Hi y’all! I’m finally back from my epic (I kid you not) trip to Iran!
Well, actually, I’ve been back for a good few weeks by now but (thanks to a sluggish combination of jetlag, a bout of being blue about leaving Iran, and writer’s block) it has taken me awhile to slide into the old blogging groove.
The writer’s block is certainly not due to a dearth of interesting things to report and share with you – the reverse in fact – I have so many stories, pix and videos to share. Instead, this has been more of a challenge of mustering motivation and focus. Kind of like standing in front of a fully stocked fridge and pantry — bursting with all sorts of delicious and exotic ingredients — and wondering: “But what should I make? What shall I make?” And in the frustrating process of indecisive, perfectionist (and I admit, lethargic) hand-wringing, ending up going hungry and involuntarily fasting!
But I do intend to snap out of this and tell you all about my glorious and controversial homeland of Iran – a most paradoxical country – and share tales of what was an intense and significant personal milestone of a trip. I experienced deep highs and crushing lows; climbed many hills and mountains (literally!); traveled to a number of cities; reconnected with friends and family and foe; enjoyed generous Persian hospitality, renewed relationships, fostered friendships, forged bonds, severed ties; basked in the innate poetic beauty of Iran and its culture, and cringed at the things that one must bear; saw and experienced things that made me glad, wistful, ecstatic, dreamy, nervous, enthralled, angry, happy, ashamed, proud, mad, deeply nostalgic, oft enchanted and sometimes profoundly sad; and of course enjoyed enviably good and yummy food that had me drooling and smacking my lips! Oh, the delicious things I ate and drank!
I do hope to do this trip justice and recount and share it all with you in a meaningful and hopefully thoughtful way – including a few choice recipes – via a series of posts in the coming weeks and months, but I admit that I’m not yet entirely in the groove of being up to that task just yet.
So, to gently break the blogging fast, I thought it’d be both naughty (because it may torture you!) and nice to indulge in yet another lusty tour of the very many good things I had to eat and taste and savor when I was traveling in Iran. (In case you missed the earlier ones, here’s the first Lusty Food Tour of Iran and here’s another one.)
And here it goes, part 3 of “Eating my Way in Iran” for your torturous pleasure:
These two yummy batches of Sholeh Zard (a traditional Iranian dessert made with rice, saffron and rosewater) were made by my friend Afooli for her Norooz party. Another time, my friend Haleh also specifically made it for me as well, so that I could photograph and document the recipe. I will post the recipe very soon. Promise!
Jello desserts were quite popular in my childhood and I was surprised to see that they are still going strong in Iran. Usually served along with either ice cream or fruit.
To avoid the too common travail of jumping up a few sizes after a trip to Iran, I tried to cautiously indulge and mostly succeeded in this endeavor, but tried as I might, I could NOT resist inhaling stacks of freshly made hot-out-of-the-oven koloocheh (a most wonderful and soft Persian pastry that is pillowy soft with a sweet center) whenever I got my greedy paws on some. And: je ne regrette rien! In fact, I only regret that I did not eat more of them! Mental note: Make some using Maria’s awesome kooloocheh recipe ASAP.
Oh sweet merciful cream and puff pastries! Needless to say: I miss these guys too! A lot!
And I still get goosebumps at the memory of my first taste of faloodeh va bastani – a dessert composed of starchy noodle threads combined with traditional Persian (usually called Akbar Mashdi) ice cream (that has chunks of solid crunchy cream! say what!) and served with a topping of freshly squeezed lemon juice – that my friends Afooli joon and Hossein served at their Norooz party.
The combo of textures (soft, mildly chewy and starchy, crunchy) and flavors (sweet, pleasently bland, tangy) was an intoxicating close-your-eyes and savor your life pleasure! Perfection!
In conclusion: boy, did I miss y’all and I’m happy to be back, and please bear with me while I catch up and get back into the groove. Before signing off, I have to give a huge howdy and thank you to all of you who kept in touch and kept reading and commenting and to all of you wonderful friends who wrote the guest posts that helped me keep this blog humming along even while I was frolicking and traipsing around in my homeland. Thank you!
Till soon & Happy Weekend