Together Tea, Lucid Food, Shanameh and Persian Wine. Oh! My!

I’ll start by announcing that this is a post where I bury the lede. Some good and interesting thing(s) happened recently but in order to tell you about it, I first have to tell you the story of how it all came about.

Let’s travel back in time to the 4th of July holiday weekend of this year. And query: Where did the summer go? Why does time go so fast? Or as my cousin Gelareh used to ask when she was very little: “why is it day and then it becomes night and then it’s day and night again?” I don’t know Gelareh joon. I do not know.

But what I do know is that I spent the 4th of July holiday weekend with my folks and a rollicking good time was had by yours truly. I enjoyed making a bear get tipsy drinking sour cherry sharbat; I gorged as much of maman joon’s yummy food as prudence allowed, and then, I ate some more; and even though a freelancer’s work is never done, I gave myself a whole lot of time off for good behavior. The weather was unbelievably good too: sunny, breezy, almost cool, just glorious. Such a pretty sky. Weather like this does not often happen in the environ of our nation’s capital (built on swamp land as it is, prone to hot and humid misery) in the dead of summer. Let us give thanks where thanks is due.

So! To celebrate this stroke of good fortune, I spread the folks’ little Persian carpet (the dude with the beard gazing at the moon is supposed to be the Persian poet Omar Khayam by the way) on the deck and arranged little snack bowls of albaloo ‘o gilas (cherry and sour cherry) around me (a girl needs sustenance at all times after all) and commenced to luxuriate in the pleasure of leafing through a few amazing books that I’d been dying to get my hands on.

Like this book of Shahnameh, The Epic Tome of The Persian kings:

This illustrated edition of Shahnameh is a to-die for glorious book. The peerless, magnificent poetry of the revered Persian poet Ferdowsi (also spelled Ferdosi) as rendered in gorgeous illustrations by Hamid Rahmanian. Every page is pure pleasure for the senses and the mind. My sister has started a beautiful tradition of gifting a copy on family birthdays. Uh … I have a birthday coming up, sis! Just saying! Ahem …

After that tangible feast, I turned my attention to the other books, objects of desire, calling out my name. First, I leafed through The New Persian Kitchen, a beautiful cookbook by Louisa Shaffia, drooling over every recipe, wanting to make every recipe (remember an earlier guest post, a gorgeous Persian dinner party where the host used recipes from Louisa’s cookbook?)

And then finally, I put my head on a pillow to lose myself in the pleasure of reading the novel “Together Tea” by Marjan Kamali. An engrossing story that tells the funny and moving tale of an Iranian family who immigrate to the United States.

And because if you don’t Instagram it, it did NOT happen, I Instagrammed it, like so:

And then because you can’t just Instagram, you have also have to tweet it, or it did NOT happen, I tweeted it for good measure as well. Like so:

Which then led to Louisa and Marjan and I tweeting about a potential get-together.

Which then led to Persian Tradition Wine (from Napa, California) offering to send us wine for our get together.

And then this happened. Like, whoa!

And so, it came about that on a beautiful summer afternoon, yours truly had the immense luck and pleasure and joy of meeting and befriending these two lovely ladies! Marjan joon and Louisa joon! We only got to spend a scant couple of hours together but we covered a lot of ground and forged a bond. Needless to say, a lot of the talk centered around … Persian food! And plans are afoot to start what Louisa calls a “Persian potluck” with us and a few other New York based Persian food bloggers and writers. (We’re looking at you, local Persian food bloggers extraordinaire: Ahu joon & Azita joon) & truly can not wait. This promises to be the beginning of many beautiful friendships.

Hey Marjan and Louisa! Hi! Hi! I get happy looking at your pix and can’t wait to see you again! And thank you Persian Wine for giving us the perfect excuse to stop dilly dallying and to get together once and for all.

And there you have it, gentle reader, the story of the awesome things that happened recently.

And while you’re still with me (you are still with me, gentle reader, right? tapping on the microphone here … OK, just checking) a friendly reminder that this Sunday I’m doing a fun show and tell about my trip to Iran. I’d be thrilled if you could make it.

When | Sunday August 24, 2014 | 5 pm

Where | De-Construkt | 41 Seabring Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Here’s the invite on Facebook. (This is a cultural, non-political event.)

And on that note:

Cheers! Khoda hafezKhoda be hamrah! Have a Lovely Weekend!


