Stories are like seeds, said Larry Littlebird, as he walked in from one side of the room, scattering blue corn seeds, you never know where they're going to land. But if they land on fertile ground, he smiled, they take root.
I got one, I said, and caught a dark seed in my palm.
I closed my hand around it.
Many years after my grandmother had passed, I said, I asked my mother, 'when was your mother born.' And she thought for a second and said, I don't remember the exact date. But I do remember it was the same number as the gas cylinder. Growing up in India, we had - attached to the stove - a gas cylinder. It was red, it was this big, and it had a number on it. And when the gas was low - you could tell because of the strength of the flame - you would call for a new cylinder and at the appointed time, a lorry carrying gas cylinders - I remember it had white frames enclosing the back and no roof and the red cylinders rattled over the streets - this lorry would come to your door. That's where I come from. I come from a place where lorries with red gas cylinders came to your door. And also women selling vegetables, men collecting glass bottles and newspapers to recycle, calling forth, women carrying fish in baskets on their heads - machiwallis - they all came to your door…."
- an excerpt from Heirloom Food and Story, a farm-to-table dinner celebrating two cultures -- East Indian and Pueblo Indian, held on August 27, 2015, presented by Hamaatsa Featuring spoken word artists, Larry Littlebird and Shebana Coelho, and home chefs Deborah Littlebird and Tanveer Coelho. For info about the next Heirloom Food and Story event, Hunting and Gathering in November 2015, please sign up for the Hamaatsa mailing list.