comes to Extreme Eating. I swear it's a sport for him. The nastier and raw-er, the better. Then again, you're talking to a lightweight who won't touch sushi or sashimi unless it's California roll or fish of the baked fillet with tartar sauce variety. I know, being supposedly 100% Japanese, I'm a total disgrace- my dad is certain that my mom must've jumped the fence.

Whenever we eat dim sum at Chinese restaurants, the first thing he orders is a basket of chicken feet. Not potstickers, not shrimp shumai, no, chicken feet. I will admit that the black bean sauce on the "feet" (seriously, aren't "claws" or "talons" more appropriate here?) is quite tasty, but I can never get past looking at those webbed toes. I'm sure if they created a "Beaks in Black Bean Sauce" dish, he'd be all over it. True to his motto, everything is better with black bean sauce.

Whenever we go to Filipinio restaurants, he orders Pig's Feet Soup. I really don't know what the deal is with his animal appendage obsession, but it's a very real phenomenon. Once, he went diving and came home with a large octopus. Which I know sounds very gross (and it is), but I gave him some leeway as it's a cultural delicacy. I intellectually understood that he would eventually eat it, but he upped the ante when he chopped off a tentacle from the still-moving octopus and popped it in his mouth. The sight of the suction cups stuck to his cheek while he happily chewed away will traumatize me for life.

So now, on to the meat and potatoes (or chicken feet and tentacles) of this post: the knitting. Today is Holiday Countdown KAL day, and here are the completed Creme de la Femme cabled socks for dear ol' dad. Image hosted by Photobucket.comI'm not sure why that right toe near the middle cable looks puckered in the picture; thankfully, it doesn't look like that in real life. These were made out of Wool-Ease on size 5 needles. My dad's a no-nonsense, tentacle-eating kinda guy, (but don't forget the Bath & Body Works lavender lotion! The duplicity is his saving grace) so I know he'll appreciate the machine wash and dry acrylic factor.

Finally, yesterday was my dad's 59th birthday, and even though I'm pretty sure he doesn't read this blog, I just want to wish him a very Happy Birthday one more time. Love you, Dad! On a related note, I was thinking about what Lolly said about the abundance of November babies and how it's because November falls 9 months after Valentine's Day. I had a really good laugh about that one, till I thought about how my birthday falls on September 15th. . . 9 months after Christmas!! Oh, the spleen damage!!

P.S.: I really should have wrote this first, but thanks so much for all of your encouraging comments and emails this past week. You guys are so sweet and supportive....knit blog pals are the best!! Your encouragement has really given me the gumption I need to see this semester through. One more week, and we'll regain some normalcy around here. Well, holiday-normalcy, at least!

45 comments:

Agnes said...

I am using Wool Ease to make the Great American Aran Afghan. It is thinner than Patons Decors ... but it is really sturdy. I frogged several times and the yarn is still good.
By the way, I love chicken feet with black bean sauce ... yummy (I'm Chinese who are believed to eat anything! LOL!)!
Happy Birthday to your dad!

Laura said...

I used to think that I was an adventurous eater, but I see that I am not. Of course, compared to DH, whose list of things that he will not eat begins with "eggs that are not omelettes" -- ?!? -- and continues to encompass many offensive things such as olives and shrimp -- again, ?!? -- I am adventurous. But I really draw the line at appendages. Also things that are still alive. Also, organ meats.

And I don't really like sushi either, except for the California rolls and vegetarian stuff. Of course, I don't have the cultural expectation thing, so I can't identify with you there. But slabs o' raw fish grossing you out? I totally sympathize.

Oh yeah. The socks are beautiful! :)

Anonymous said...

The socks look great! Your Dad will love them.
My husband eats anything. When he was growing up his grandmother, an immigrant from Italy, cooked things that would make your hair curl and Rob and his brother would fight over it. Smelts, squid, octopus, whatever ran too slowly through the back yard. My daughter eats anything too. She ate chicken feet and loved them. I on the other hand am a food whimp.
Thanks again for the food allergy help.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

amylovie said...

I shudder at the thought of eating chicken feet. Just thinking of the texture of that gives me the willies. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in East Texas which some might consider the Hill Billy Land of Texas. He ate squirrel, opossum, deer, etc.

Your socks turned out beautifully. He will be tickled with them.

Amy

Cheryl said...

The socks are just gorgeous! I can just picture your dad with that octopus in his mouth... oh dear... I grew up in a swedish family, where raw pickled herring,pigs feet and head cheese were regular fixtures...I will eat none of that stuff... I want my stuff cooked and I like you like the fried whitefish kind of seafood.

