My growling stomach woke me up this morning around 4:30 am. I am normally not a big breakfast eater, but my belly taunted me relentlessly as I squeezed my insomniac’s eyes shut, praying for just a little bit more sleep. But, suddenly, I opened my eyes, giddy, and buoyantly thankful. Today is the day after Thanksgiving. And the refrigerator is full of leftovers. Though the streetlights still shown through the pitch of night through my shutters, I slunk out of the covers.
It was my breakfast time.
Call me weird, but I do this only once a year. For twenty four hours at Thanksgiving, I eat too much, bordering on gluttony on the southern flavors of my childhood and the spicy flavors of my here-and-now. This morning was no different as I, in blissful solitude, under the glow of my stove top hood light, shoved a plate heaped high into the microwave, poured a cup of coffee, and breathed deeply for the first time in months.
Yesterday, both sides of our family crowded into this kitchen and feasted on southern style Thanksgiving fare, from cornbread stuffing and gravy with giblets, green beans boiled with bacon, and sweet honey cured ham…just to start. But, we also piled our plates high with spicy Indian tastes, such as peas kachori with chili sauce, samoosas, spicy corn pastries, and possibly my favorite ever, paturi. Paturi is a little piece of heaven snack, made from besan flour and yogurt, rolled up into a delicious package covered in coconut shavings, black mustard seeds, and fresh coriander leaves. If I am ever stranded on a desert island, paturi and Breyers ice cream would be all I need. (Never mind the logistics of getting a freezer to the island, it’s my fantasy, ok?) So, yesterday, all of the grandparents, uncles, cousins, and aunts milled around the food, scooping from pans of buttery, bacony, carb-loaded comfort food and tiku, spicy vegetarian flavors we love every day. Our time spent together is all we need to show each other how thankful we are to be a family.