Memorial Day weekend

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today kicks off the Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is this Monday, May 26th:

“Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered.[1] The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May,[2] was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.[3] It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.”

The Memorial Day weekend is an opportunity for folks to enjoy three/four days off from work/school with friends and family. It’s also a big cooking weekend. I know I am missing my southern folks, right about now. On my dad’s side, we have a lot of family members who have served in the military. This tends to be a big weekend for them. They get together and reminisce and light up those grills! I can just imagine all the delicious BBQ being made this weekend 🙂

Any who, I thought this was a good time to share another recipe. I love southern baked mac & cheese. It’s a good side dish for parties/celebrations. I am known for my mac & cheese. It’s usually requested for summer gatherings.   Actually, I just made it last week for a potluck meeting:

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Tonya’s hearttack mac & cheese…don’t be skurred!

Now (hee,hee) I am not going to share MY recipe. It’s a secret. But I did find one on the ‘net that sounds pretty good. Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups milk
  • salt & pepper
  • paprika (optional)
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded (a must)
  • 6-8 oz. velvetta, shredded (feel free to cut back on the velvetta if you don’t want it to be super creamy)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar (can use less if you don’t like a sharp taste in your mac n cheese)
  • 1 cup colby & monteray jack, shredded (cheese blend)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cook macaroni until just al dente or a little under al dente. (Look on the back of the box to see how long you need to cook your pasta for it to reach al dente.) Be careful no to overcook.
  3. Drain pasta and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add milk, heavy cream & cheeses (except for the smoked cheddar).
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Taste the milk mixture and add salt & pepper until it has a good taste. You can also add in other seasonings like onion, paprika, etc. Tasting will help avoid having a plain, bland bake macaroni & cheese. Yuck!
  7. When you are content with the taste, add in the eggs.
  8. Stir well until combined.
  9. Butter a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.
  10. Add macaroni to the baking dish.
  11. Pour cheese mixture over macaroni.
  12. Make sure the cheese distributed well.
  13. Top with smoked cheddar cheese. (I add a little more Colby jack as well.) Sprinkle with paprika and/or black pepper, if desired.
  14. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Do not overbake. It may be a bit jiggly when you take it out of the oven. It will firm up as it cool.
  15. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes or until fully set.
  16. Enjoy!

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This recipe came from Divas Can Cook which is
Old School Cooking For The Modern Woman.
Read More http://divascancook.com/2009/12/southern-baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe.html

Military Bans Black Hairstyles

Last week, the military angered a lot of black folks and allies with their updated regulations on braids, twists, locs, and other hairstyles normally worn by Black women:

Photo from: www.thesisterlockeddiva.com

Photo from: worldofbraiding.wordpress.com

 

It’s funny, because I just got my hair braided a week ago.  If I tried to sign up with the Army, I would have to cut them all off. I used to work with women veterans returning to school. To a certain extent, I get why the military has these rules.  The women veterans often talked about uniformity in the military.  Everyone must look the same. It’s a way to keep soldiers in line/disciplined. It’s not about individuality when one is in the military.

However, one of the women made a good point when she said perhaps it explains the hostility towards women in the military.  The military views them as interrupting the flow of uniformity because they are so “different.” Imagine how much more difficult it is for black women and other women of color. The hair regulation is a way to punish black women for being the “other.”

“Attention people who don’t have natural black hair, African American coils are not the same as other coils. As a result, creating rules that are easily followed by non-black people but not black people is unfair and yes, it is racially biased. It is akin to the idea that natural black hair is unprofessional, or schools that send little black girls home because their hair isn’t straight like their non-black school mates. For white women, the equivalent would be if the Army ordered every straight haired person to go directly to a salon, get a curly Jessie Spano perm and forced them to keep it fresh and bouncy for the rest of their lives. No. One. Wants. That.” http://jezebel.com/army-bans-braids-and-twists-because-they-dont-understa-1556250329/+HillaryCrosley

The ban also speaks to the continued oppression of black women’s bodies. Black women are often forced to confirm to white standards of beauty when looking for employment. I’ve always maintained if white women could easily sport our hair styles, they would be welcomed with open arms in the work place.

Remember when white folks went crazy over Bo Derek braids, when black women sport them like, every day :O/

There tends to be surveillance on black hair because the majority of white folks don’t understand it and are even afraid of it. Despite being around us hundreds of years, white folks don’t even know the basics of black hair. It’s why black women are often asked ridiculous questions about their hairstyles. I refuse to answer such questions. I usually piss folks off, but I view it as a form of othering. Because frankly, I don’t give a damn about white hair. And why should I,  when I am bombarded with white beauty standards everyday.

It will be interesting to see how the military handles this situation. There is currently a petition going around the internet to get the military to reconsider banning ethnic hairstyles.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reconsider-changes-ar-670-1-allow-professional-ethnic-hairstyles/BnR900wx