Lolly said...

Do you know how much I love you (and your blog?) You are so friggin' funny. Great post - your dad sounds like quite the character. I love the whole chicken feet juxtaposed with the lavendar lotion ;) hehe

Countdown till end of the semester! We are close, girlfriend!!!

Love,
L

Karen said...

Cheryl beat me to the Head Cheese reference, but my dad tells a story about how my grandfather (on the Italian side) loved head cheese and they would get so grossed out watching him eat it. Ugh, yuck. My grandfather (on the English side) died before I was born - but I'm sure there were many horrid English organ dishes he enjoyed too. I'm with you on the California roll thing - but wouldn't even eat them at one Japanese restaurant when they arrived covered it fish eggs. Blaa!! The socks are so beautiful, I know your dad will love them. One week to go - woo hoo- you can do it!!!!

Danielle said...

Love love love the socks! I'm a cable-y kind of girl, I guess. And, I think the story about your dad's food tastes is hysterical. My husband is always trying to gross me out by telling me about the disgusting things that other people consider to be delicacies -- tripe, haggis, etc. I think chicken feet and live octopus are part of that category now too!

Alison said...

The socks are wonderful!

Your stories are great! Hey, I'm from the South and there are a few southern "delicacies" that I won't touch. Let's see - pickled pigs' feet, chitlins (look it up if you don't know what it is - the smell of cooking is unbearable in itself), pork rinds, and various other things including squirrel, possum and turtle soup. Okay, to be honest, I will eat pork rinds and I probably have eaten squirrel and deer without realizing it at some point and I do have tastebuds of steel when it comes to hot/spicy foods.

I do love your stories!

Teresa said...

Why do dads need to be so gross? I was just telling Adam about the time my dad and uncle caught a mess of snapping turtles, and made themselves snapping turtle stew. I swear my dad was eating that stuff for months. My sister wouldn't kiss my dad goodnight for over a year because he went to the fridge one afternoon, said he was hungry, and proceeded to pop a live worm from his fishing bait into his mouth-just for kicks. Can you imagine if your dad and my dad went out to eat together? On the other hand, let's not. The socks look great-love their 'name'. Keep your chin up-one more week!

Sonya said...

Your socks look great! But the bit about the octopus nearly had me spitting coffee at the computer screen. Yucky. Your dad is an interesting fella.

I have some random Wool-Ease that I need to use up, but I never thought about socks. Now I have to wait all day to get home and experiment.

Lynda said...

Eww, love the octopus tentacle story!!!, and the spleen damage (hee hee). What is it with Dads? Because of mine I've tried frog legs and rattlesnake... but the feet food is just beyond me. My kids love to go the the "ethnic" market in town and look at the chicken feet. We always wondered what people did with them. They also have cow cheeks and lips - I don't even want to know!

Stricken madchen said...

Your Dad's socks look great! I bet he will love them. My siblings discussed strange (or exotic? hehe) things people eat at our Thanksgiving dinner. We should have had your Dad there represent someone who eats, not just talks. ;-)
Michelle

*karen said...

I ordered chicken feet at a chinese restaurant in san francisco, intent on starting a culinary adventure. I chickened out. Har, har, har.

Kim said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your Dad! Those socks look great :) Sushi and sashimi are as adventurous as I get in the eating department. Now you don't like those but do you like poke? It's one of the things I miss most since I moved back to the mainland.

Acornbud said...

Thanks for sharing another great story :). I'm glad you will have some breathing room soon in your busy schedule. Dad's do love weird food. Mine would make ballon fish soup and my mom was always sure it would kill him. I love your socks and cables. He will love them. Hmm is hairy legs shaving or are those smooth legs someone elses ;)

knittinmom said...

Love the socks! And I'm pretty much an eating wimp, too, but I do like sushi and octopus (not sure how I ever got the guts to try it, and I certainly wouldn't eat it when it's still wiggling!). The chicken feet at dim sum always freak me out. The Chinese have some different ideas about what's edible! When I was in China (eating VERY authentic Chinese food), I was very impressed by their ability to cut up an entire chicken and get a bone in every single little piece. Nice touch for them to serve the charred little head on the plate with the rest of the meat, too. I love eating with my food staring up at me!

msubulldog said...

