Here is my recipe for Shatta, a homemade chili paste we eat with just about everything. I started delving more into preserved and fermented foods when the pandemic forced us all into quarantine in mid-March. Preserved and fermented foods take attention, patience and close care. They became a distraction for me. A way for me to let go of everything else clouding my mind and focus on nurturing these sensitive foods. They reminded me to care for myself. And that even when times are so uncertain, all I could do is take it one day at a time. And that after these days pass, I might end up wiser or have grown in ways I didn’t know, or even think I could. That I might end up with a bubbly kombucha or perfect jar of shatta. Or that even when your aunt is dragging you across borders and you think you’re going to die, you just might actually live to tell (and laugh) about it.