The pie I made with my family's pie crust recipe was delicious. It tasted like love. I knew it would be because I could feel my mother's knowledge in my hands, I could smell my Grandmother's kitchen as I stirred, kneaded, rolled, sprinkled, tasted, checked, etc. For an Indian twist, I added pineapple to the apple filling and made it with Jaggery (pressed sugar cane juice, a staple sweetener in these parts) instead of white sugar. It was quite fun hunting for things to make pie with, also. The Mysore Devaraj Market quite an adventure. Everywhere flowers and oils and pots and pans and people huddled on tabletops wrapping, sorting, shouting, tossing, catching, and selling, selling, selling. No one had heard of pie. So pie pans were out of the question. I made do with cake pans drudged up from the dusty corner of some seller's stall.
The parties were lovely. The drinks were a little too plenty. The music was a blast. The food was a delight. Not only was there amazing apple pie, but also barbecued paneer and veggies, amazing fruit salads, pizza, hummus, sweets, all kinds of things the many yogis who congregated had made themselves for the festivities. I have started to realize how much drama can begin to accumulate in even the most zen communities, however. It made me chuckle to realize how many of the men were hunting for women, and how the women definitely gossip about each other. I have managed to stay out of the drama, though I tend to stay updated during the evening hang-out sessions in Joe's room.
Christmas morning was quite a lot like home, sans family. Chocolate eating first thing followed by gifts (Team Iyengar gift exchange) and then breakfast. Joe gave me a Lungi, a traditional kind of sarong worn by men, which I wear proudly around my apartment and front porch. Instead of cinnamon rolls for breakfast in fleece pajamas, I had chow chow bath and idlis in the warm mid-morning sunshine.
While Christmas definitely isn't the same without my friends and family back home, it was indeed quite pleasant, which is kind of how I feel about the entirety of my time here in Mysore so far. I love it here, but I won't be missing Christmas with my family next year.