Those socks are so incredible! He's going to love them!
And, as for the chicken feet--what's to eat? I always thought they were just bone. . .
*One to add to the weird fool roll call: my college roommates parent used to eat (beef) brains & eggs for breakfast. Ack!

msubulldog said...

That's "roommate's parents". (sorry for the lack of punctuation--I'm having a computer malfunction) *grin*

Jen said...

too funny about the octopus tentacles. Now I have that image burned into my brain. Thanks.

Very nice looking socks and happy birthday to Electra's dad!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wow Sept 15th is my daughter's bday.. but i got pregnant on my bday Dec 10th.. so actually she was actually my bday preasent - can't pass that one by:-)
i really lover reading your blog.. it so full of energy and fun :-)
hugs Karola

myra said...

Oh my gosh, we have the same dad! Right down to the mountain pigeons. I guess you can take the boy out of the plantation but you can't take the plantation out of the boy!

The socks look amazing and I'm sure your Dad will get a lot of use out of them.

Happy belated birthday to your dad and best wishes getting through that last week of school!

Jennifer said...

The socks look wonderful and your father will adore them.

My grandma can hang out with your dad. She loves the pig's feet and chicken feet at Dim Sum. My grandfather also likes the jook with the organ meat in it. Yucko!

Cat said...

Hey, I am a September girl too, the 8th - and when i read Lolly blog about the November girls and the 9 month from Valentine day I thought about the connection Christmas/September. I have lots of friends who celebrate their b-days in September! And those socks -so great!

keohinani said...

oOoh...cables. i likes it! your dad will definitely like those! looks very snuggly. did you use a cable needle?
though maternal grandparents were from the philippines, my grandpa was in the military; mom's a white-washed filipino. thus, i am a disgrace to my filipino heritage because the only filipino foods i eat are the ones she can make: pork guisantes, chicken adobo, and lumpia. starfish's mom is filipino from the phillipines, too. he's tried to introduce me to other filipino foods, but no dice.
i can't even eat oysters! i gag every time i've tried to eat baked oysters with shoyu. it happened in front of the laborers when we had a cookout at work during lunch once. v. embarrassing! "what kine filipino you!?" i guess i appeal more to my paternal grandma, who is korean.
you are quite a story-teller. :) i was beginning to miss your posts.

Olga said...

Those socks are FANTASTIC!!! And very clever of you, posting about chicken feet, and then your knitting having to do with covering your dad's feet.

Ahem. I will eat practically anything, but I haven't had the opportunity to try chicken feet or pig feet, so I can't really say. We Mexicans have that lovely tripe soup called menudo, and the way my dad fixes it, yum! It really is interesting to me the way people can be so resourceful, getting nutrition out of every single last bit of animal. Even if I can't eat it, I can appreciate that!

One thing I won't eat...chile, or jalapenos. And my dad gives me shit about that, saying that I must not be a real Mexican! OK, tell you what--I'll eat your sushi if you'll eat my jalapenos.

Oh! Hey! My birthday's on September 13! Yeah Virgos! Raise your hands in the air! Whut whut!

Talitha said...

Hey, babe, the socks look fabulous. Your dad might wanna just put them under glass and admire them! I would. I know what you mean about expecting to marry your dad. I was there too. I could never understand why my mom hated him so much. I think the grossest thing he ever eats is the cooked turkey heart. Other than that, I got nothin'. Take care and happy end of semester (soon!). I'm done on Monday! Huzzah! I'm so proud of you for being such a super mom/wife/student.

Jenn said...

Chicken Feet. Lavendar lotion. Pigs feet. Very pretty cabled socks. Octopus tentacles. He is a man of many dimensions, your father!

I ended up marrying someone who acts *just like* my dad, does that count for anything?

I hope your dad loves those socks, they're gorgeous!

erin said...

Another chuckleful post, and lovely cabled socks - Happy birthday to your dad. My father is an extreme eater too. Maybe it's an Asian thing but these exotic tastes seem to have tapered off with their generation. I eat some wierd stuff like the chicken feet, I believe they are called "phoenix claws" at dim sum restaurants, but not half as much wierd stuff as my father.
Hang in there with classes, it's one more week and then you're done.

christine said...

Chris - I'd really like to meet, and smell, your dad.........and eat dinner with him.....

kimberly said...

First of all, those socks are fab! Secondly, when are you writing a book? You are so very talented!! I love to read your posts, they are so well written. Could you please send a bit of writers talent my way, I could use it. I think my brain has deteriorated since the birth of my first son and yours is amazingly fit! What's your secret?

Debi said...

