Flavor of Home is in the Blessings Section of July 2008 Good Housekeeping, the End Page. The except from my upcoming memoir Country of Origin, the story is about 3 Arab sisters living in a small Appalachian town in the 60's
Elmaz gives an overview of the book:
My sisters and I loved to spin—put our arms out to the side and turn round and round the yard-- the skirts of our school uniforms lifting; wind brushing our faces. When my mother called “Tai houn!” through the window, our flights froze. Come here! We dropped our arms and rushed to the kitchen. As we stood in a line, Mother handed each of us a big brown paper bag from the supermarket. It was grape leaf collection day, the moment in early spring when the leaves are most tender. My sisters and I would have to walk through our Pennsylvania town asking neighbors if we could pick leaves from their vines. We were already considered odd, because of our father’s strong accent, our old country habits. Now, as leaf panhandlers traipsing from one street to another, peeking into backyards and knocking on doors, our strangeness was amplified, and mortified me. My mother drew a small circle in her palm. “No bigger than this,” she said. “Always pick the third one from the end—I don’t want any tough leaves.” My sisters and I set out for Cannon Hill, where we knew many yards had ornamental grapevines knotted around white trellises. I braced myself for the inevitable questions and incredulous looks from people when we explained that our family ate them.