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Comments (24)

  • Darya 7 years ago Reply

    Wow! I’m so jealous you met Louisa Shafia! I love her little book and constantly cook from it! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    Love her cook book and love her. Just come and visit New York, Darya! Louisa is super nice and unassuming and I’m sure we could arrange a little get together.

  • apuginthekitchen 7 years ago Reply

    WOW, Azita I am blown away. What a fantastic and fortuitous day. Meeting those two lovely ladies, some Persian wine what could be better. I couldn’t be happier for you. The Persian Potluck sounds amazing!!!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    I’ll pull strings and have you join us as an honorary Persian for the potluck!

    apuginthekitchen 7 years ago

    I would be honored!!!

  • Ahu Shahrabani 7 years ago Reply

    omg omg! i started reading this post like any other and the further i got the more excited i got! (i’m bouncing up and down in my chair now)
    this is so exciting – i’m so glad you guys got to meet up and i can not WAIT until we get the chance as well! what a collection of talented and lovely people!!!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    ha ha, yeah, I left the most exciting parts at the end. Can’t wait for our potluck, Ahu joon!

  • Eat with Me Istanbul 7 years ago Reply

    I’m very curious about Persian wine. What’s it like? How I ended up in this part of the world is partly because of the city of Shiraz as I was drinking lots of Shiraz in Australia and stumbled upon a book called The Septembers of Shiraz, which no one seems to know. 🙂 I’m dreaming of being invited to a Persian kitchen and being enchanted by the aromas and the colours of the food it has to offer.
    I don’t know how you manage to write, instagram and tweet, which seems to be time-consuming, but now I know how much you can do with social media.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    What an interesting story! I’ll try to look up the book you mention – I’m so intrigued to read it. As for how I do it: clones! I have several. They do my bidding for their daily chocolate bits and their nightly sips of sharbat. 😉

  • talkavino 7 years ago Reply

    very interesting. I only recently found out that Iran is considered a wine making country – would be interesting to try the Iran wines. Let us know what do you think of them!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    I very much thought of you and Stefano and Oliver when I received this. Hope to somehow or other share the experience as I do think it’d be interesting for you to try.

  • chagrinnamontoast 7 years ago Reply

    Have to love serendipity.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    Yes! Nearly as much I like hearing from you!

  • wanderingcows 7 years ago Reply

    You are such a delightful storyteller! I’m loving the bowls of cherries and sour cherries. I despair when summer is over and there are no more cherries.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    Aww, appreciate it! 🙂 Re the cherries and sour cherries, do what Persians do to prolong the pleasure past the summer. Make jam and sharbat syrup and then midway through winter you can make a gorgeous rice with it as well.
    Thank you for reading!

  • tannaz 7 years ago Reply

    jealous of this lovely ny crew! and my goodness, that clooney beshkan photo is really the best. =)

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    There’s an equally lovely crew in Los Angeles. Sanam of My Persian Kitchen and Fariba of Zozo Baking … That Clooney beshkan cracks me up. No pun intended 😉

  • Azita, I love your writing, you are so talented!! What a grand post , again!! I guess I have to get that book ” Tea together”

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    Thank you Cornelia joon and definitely recommend Louisa’s cook book as well

  • Aneela Mirchandani 7 years ago Reply

    I am going to start calling people joon too. Who cares that I am not Persian!

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    You should, Aneela joon! 😀 love it!

  • Bizou 7 years ago Reply

    I really love your blog. I think I’ve said this before, your blog Is like a treasure chest/ box (ganjeeneh) that every time you look in to it you find something more amazing, more beautiful, more surprising, & on & on….
    One can never get board or tiered with it.
    Ps: totally agree. What happened to the summer? Where did it go so fast & so soon?
    Loved this post. Thank you Azita joon.

    Fig & Quince 7 years ago Reply

    mersi mersi mersi, and our budding friendship is equally a beautiful ganjeeneh, filled with treasures seen and yet to be discovered. I know it!

  • laurasmess 7 years ago Reply

    Wow, Persian wine is an entirely new concept for me. I have been drooling over your sharbat recipes for ages but now… Ah, I want Persian wine! I am so glad that you had a wonderful time with your friends and relatives whilst away, I am only just starting to catch up on a few of your new posts due to lack of wifi access. Beautiful. Colourful. Everything that I always love in your writing and photos. Now… I need to track me down some Persian wine, dear Azita! Xxxx

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