Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A Relish Tray and a Review of The Night Watchman

Remember the Relish Trays that you used to find at every holiday gathering or summer potluck party?  I think it's time we revive the ritual and give those fond memories to our children and grandchildren.

Relish Tray

Rituals and Traditions are so very important.  This point was driven home to me as I listened to The Night Watchman during my morning walks.
The Night Watchman

This historical fiction novel is set in North Dakota during the 1950's when the Government decided to push for Indian termination and assimilate them into being "white".  The story is told from the perspective of tribal chairman Thomas Wazhashk, based on the author's grandfather, who was leading the fight against this movement. 

We also, mainly, hear the voice of Patrice (Pixie) who is struggling with wanting to fulfill her obligations to her family while still following her dreams.  We get a glimpse of what life is like on the reservation and what life is like for those who decided to leave the reservation for city life, some of whom, like Patrice's sister find themselves enslaved and drug addicted.

Patrice learns how this happens, firsthand, as she goes to the city to find her sister.  Luckily for Patrice, who is a very strong and determined person.  Her friend Wood Mountain, follows her into the city and is able to help her escape this fate.

While looking for Patrice, Wood Mountain happens into the restuarant where he locates her swimming as Babe the Blue Ox in a sideshow.  Prior to this Wood Mountain is served a relish tray from the waitress who takes a liking to him and says that it is included with dinner for "special" guests.

Relish Tray pin

We, learning absolutely nothing from our past mistakes, continue like this today.  Hell, we won't even acknowledge that the way we treated the native Americans was a mistake.  

We continued this tradition with the slaves that we brought over against their will, the indentured servants who came searching for a better life, the immigrants who descended upon Ellis Island with hopes of becoming Americans and the people who are so desperately seeking assylum in our country today. 

Women and children are still kidnapped and trafikked being forced into addiction and held against their will.  

Our arrogance never ceases to astound me and our ignorance in refusing to admit our arrogance astounds me even more.  I am sharing this post over at Foodies Read.  Stop by and see what others are reading this month.


  1. I have one at all the holidays and special occasions and the kids look forward to it.

    1. Yes, here it seemed like charcuterie and fruit platters replaced relish trays but this one was happily eaten.


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