Little Grains of Rice

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Little grains of rice, smothered in my mom’s pomegranate-walnut stew, danced around in my mouth as my mind strayed away from my hectic day. Our shadows remained beneath us at the dinner table as the kitchen lights burned a picture of what I wouldn’t trade anything for: my mom's stew and my family.

My mom understood the significance of every element that her bowl drowning in tradition consisted of. As the ingredients mingled separately, the pomegranate molasses lost its thick consistency, the walnuts released their natural oil, the dried lemons leaked their tart flavor, they eventually united, creating the perfect sweet to tangy ratio. Though the art of the dish was unique, my mom could just as easily craft an eggplant chickpea stew. Minced onions seasoned with turmeric and seared with cubed eggplant that combined with mushrooms to form an earthy blend sat in a pool of chickpeas layered their way onto our plates each night, every night, my mom shared them with us. She shared the versatile flavors that could be formed using the same ingredients, the ability to fabricate something that was foreign to our taste buds every night.

After sunset was the only time all of our schedules aligned, and precisely at the same time, dinner was...

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