No matter how long I live away from Kansas, I don't think I will ever be able to say that I'm "from" somewhere else. It's too far back in my blood - at least five generations. And Vicki is a Jayhawker, too! Even if she never remembers Topeka, where she was born, she can claim the title of a native-born Kansan.
The reason Kansas history centered on January is because January 29 is Kansas Day. This commemorates the day that Kansas finally joined the union, as a free state, in 1861 (my elementary school was named Centennial because it opened on 1/29/1961 - the Centennial of Kansas Day). Walking around my hometown, you might actually hear people wishing one another a happy Kansas Day.
I decided we needed to celebrate. On Tuesday, the 29th, we had a Kansas Day dinner. I served:
Buffalo Burgers and fixings (okay, okay - they were going to be buffalo, but that is surprisingly hard to find around here! It would have meant a crosstown trip to Whole Foods at 12.99/lb. No thanks! I served beef)
Buns made of wheat flour
Oven fries with honey mustard to dip
Sunflower seed cookies
All the bolded foods are parts of Kansas agriculture and history. We had a little crowd of Kansans over and talked geography, history, and just shared our wholesome Midwestern values. It was lovely.
|Sidenote: Ugh, pregnant fat face + foregrounding myself. The worst.|
This may all sound like a fun and silly idea for a theme party - which it was - but it was also really important for me. Moving away from Kansas felt like a betrayal of my ancestors and my history, and I wanted to commemorate our special day. I was talking this over with my Grandpa Louis, who made the very valid point that the Reeves family came from England to Long Island, moved to Kentucky/Tennessee, and then only made the trip to Kansas in the mid-1800s. So, really - I'm back where my people came from now!