Feet are for putting handsome socks on, NOT for dinner....ew!!
Is there something on the Y chromosome that says "eat anything no matter how creepy?" Beaks in Black Bean sauce, LOL!!

Your Dad socks are lovely!!

Mimi said...

Another great post! Actually those "strange food" can be very expensive in restaurants. My DH is into trying all kinds of food, just like your dad. I believe that I probably have tried some of them without knowing. :D I am definetely into "normal food".
Happy belated Birthday to you dad and I am sure he'll love your comfy socks!

Ragan said...

I loved the chicken feet story...ha ha. That reminds me of dim sum with my hubby's family. They all eat those (and anything else that does not look normal), I stick to the sweet rice. Ha ha. I also enjoyed the note about birthdays...my b-day is Sept. 16th...must have been a cold Christmas that year. HEH HEH!!!
Thanks for the comments about Maylee's jacket!

kathi said...

hi chris! thanks for visiting the new blog. you are so funny. i have one of those dads also. except that he refuses to believe that food spoils...so it gets dangerous! we have to secretly throw out food when he's not home. l.o.v.e. the dad socks. looks like i'm heading out to get me some wool-ease.

Cathy said...

Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard! I'm Italian and have have relatives (Mom, Gram etc) that eat things like that also. Squid, Tripe (cow's stomach?), Pickled Pig's Feet etc. etc. etc. I used to just DIE on Christmas Eve, when my adorable little Italian Grandma would start the fish cooking - ugh!

Socks came out GREAT and I'm sure they will go great with the lavender lotion (too CUTE!). hooray for you on an FO, I don't have a lot of hope for many of those ;)

Jo said...

Yeah... in my family, my birthday (11/13) is 9 months after Valentine's day and my sister's (10/3) is 9 months after my Dad's birthday (1/6)... Mom readily admits to these things ;)

Jo

Dina said...

Loved the Dad story! The last time I was in the Philippines, the food vendors would call chicken feet "adidas." We all thought it was the funniest thing, especially when my Dad would buy a pair and eat them in front of us ... just to gross us out. My only (at last) culinary dare was in Panama. Everyone had to pick an item on the menu without consulting the waiter. I remember picking something with loads of tomatoes (everything goes well with tomatoes, right?) and ordering a pitcher of sangria (to numb the taste buds just in case). Well, whatever that was on the middle of my plate wasn't meat and it sure wasn't feet (at that point I'd welcome anything I could identify). I just remember that my order tasted better than everyone else's ... hmm, it must've been the sangria.

BTW, your Dad would love those beautiful socks!

Allison said...

Your stories are hilarious and the socks are fantastic. Just one more week for both of us - we can do it!!! Aren't you just looking forward to that break?

Cat said...

The article in SvD was mostly about how knitting has become the "new yoga" - yarn store is open every month in Stockholm, and a new take on knitting since the last boom in the 80s Internet has change everyting, you can easily buy yarn online from every corner of the world and you can find help, patterns and new friends in the blog world.

Hang in there with classes! I´m longing for some christmas vacation..

keohinani said...

congrats on honorable mention, chris! please send sandee your contact information so she knows where to send your prize. thanks for playing :)

Sandee Yo! said...

Ewww...Chicken feet! One of the girls in my office loves those things. We went to dim sum one day and she ordered those and I started laughing because it looked like she was waving at me because the feet were flopping around when she chewed!

Yeah, congrats and thanks for your contact info!!!

Anna said...

The socks look great!

The pigs feet story reminds me of when I was younger, we (my friends and I) would prank call stores and ask if they have pigs feet. When they said yes, we would say, "If you put shoes on -- no one will know!" Anyway, we also thought, "who would actually EAT pigs feet??" I guess people really do.

Wanda said...

I love your blog, your posts are always so funny! Your dad sounds like quite the character. Being African-American and from the south, we have certain "cultural delicacies" that I just won't eat either, so I do know how you feel, pig's feet, chitlins and hogshead cheese are just a few of the things that I can't be bothered to try. The image of your dad eating a tentacle off of a still live octopus definitely takes the cake. He could be a contender on Survivor or the other show where one segment makes you eat weird food items!

Happy Birthday to your dad and I'm sure he will love the socks. They look so good!

Anonymous said...

Hi just wanted to let you know my daughter Kori's bday is 9/15 too but i got prego on my bday 12/10.. just 2 weeks shy of xmas.. so maybe your father was trying to make your mother stress less? :-)
hugs happy new year:-) karola