Kothari's essay resonated with me--I, too, moved to the United States as a child. And although food issues were not as ripe with conflict as they were for her, I am beginning to realize, more and more that:
One day, my parents will be gone, and I will long for the foods of my childhood, the way they long for theirs. I prepare for this day the way people on TV prepare for the end of the world. They gather canned goods they will never eat while I stockpile recipes I cannot replicate. I am frantic, disorganized, grabbing what I can, filing scribbled notes haphazardly. I regret the tastes I've forgotten, the meals I have inhaled without a thought. I worry that I've come to this realization too late.
When I was growing up, there was cabbage pie. My father would make the dough, and my mother would make the filling and put it all together. A few weeks ago, I started thinking of making this pie. Of course, after at least half a dozen phone calls (and two emails) to my mother, her only advice to me in making the pie was, "Oh, you'll figure it out." And as it turns out, I did, although my pie was not as elegant as hers are--it was a sturdy replica. Usually, the pie is made with either cabbage or potatoes, but I had both on hand and decided to use them. In the pie are also carrot, onion, bell pepper, banana pepper, and spices. I made the pie last Monday, and we've been slowly eating it, taking it with us for lunches, having it for dinner, with a side. Today, I lunched on the final piece and it was as good as the first. I am already planning more pies with different fillings, but am also wondering about what else I'm potentially forgetting about, what other foods did I not appreciate as a child?
I We all should remember things as such sooner, maintain those memories...