In her tiny kitchen, hovering over a large stainless-steel pot proudly marked by the many nicks and scratches accumulated over the years, Lucy stirred the stew once more before taking it off the heat to cool. This stew was not to be served immediately, but would instead be left in the refrigerator for a few days, when she’d serve it at Christmas. She argued that this time—allowing the tender bits of pork to cure in the thick and fiery broth of vinegar, chiles, and spices—would make it taste even better. On Christmas day, my grandmother would warm the stew and serve it with either rice or sannas, soft, steamed cakes made with fermented coconut that would act as sponges to absorb the rich broth. This pork stew, called sorpotel, was the highlight of every Christmas lunch I spent with Lucy, my grandmother.