Family recipe written in cursive scribbles jammed on the faded lines of browned scrap papers.
To be embraced,
by the sight of Persian queens
Held in the hands of bold bodies in the
These queens go by various names,
dressed in golds attached to loose earlobes,
moisturized fingers, and
delicate wrists smoothed in oil. Nothing to brag about but everything to worship.
Traditions of feeding, serving, and filling bellies in warmth
Is at the root of this moment. Readiness comes in the form of
I am 21 years old,
The time is now
for me to prepare the mastered basmati rice.
Each grain is washed,
the steam escaping the lidded pots
invigorating the cafe colored skin of these women
as it rises and fades into the pores of our loose skin.
The rice is alive,
begging to be captivated. washing the room with elevated aromas.
A towel is placed on the lid of the pot,
trapping the sizzling heat and
needed for each grain to be cooked. Fluffy and golden.
Saffron added by the bunches,
need not worry about the thick price at the local bodega
trust the women.
Every strand of spice is worth it.
Dietary restrictions are not welcomed in this deep rooted preparation.
a whole stick of butter,
scoop of yogurt,
potatoes sliced, and
salt only at the very end.
Basmati rice feels when you take a
small bite and reject the rest into the palm
of the warmed up metal spoon.
A full spoon with grains falling out the corners of your mouth is the only way to ensure.
We are caretakers of the kitchen,
carefully selected to craft the
sacred scents and hues of each dish.
awakening the chit chat needed in between tasks, adding that mystery flavor no man could ever replicate.
The women and creations, all lightly perfumed.
I know the recipe in my body, but I still refer back to the written chaotic measurements of the past. As the seasons shift, and move forward I will no longer need words or precise numbers. I will remember the ingredients that are always in our kitchen.
Tamar Weir was born and raised in Napa California, where she is currently cocreating a sustainable permaculture food forest. With a mixed family heritage, she identifies as a queer mixed woman, dedicated to narrating complex stories through words. Her work has been published in Twanas Magazine, and the Leviathan Jewish Journal. Her work centers around themes of family tradition, the web of cultural stories, and how they play into the present moment.