The Autumn of 1996, cold and lonely.
I could not step out without the loud chatters of my teeth and my numerous layers of clothing. I was cooped inside for those three months, and do remember, I live in beautiful California, where the temperatures are pretty perfect.
I remember the beautifully decked malls, and the grocery shops filled with ingredients I hadn’t seen or tried or heard of. A new world, new friends, a new life. I never really understood the sitcoms. I continually complained about Seinfeld being dry humor.
My best friend (my only friend then) and I enjoyed our funny moments together. Our apartment was ten minutes away from the grocery store, so we would walk to it. Those trips were always quite interesting. We would go with the intention of getting only one bag and come back walking with two in each hand, weighing a ton.
“Why aren’t there people on the roads?” “Why is it so silent?” There were days when I would drift into bouts of nostalgia. I would miss my parents, miss my friends, and miss the life that I left to come to America.
Our first Thanksgiving. While everyone was enjoying their turkey with their families and talking about days of celebration, here I was, thinking of the days with my uncles, my amma and my parents.
We went to a Thai place for dinner that first Thanksgiving with some friends. We came back home to play Pictionary. Each one of us said a small sentence to give thanks, which was totally a new concept that I loved.
STILL, an unsettled, alienated, and empty feeling always lingered.
Fall of 2016.
With a thin Nike skin tight sweatshirt and skinny jeans on, I rush out to run errands. I stop by my favorite florist, pick up a bouquet, and go off to get some vegetables from the farmers market. I come back and take the kids to their games. I catch up for a quick coffee with a friend, and then get all glammed up for a party in the evening.
The cold feeling has vanished.
The person at the grocery store recognizes me. Brussels sprouts are not aliens any more ;).
The friends we’ve made over the years are like family now. When in need, just a call, and they are there to help. Of course, it goes both ways.
There’s always something to do, someone to meet, someone to talk to. I watch everything from the re runs of Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Game of Thrones…. The whole family watches reruns of the show about nothing (Seinfeld), and I laugh the hardest. The show is genius.
We still meet all our friends, the friends with whom we went to that Thai place on our first Thanksgiving. We still give our Thanks.
I’m thankful for what all the years that this country has taught me. Thankful for all the friends. Thankful for the readers. Thankful for this blog. Thankful for all the opportunities. Thankful for all of YOU. Thankful for my boys, who keep me so occupied that I never get bored. Thankful for my husband. Thankful for my parents, who were open to sending me to a country so far away. Thankful for our new addition, my puppy Waffles, who has brightened our lives even more.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING MY FRIENDS!!!!
- ½ cup channa daal or split chickpeas
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 10 curry leaves
- 5-7 whole red chilies
- 3 cups brussel sprouts washed, quartered
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp curry powder(optional, store bought or quick recipe in the notes) or ½ turmeric powder
- cilantro to garnish
- 2 tbsp toasted peanuts coarsely powdered
- Soak the channa daal in 1 cup of water for an hour. After soaking, wash well and boil with 2-3 cups of water until it is al dente or for about 5-7 minutes. It should flatten when pressed between your fingers but doesn't get mushy. Drain the water and set aside.
- Heat a flat bottomed pan on medium heat and add the oil. Let it get hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and let it splutter. Add the whole red chilli and when it turns slightly dark, add the quartered brussels sprouts. Add the salt, turmeric powder or curry powder and and keep tossing and cook the brussels sprouds for 5-7 minutes. Let it brown and caramalize well. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Once it is cooked, slighly crispy and crunchy and cooked, add the cooked channa daal, toss well.
- Take it out and add the pomegranate, crushed peanuts and cilantro and serve with rotis, rice or as a side.
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds powder
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
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