Third Culture Kids

Our son Brian was born in California, raised in West Africa, schooled in Switzerland, England and France.  He is what is called a third culture kid.  Books have been written about these children if you’re interested.

For instance, our son would come from his Swiss boarding school to our home in Mali for vacation, order a West African market sandwich (scrabbled eggs, onions, garlic and peppers on a baguette smeared with homemade, ridiculously hot, chilli pepper sauce) from our cook Abdoulaye who had insisted that he stop eating food from the open market because it damaged his (the cook’s) dignity and standing if Brian was recognized by other house cooks.   Earlier on they had a screaming argument about Brian purchasing field corn on the cob, blackened in a coffee can filled with red hot charcoal and sold by perambulating vendors whom he stopped outside of our gate.  As an adult and practically his uncle, (having known Brian since he was 3 years old) Abdoulaye won, but because he loved Brian, he got his own coffee can, charcoal and field corn so that Brian could eat it where no one would see him 😀

While waiting for his sandwich, stretched out on the bed in his air conditioned room,  he would put on his well worn, favorite video, Van Morrison in Ireland, 1979, call up his international and Malian running buddies to set a time to play soccer at one of the local school fields.  He speaks French like a Frenchman and English like an American from California 🙂  I can’t really imagine being someone like him who fits in wherever he is without seemingly thinking about it.  Bravo is all I can say.

Our daughter Jade, of course, insists that she is French, passports be damned(American, Ethiopian, Irish) and has bullied the school officials and her friends into calling her Jade with a short “a”.  Preferring to choose than be chosen,  she speaks French as a first language and English as a French accented second.  One day she hopes to rule the world 😀

Anyway.  One day, practically at gunpoint, my husband insisted that I go to Walmart with him. Brandishing his beloved World War II 45 (PA is an open carry State), he argued that going to Walmart wouldn’t kill me and that maybe I might find something I liked. Resentfully, I dragged myself up and down the trashy aisles and did find some cute little jars to store my homemade rubs!  Definitely a one off.

The kids are coming home this weekend for Easter and I wanted to make chicken, shrimp and sausage gumbo.  I mixed a new batch of Emeril’s essence to rub on the chicken before browning and to season the roux.

While shopping at Weiss supermarket, I saw a table full of small appliances that were on sale at 50% off.  So that’s why I have this small, Cuisinart chopper.  Handy 🙂

I love stockpot pictures!

We will eat on Saturday so that everyone can get home before dark on Sunday.  I’ll make my dessert and West African ginger drink tomorrow.  You can find numerous recipes for gumbo on this blog.


About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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15 Responses to Third Culture Kids

  1. Mad Dog says:

    It sounds like it’s going to be a good weekend 🙂

  2. I agree with Mad Dog: it sounds like it’s going to be a great weekend with everyone home. I remember when you started this blog and Jade was just a kid. I can’t believe how tall she has gotten!

  3. Karista says:

    Oh what gorgeous children you have! Having them all home at one time is so much fun. 🙂 Enjoy your beautiful family weekend Rosemary.

  4. Laura says:

    Made me nostalgic for the places, food, and family. Have a lovely weekend together and enjoy your gumbo!!

  5. Your children are so blessed to have such a unique upbringing! What a great post with all the new fun stuff and delicious food and photos. 🙂

  6. Michelle says:

    Bravo to the TCKs. Happy Easter to you all.

  7. smendler says:

    The future belongs to them, not the narrow-minded nationalists.

  8. kathysimmons says:

    What a beautiful story, written by such a talented (loving) mother. I didn’t get to the recipes Rose. I wanted to linger on your children and the lives they have already lived. Blessed and warm, wonderous Easter together.

  9. Pingback: Easter 2017 | Cooking in Sens

  10. Halima says:

    I love this post! I’m new to wordpress & blogging, and was just searching for posts on TCKs, thats when I saw this! I’m a TCK too. I wrote a brief post on being one too

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