In a small apartment just south of Warsaw’s downtown, the Habitat for Humanity group joined a family from Kyrgyzstan to prepare a home-cooked meal. The dining room table became an assembly line of sorts — the place where dumplings could be filled and folded. MARK A. WALIGORE / MARK.WALIGORE@AJC.COM
Here, in this apartment, these different people from different cultures worked together, slivering carrots, dicing onions, cutting radishes.
The dining room table became an assembly line of sorts — the place where dumplings could be filled and folded.
A small table in the kitchen, meanwhile, became a prep station for a slew of amateur chefs eager to show off their knife skills.
Hours later, everything came together just the way it should: The rice was just right, neither too mushy nor too sticky nor too creamy (think paella, not risotto). The onions were soft and sweet. The rump of one fat-tailed sheep was as tender as could be.
Heads of garlic had been roasted. Carrots has been transformed into soup. Pomegranates had become the base for a salad dressing.
In between courses, a drink concocted of Greek yogurt and carbonated water cleansed the palate. The Mamadzanovs served baklava and piping hot tea for dessert.
As we were getting ready to leave, Khafiza, Bekzhod’s mother, leaned back in the sofa. Beneath a framed black-and-white picture of the New York City skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge, she said: “We want to see America! We love America!”