I’m a family man. Every year it’s like clockwork… Kids leave school at 1:00 PM and I fly home to Kentucky for the Christmas holiday with family where I eat way more than any human should, spend as little money as humanly possible, and bond as much as any human can with my family.
With the passing of my grandfather just a few weekends prior to Christmas I opted out of traveling home. It’s hard to believe, but my flights to Kentucky are priced excessively. While at first I was incredibly lonely, I found myself reminded of something I had learned earlier in 2016…
I have family in Kentucky. Family responsible for instilling in me healthy habits and love for others. Family who I know who will be there through thick and thin. Family who cannot be replaced or forgotten, but I also have family in New York. A family who watched me grow in ways my Kentucky family didn’t. Family who is rooting for me to do good for myself and others. Family who, like the one in Kentucky, is there through thick and thin. It was this family that I spent Christmas with.
My roommate suckered me into cooking, but this also meant I got to choose what was on the menu. We were having a Curry Christmas. Turkey is dry and ham is predictable. Why not curry chicken from the islands we wish were celebrating in?
For all you Caucasians, there’s a stereotype that our food has no flavor and, if there’s anything I’ve come to learn since being in New York, it’s true. With this in mind I made sure to buy everything the recipe listed and add more of whatever seemed like it would be spicy. To my surprise, my Caucasian kitchen did not disappoint. There was a lot of flavor, so much so that my lips finished feeling tingly; I felt like I had somehow landed back in Ghana where my Caucasian taste buds could never get used to the level of spice used in every dish…especially greens.
I tried my hand at making callaloo but I’m not sure I did that right. Then, I got the roti from a local West Indian bakery and it’s hard to go wrong there. My roommate was in charge of rum punch, but being the Type A person I am I also gave her a recipe… My other friend was in charge of dessert and the other guy coming was making tostones (which I’m hella hype I now know how to make).
We ate (a lot). We drank (even more). And we laughed (incessantly).
Turns out, it is relatively difficult to find somewhere to go out to on Christmas Day. Nothing on Franklin Avenue was open so we made the very cold walk over to Vanderbilt and met two friends at Soda Bar which was surprisingly poppin.
So while I would’ve loved to enjoy Christmas in Kentucky as tradition follows, I was thankful for the fam I had in New York to cook for and kick it with.
For the curry chicken recipe visit: