"We should get to work if we want to eat it today," she announced at 8:00 A.M. As if on cue, my father, who was waiting his turn to talk to me, decided to take a nap. After a trip to a nearby market, she asked me to lay out the spices we needed. I knew the procedure, having grown up watching her: I placed fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, coriander, and nutmeg in front of her. She used her eyes and hands to measure the amounts needed. I cringed slightly as she put the spices into a whole-bean grinder, concerned for my next cup of coffee.