Friday, December 6, 2013

The Post Wherein the Berbere Arrives

Dear Micah,

Today a package arrived, brought by a delivery guy. It was light, bearing just one pound of contents. Within that small package was 16 ounces of berbere spice mix.

Sweet boy, you're going to want something familiar when you finally get here. There won't be any single thing that will be comforting to you. New place, new people, new language, new family, new, new, new.

You will come with so much to deal with. I don't yet know your history. I don't know what tragic events have caused you to be considered an adoptable orphan. We can't fathom the losses that you have endured at such a young age. And, because we will begin our lives together with a significant discrepancy in our communicative languages, I will want to try everything that I know to bring you some form of comfort.

So, after reading Yes, Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson, (a famous chef who was also adopted from Ethiopia) I decided to start using berbere spice in my cooking.

 So, I added the distinctively Ethiopian spice to our meatloaf today. I started introducing it to your new brothers with just a small amount. But, I will gradually add more spice to more dishes. I want to be able to fill the house with a familiar smell for you. I want it to be familiar to your brothers by then, too.

I cannot wait for all of you to run through the door after playing outside together...I cannot wait for your faces to all light up with anticipation of a yummy dinner because of the smell of berbere in the kitchen.

I hope that in some measure, we can bring you a sense of comfort and a feeling of being at home.

We love you, Micah. And, we are cooking with berbere and thinking of you.

Love, Momma

***Note: a recipe for Homemade Berbere Spice Mix and for Crispy Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils (pictured above) can be found at Feasting At Home.

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