I was 10 when my eldest sister, Ronnie was engaged. Since I was so much younger in age, I was oblivious to what was happening around me. I had other priorities – my daily focus was about getting to the playground across the street.
At that time, happy occasions were often viewed and celebrated using old school values. Ceremonies, such as an engagement, were broken into many smaller productions. Female family members especially the expectant bride, her mom, and older female siblings did not attend the male side’s kurmai (engagement). This auspicious ceremony is where the soon-to-be bride’s father presents the soon to be groom with something gold, like a kara, wrist chain, neck chain, you get the point. Various gifts, trays of sweets and baskets of fruit are presented. There is much pomp and circumstance surrounding it all, because after all, it’s two families uniting.
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Meal Type: Comfort
I was 12 years old when we started eating brussels sprouts and other traditional Thanksgiving foods. The addition can be attributed to my parents acquiescing to my siblings efforts’ to recreate the holiday nostalgia portrayed in movies and books. Not to oversimplify things, but they were purposeful in creating the most Rockwellian of celebrations. There was an adamancy to refrain from adding Indian flair. No spices. No Indian ingredients. Just idyllic foods – like turkey, Stove Top stuffing, canned cranberry sauce and plain brussels sprouts.
Our efforts to emulate a traditional idea were bang on. They resulted in brussels sprouts that were boiled or steamed. Really, they were terrible. Smelly, bland – sometimes, pale green, sometimes slightly grey. Since they were depicted in every holiday scene – they remained a fixture on our plates.