Andrew Purcell for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Carrie Purcell.
In the days leading up to my first Christmas in America, I felt a bit lost and alone. It was 2002, and earlier that summer, I’d packed my belongings in Mumbai and flown across the world to attend graduate school in Ohio. This would be the first time I’d spend the holiday away from my family. I was now more than 8,000 miles away from home.
Christmas is an exciting time in India. My mother, aunts and grandmother would start their holiday cooking in the early days of December. There were plenty of sweets and cakes to be prepared. A large portion of these treats went out to friends, neighbors and relatives on Christmas morning, sorted out in small gift boxes, or on white paper plates wrapped with colorful printed paper napkins.
I loved the prep work. I’d get to sit with the adults and get a taste for all the family jokes and stories that they’d share, rolling out the dough for cookies and cutting them into stars, or using rubber molds to shape marzipan, tinted with bright colors, to produce little wreaths or snowmen.
To continue reading this article and learn how to make Chicken Cafreal please visit my article at the NYT (recipe here).