Cooking, Reviews, Vintage chicks lol

Enlightened by “High on the Hog”

I always told people I was raised on southern cooking, meaning the foods cooked by my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I was so wrong. Turns out, I was raised on African food.

Both of my parents were born and raised in Arkansas, but my mom migrated north with her father and siblings to find work in 1950. My Dad — her boyfriend at the time — wasn’t one to give up and soon followed. They married in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and had me, the first of nine, in 1952.

Foods like okra, watermelon, pinto beans, cornbread and fried chicken, as well as all kinds of greens (with just a drizzle of hot pepper juice), were daily fare in our household. My Dad also ate souse and pickled pig’s feet and loved to “ooh” and “ahh” and eat ever-so-slowly while my brothers and I gathered around to stare in disgust at the meats and yell “Eww!” at every bite.

Recently, my sister-in-law told me that I would enjoy a show on Netflix called “High on the Hog,” and that it would change everything I ever thought about so-called “southern foods.” She’s a teacher and her recommendations — books and movies — are always top-notch, so I heeded her advice.

Just minutes into the first of four episodes, I was overcome with emotion and reaching for a tissue.

Sorrow. Injustice. Powerful. Inspiring. Enthralling.

Narrated by chef and writer Stephen Satterfield, the docuseries tells the story of America through delightful and delicious cuisine, starting in Africa and moving on to New York City, Philadelphia, Virginia and Texas. Based on Jessica B. Harris’ award-winning book, “High On The Hog,” it’s a story of the courage, genius, inspiration and resourcefulness of the African American people.

As the “Because of Them We Can” website puts it, “It is a cultural exploration that fuses food, history and travel to explore and celebrate the nuanced history behind African food and its contribution to America.”

One thing’s for sure — our nation would not be near as great as it is without Black culture. Thank you, Jessica B. Harris, Stephen Satterfield and the entire cast for enlightening this aged product of Southerners.

Vintage chicks lol

When It Comes to Passwords, I’ll Pass

When my oldest son — who works in security in Washington, D.C.— comes to visit, he is always completely aghast at my total lack of securing anything.

He runs around the premises every night, locking doors, planning the escape route in case of a fire, terrorist attack or a locust invasion, stocking up on bottled water and 20-pound cans of beans while wearing cammo and SWAT gear to take out my garbage.

This disrupts my normal security routine of waking up in the recliner at 2 a.m. — after I fall asleep watching season 12 of “Hoarders” — and stumbling to the front and back doors to lock up for the night.

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

What drives my son the craziest, though, is a document on my computer desktop appropriately titled “PASSWORDS.”

Actually, there are now two documents — one called “NEW PASSWORDS” and another called “OLD PASSWORDS.”

“Mom,” he admonished, “Tell me you do not put the passwords to every account you have out there for the whole world to see?!”

“Don’t be silly,” I said. “The whole world doesn’t use my computer, just you, Stacy, Ben, Chris, the grandkids, my friend, LeeAnn — ’cause her ex took the computer when he left her for his best friend’s much younger sister, you know, the blond masseuse who worked at Tender Touches — or my neighbors when their wireless goes out or they forget to pay the bill.”

Photo by Jamie Haughton on Unsplash

I often forget my password and am forced to come up with a new password. For that reason, I prefer easy-to-remember passwords like “password123,” “vivspassword” or “mypassword.”

But because of security measures, I can spend an entire afternoon on the computer, just trying to come up with an acceptable password.

My son, on the other hand, will change his passwords every five or six days. One week he changed one from “catinhatprobe?/{678}=&!^%@$$wipeDRAG79men2Jail” to “hatincatprobe?/{678}=&!^%@$$wipeDRAG79men2Jail”.

Who’s got that kind of time? I’m not a young woman.

This is how I create a password:

WEBSITE: Please enter your new password.

ME: password

WEBSITE: Sorry, password must have more than 8 characters.

ME: passwords

WEBSITE: Sorry, the password must contain at least one numerical character.

ME: 1password

WEBSITE: Sorry, the password cannot begin with a numerical character.

ME: password1

WEBSITE: Sorry, the password must contain at least one symbol.

ME: password1!

WEBSITE: Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.

Viv: password1DAMMit!

WEBSITE: Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.

VIV: WTF!DAMN password1-iH8u!

WEBSITE: Sorry, the password cannot contain blank spaces.

VIV: NOW:Driving2YourCity2leaveU4dead!

WEBSITE: Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation or hyphens.

ME: IH8U!*&%#off-DIEsucker!!

WEBSITE: Sorry, You’ve already used that password in the past.

ME: @#$%!&1*@#$%@&&!DIE!DIE!DIE!

WEBSITE: That password is already taken. Please choose another.