I planned a dinner last week, hoping to achieve these goals. I wanted to cook for my cousin Dana in Los Angeles, who is dying of cancer.
He requested two dishes that did not go together: spaghetti and meatballs, in honor of his mother’s Italian-Catholic side; and Hamoth, a sweet and sour beet stew made by our Iraqi-Jewish grandmother, which is actually an Indian-Jewish dish.
(Confused yet? Now, if you had an Italian-Catholic mother from New York and an Iraqi-Jewish father from Shanghai, what would your identity be? Dana chose to play the bagpipes.)
I cooked the meal at the home of my friend Mary Ann and her husband Daniel, where my