My dad was a butcher, so we were often treated to some form of meat at meals, but Sunday was the day when it got the regal roll-out: heaping, steaming plates of gravy-dripping pork, lamb and sausage. But the much awaited star of the show was the humble meatball: fat, round, gravied or just plain fried.
My most important ties to life run through the narrative histories of family members and close friends, and the places where we staked out our homes and livelihoods. Thirty-five years ago, I wasn’t doing so well financially, out in Lawrence, Kansas, where I hail from.
There is nothing special about my mother's potato salad. Just like many other recipes here, it was brought from one country on one continent to another country on another continent. In the process of immigration the main ingredient went from being called "Kartoffel" to "papas."
Growing up in the Bronx, my friends were of many different ethnicities and cultures. But the one thing we had in common was food. When our mothers called us upstairs for dinner, or supper as it was called, the scents of food in the hallways of the building melded into a wonderful sensory experience.
My father loved pickles. When the jar in the fridge was empty, there were always a couple more waiting in the basement pantry. Once, after a day of running errands, I came home to find the pungent tang of pickle juice filling the rooms, and my dad unperturbedly drinking a cup of coffee.