While I was staying in France, a friend baked home-made bread for our Christmas get together; a recipe passed down through her Swedish ancestors. My first taste of it brought back memories that I didn’t know I had kept inside me. It was a flavour: familiar, sweet and comfortable. No matter how complicated my relationship between me and my father and even more, the loose ties with half my ancestry, a simple taste carried more than a handful of recollections. And I still wonder, why I had forgotten to tend to these memories. To nourish, water and care for memories that I had seemed to have once planted far deep inside me.
When I was little, my mother took me to see my father’s mum and her family every now and then so that half of me would not be lost. They would cook us delicious dinners, take us out for walks and explore Khane – although we never pursued a religious relationship with our cultural heritage. After dinners, they made this delicious Indian dessert; a dessert my father loved. I am not certain of its name which I hope to learn soon. As we grew older, we had less time to see them. Perhaps just once a year. Our time was too limited to stay for dessert and for years and years, I went without it. I forgot it. I forgot the taste. I forgot the texture. I forgot the smell. And most importantly, I forgot the memories. I forgot it all.
The bread must have included a spice or flavour used in the dessert. I was taken back to my younger self, sitting and eating the dinners, the desserts, laughing with my father, hugging my great grandparents, the sunsets we watched over their patio, the new family members I met, the smell of their home, the smell of the soft, red carpets and the gold halos around the ceiling inside the Jamatkhana worship temple, everything.
I hope to one day find out not only what dessert it was, but the flavour in particular that I remember so fondly.