Architalks : From an Architect’s table

When I opened my eyes and searched for the morning light in distance, there was none today. It was dark, and cold. I heard the usual morning sounds of the newspapers being delivered, of the neighbor starting his car and letting it warm up before he drove to work, and the clanking of the charms on the leash of my neighbor’s dog. I didn’t want to get out of the warmth of the blanket and take on the world and my multiple roles for the day. On mornings like this, I want to lie down in the bed and wait for someone to make coffee for me. I want to lie down in the bed and wait for the morning light to wash away the darkness of the night. We have taken a week off from work, and the children have a week off from school. But all vacations are canceled, and all drives are local (two hours, considering LA-OC “local” traffic”) – we brought home a Pekingese puppy last Wednesday, and the only item on the agenda for this week is to adapt to the little royalty.

And of course, Architalks. From the Architect’s table…

I don’t cook for Thanksgiving – I am always the guest, and I am always the guest who can bring “whatever she feels like”. Somewhere between super-foods, health-foods, organic-free range talks, I have lost my credibility of trustworthy Thanksgiving potluck cook- perhaps no one tells me, but everyone fears a vegan dish, or something with spirulina or chia. I am not offended. I dress my best and show up with a Mango Pie made from organic mangoes- it’s slightly Indian, it’s slightly American, and it’s delicious. It represents me.

But this year, I have decided to take a break from my usual Mango Pie, and redefine my holiday tradition. Of late, between all the work-life balancing, I have found that my slow cooker is my most trustworthy dinner plan – I have a decent collection, nothing that would tag me as a hoarder, but a little more than one slow cooker somewhere in the garage.It’s easy to throw in a few things that go together, and come home to well cooked scrumptious dinner- sort of like third set of CDs for the same client for similar projects.

I put my slow cooker to work the week before, trying my own twists to traditional recipes. And, I am loving this new tradition of making a hot cocktail every night in the name of recipe experiment! – What’s not to love..A little Bourbon/ Whiskey/ Rum never hurt anyone, and not every night has to be a wine night.

Pomegranate Toddy



4 Cups Pomegranate Juice
2 Cups Orange Juice
1 Orange, Sliced
3 tsp Pumpkin Spice (Trader Joes)
20 Cloves
20 Malabar Pepper Corns
1/2 cup brown sugar, if desired
1 Cup Rum, or more if desired

Tie all the spices in a cheesecloth. Add them to the slow cooker along with the juices and sliced orange. Simmer to 2-3 hours, remove the spices. Add sugar if needed, and add rum. Stir and serve!

 Spicy Apple Cider Toddy


4 cups Apple Cider
3 Tsp Ginger-Serrano paste
(Serrano packs medium heat)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1 cup Bourbon

Add all ingredients except Lemon Juice and Bourbon to the slow cooker. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Add Bourbon, squeeze lemons and mix well- Serve!

I do have a few more hot alcoholic slow cooker cocktail recipes, but time and space are both premium tonight.

Sixteen years ago, I was a new bride, and a recent graduate, and a recent immigrant. My knowledge about Thanksgiving was limited to “four days off”. My husband had taken me to his friend’s house for my first Thanksgiving dinner – I hadn’t met any of them before. Raised a vegetarian all my life, my jaw dropped when I saw a whole bird sitting on the counter- it was a culture shock of sorts, but I also learned to sit at the table, share what I am thankful for, adapt to what I can, and adopt new traditions, and still value my own.

The world around me has changed drastically in the past sixteen years. As you may have noticed, I am rereading Kite Runner.. A decade ago, when I read the book for the first time, it felt like a different world, completely detached from my own. There wasn’t a single passing thought about “what if everything we worked for, and everything we have is taken away from us just like that”

The recent turn of events in Syria, and in Paris, and everything that happens between the place I call home to the place I used to call home-there is an uncertainty about what’s in store for tomorrow. Living in Irvine, a multicultural city that’s home to more than fifty nationalities, there is always someone with family in one of the troubled placed, or someone who fled the violence. It pains the heart to know these stories first hand..

This Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful to have a place to call home..

Ever wonder what’s on other architects tables?  Check out the rest of the #ArchiTalks crew below.

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
giving thanks and [wine]ing

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
Unplug Tradition

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
The Architect’s Postmodern Thanksgiving!

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Archtalks from an Architects Table

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“From an Architect’s Table” Dolly Brown’s Pumpkin Pie

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
Hacksgiving – A Hacker’s Thanksgiving

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Archi-Table – Any Berry Salad

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
ArchiTalks: Bourbon. Every architect’s friend.

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
From My Table To Yours

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
This Thanksgiving: Something New

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Thanksgiving Feast…

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)


  1. meghana, i ate no red meat from 1982-1994 and i started back to poultry and fish, when i was pregnant with my first. needless to say, i spent some pretty bleak thanksgivings and bar-b-q’s at my in-laws, thank god i had my pumpkin pie (they were pretty amazed that i was able to be an architect, and cook and reproduce, but forget about any cleaning, as i told my mother-in-law once, “i went to architecture school to learn how to design houses not clean them”.

    Liked by 1 person

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