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You’re entering names into the computer, a program called Family Tree. Burritts and Badgers and Shattucks. How fitting that I’m fixing chicken with roots tonight for dinner. Potatoes and carrots roasted with onion, garlic, turnips grown since the time of Christ in France (my Alsatian cousins, surname Grandil). Carrots, known 5000 years ago in Afghanistan, making their way west via Moorish invaders and Arab traders to France and Germany (my Heilman ancestors). Potatoes traveled to Europe from Peru. The Irish lived on potatoes and I’m told I have a drop of Irish blood. Garlic to ward off vampires, protect from Plague, and lower blood pressure. My Mayflower forebears, the Brewsters, Tilleys, Howlands knew it well. They brought onions, too, but found those roots everywhere in the New World growing wild. And so we arrive at dinner, a hodge-podge, if you will. But fragrant! I open the oven and bring out the chicken, perfectly golden-crisp on its bed of roots. Outside, black clouds threaten a storm. But in here, our household clutches the warmth of its hearth.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2005

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