cowboys and Indian

by Michelle

I am in Calgary visiting my daughter Meaghan and her boyfriend Theo.

It’s a remarkable thing to be welcomed into your adult child’s life. It’s not the same as when they come home. A visit home means, everything must be as it has always been…tradition and memories are the tools that my children use to re – center themselves.

When I travel to their new lives, they want me to experience all of the discoveries that they are making without me!

Yesterday was Theo’s 25th birthday. Meggie organized a birthday dinner at a local Indian restaurant and invited their “Calgary family”. Their new family consists of Theo’s first cousin Nicole , her best friend Maeghan and her best friend’s husband Mike.

They wanted me to know their stories and their histories. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t help thinking, “they are cowboys and cowgirls” . They have all left their homes and have headed to the wild, wild West. All for different reasons… adventure, fun, fortune. It was clear to me that the reasons were irrelevant. They have come west to start their adult lives with such courage and belief in themselves. I was intensely moved…

So here we are at an Indian restaurant and my daughter is doing all of the ordering for the table. The same daughter that drove me crazy, when she lived at home because of all of her food rules – nothing spicy, only liked chicken, white bread, pasta and sweets, nothing on her plate could touch… Her favorite expression, when she didn’t like the taste of something, was ” taste’s like dirt!”

I sat in complete wonderment as she rattled off her selections, without having to consult the menu, to our waiter. We started with PAKORAS, a chickpea fritter served with a mint and vinegar sauce. The pakoras were followed with 6 different curries:


PRAWN KASHMIRI – prawns, apples, white pepper, cream

CHICKEN JALFREZI – onions, bell peppers, tomatoes in a dry spice

LAMB VINDALOO – potatoes, jalapenos, red chillies, vinegar, coriander, cumin and cinnamon

VEGETABLE KORMA – mixed veggies, almond, raisin, cream, fennel, and cardamon

PALAK PANEER – cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, ginger and spinach

 accompanied with delicious GARLIC NAAN and SAFFRON RICE

The little girl who was so timid of tasting anything new has grown into a fearless, confident young woman who is ready to taste it all…

Thanks for reading.