A man is mowing his lawn with a power mower and noise-eliminating headphones outside. It is the day after Thanksgiving, and my sister-in-law has arrayed a counter of leftovers for lunch. She and my brother and her cousin have been cooking and baking for two days, making pie-crust, filling them with a range of nuts and fruits, stirring dals, and making parathas from sweet potatoes. Kofta was our turkey, simmering in sauce, shaped with zucchini and potato, and fragrant with fenugreek and cumin. I did the minimal, stirred coconut and cilantro into string beans cut by my father, cooked by my mother.
We feasted with extended family for hours. Our ages ranged from two to eighty-one. We were not very different from similar celebrations all over the country. There have been years when I think I will just make a winter squash but get invited at the last minute( hosts love it if you bring champagne, I discovered one year when I was a friend of a friend.) there has been a year or two with a grilled cheese, and once with pizza with a dear friend. It is about thankful, this holiday, but it is also about the food. The abundance, the sharing.
Let me see if I can make a point of some kind. After my accident with the deer, it was good to get away almost immediately and be surrounded by family. I gave a reading, my first in Princeton, where I have visited and once lived, and a nice crowd came, despite the rain. There were cookies and there were lots of questions, both good. Because of the rain and traffic, at least two groups arrived after I answered questions. Later, my family, who attended, went out for pizza.
I’ve just spent quite a delicious half- hour plus learning about kofta and more in Manjula’s Kitchen. I am sure if I lived there, nothing evil would ever come my way. Thanks for introducing her to me. And thanks for welcoming us all to your generous family gathering, the deer notwithstanding. You’ve honored the creature and more.
Isn’t Manjula great? I love listening to her! Yes, her kitchen seems safe, and I am sure she would tell us to eat more.