I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog if my father were still alive. Over three years have passed since his death, and I am unable to really extricate any changes to my person which might have taken place otherwise from those which I can definitively trace back to the loss of him.
My father was an extraordinary man: easy to smile, quick to laugh, a real lover of people. And, without a doubt, a lover of food. My mother taught me to cook without ever intentionally teaching me to cook; my father taught me to be a foodie in the same way. Food was an adventure for him, it was comfort, delight, joy, pleasure. Among the many things I inherited from my dad–I go to sleep thinking about what I’m going to eat when I wake up.
Before my father’s death, I was a pretty solid cook. I had fun trying recipes, especially desserts, and loved cooking for him when I had the chance. But since he died, food has become a much bigger part of my identity–cooking, eating, reading about it, sharing it with others. I want to internalize my mother’s database of recipes, especially my father’s favorites, to learn from the Southern and Indian kitchen goddesses in my life, to become one of them myself. In addition to the hair I’ve grown long, the ears I’ve pierced, and the bindi I wear every day, I know my kitchen prowess would do my father proud. I am writing a memoir about my dad; it’s called The Pomegranate King and you can read an excerpt from it here.