Sunday mornings were always the best.The sound of my mother’s patois filled the house as she gossiped with our family in Jamaica. My father read his newspaper while eating porridge and pancakes. I heard the soft lull of a televised church service in the background as we ate breakfast. Everyone was present and carefree about their troubles of the past week. For just a moment my parents truly enjoyed one another’s company instead of glancing over it for the sake of their designated tedious tasks. I too felt relief. Another characteristic of Sunday morning was the smell of dinner cooking in the kitchen. Jamaicans always cook on Sunday mornings. If you're a Jamaican who opts for takeout on a Sunday, well, are you really Jamaican at all? My family’s Sunday morning cooking usually involved a curried dish. But, the curried dishes I found at home were not like those akin to the freeze-dried rubbish from Trader Joe's. My mother's curried chicken was artfully authentic. She marinated the meat overnight in onions, garlic, salt, pepper, Gravy Master, and Lalah’s curry. She seared the meat and then added water, more curry and pan-charred cumin. West-Indians unite the aspects of our dense culture through food. While we all have different food customs, curry is one that is common for us all.The smell of curry cooking on the stove comforted me and defined what it means to be home. Now in college, I still spend my Sunday mornings trying to replicate my mother’s curry with little success.
– Christina Marshall