This post was originally going to be titled “What It’s Like to Be An Indian-American in October”, but I figured you’d be drawn in by a flaky, buttery pastry instead
The holidaze have started for our family. And we aren’t even into Thanksgiving season!
Managing a family birthday, a yearly music holiday (ACL of course!), and two other holidays (let’s call those Diwaloween for now) has my mind all over the place. (That’s where that mindfulness I was talking about in my last post has really helped!)
We decorated the exterior of our house in skulls and cemeteries and lined the interior with boldly colorful divas and vivid rangoli patterns. We bought our Halloween costumes, and unburied our boxes of chaniya cholis, dandiyas, and bindis, all in the same week.
Initially I called this a tug of war of holidays in October, but in fact there is no one side that needs to prevail. The fulcrum of the seesaw, with one end Diwali (INDIA) and the other end Halloween (AMERICA), is my core belief of family. We sit between the cultures, between the holidays, and we balance them out. One holiday comes in, the other one goes out, and we remain present and in the middle. We want to take it all and be the center of it all.
We have a persistent desire to grasp the hold of heritage and history. And we harbor the intrigue of our country, the one we live in and adore and admire. I am American indeed, but I won’t forget India. No matter how diluted our generation and the next get, I’ll hold on, magnetized to my family history.
Allegorically, that seesaw of two cultures manifests in my food life. Sometimes, I stay true to one side and crave khichri or dhoklaa, or curries and chapatti, but often I veer to the other side, cooking up pot pies and mashed potatos. Sometimes I combine the two, and sometimes I’m ardently a purist. I am confused, but blessed. I am a true ABCD, but I am also American as apple pie.
I used a book on hand pies called Handheld Pies for the recipe. But I have also used any pate brisee crust recipe and created my own filling with apples, cinnamon, sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, and butter. Some links that I’ve bookmarked: