So, what do you eat at home? they ask. They always eat the same things – I know a family that has a meal assigned to every day (Saturdays is pasta). And I guess they get confused because both of my names come from Iran, but my mother is pure Ecuadorian blood and my father was born in Holland. And growing up in Paraguay had lots of people asking me if I would rather live in the United States like I did when I was a baby, but mostly they like to ask what do you eat at home?
And well, you see, we like to eat good food – some days we go have Japanese and we always order the same thing; and Papa cooks Iranian food because his Mama was American but learned to cook Khoresh in Iran, too, and Mama teaches her own hands to make empanadas the way Paraguayans make it, and it’s actually quite good – and in school I learned to make chipa, but I googled the recipe for a perfect guacamole and taught myself how to make spaetzle by hand. And some days, when I come from school, Mama made bistec and tells me the story about sopa de pata de gallo, and we ask our brazilian friends to make feijoada when they come over.
Last year, on my birthday, my friends made wicked burritos and I swear it might have been the best meal God ever gave me, so – you know – we eat a lot of things – and though I may not quite share the blood with the ones thar invented all these dishes, there is happiness somewhere inside the recipes, and happiness in universal.
So what do we eat at home? The same thing you eat, the same thing they eat – we eat the food that makes us happy no matter what their culture or geography.
Written as a challenge for myself, since I never really write things like this. And food makes me happy.