Spring has sprung !
Such a great time of the year. I love these months the most of all the seasons. To all my subscribers and visitors .. I wish you a very happy spring. I promise I will add some new recipes very soon.
NY’ers DISCOVER THE DELIGHT OF LIMU ORMANI
Apparently New Yorker’s have discovered the delights of limu ormani ( dried lime) and have claimed it a ‘power’ food! John Willoughby found it quite by accident he said in an Iranian store . He writes a nice article about it’s many uses across the ME, how it’s used and grown Nice one John
GROWING YOUR OWN SABZI OR HERBS FOR PERSIAN COOKING
Spring is now here and it’s time to start thinking about growing your herbs. I’m very busy in the garden ( to be honest I get my other half to do the hard graft .. I’m more the director! ) preparing the pots and bedding areas ready for my herbs to be planted. There’s something very satisfying about growing your own anything and then eating it, but since we eat so many herbs, herbs it is! We planted our mint out yesterday and my basil seedlings are now sprouting!
I’m having trouble finding french tarragon and can only find the russian variety which we tried to grow for two successive years and failed miserably ! However I havent given up yet! Where there’s a will. there’s a way!
A week on my sabzi is doing well and showing growth The sweet basil is prolific and abundant and the tarragon is looking healthier than when I bought it. I’m moving the plants around the house to ensure they get enough sun light and remain in a constant temperature and it feels a little time consuming, but I remind myself the effort now will be worth it in the end. The weather here in the UK is still changeable and we may still get a frost so until the temperatures increase, I’m going to have to nurse these babies indoors.
Week three: The basil is growing nicely although a little slow… perhaps I’m impatient but I expected it to grow more quickly like the wheat grass ( sabzi) I grew for the new year. I think it’s fast approaching the time to re pot the seedlings into larger containers. If the weather is good this week I will attempt to do just that. I’m a little worried about planting them out yet as you can’t rely on the British weather and although it’s warm now, who knows what next week will bring!
The Tarragon and chives look healthy too and I’ve nipped the top off the top growth of Tarragon in the hope it will start to bush out. I’m looking after this like a precious jewel … in the warm, sun light, a little water and so far so good
Week 4: Everything is growing nicely but where’s the sunshine? Typical British weather for the past week, cloudy, little sunshine and cold! Even so, the herbs are doing ok. My tarragon plants are now living in the garage at night and in the garden when we have some sun. I’m hoping they will acclimatize themselves and that soon I will be able to plant them out in a pot to lap up the rays…. !
Week 6 or 7: I lost count ….. but anyway the herbs have survived the move to the garden despite the cold spell of weather last week. In fact they are thriving with the short hot breaks we’ve had. I’ve even started to be able to use some of them straight from the garden to the pot so to speak. Planted out some coriander, radishes and more chives. Now it’s time to plant out the next batch of seeds so we have a supply running through out the summer months at least.
~~GETTING BACK ON THE BLOG~~
I’ve been unable to use my arm much so everything here came to a bit of a standstill. The better half was alone in the kitchen and so we ate lots of kebab, his speciality! Now I’m almost back in action again and determined after last nights Khoesht e badenjoon! Actually it tasted great but my kitchens looks like a grease bomb hit it!
It’s been a revelation actually for both of us! Cooking for hours may not seem like much like work when you only eat the end product but after a few hours of cooking khoresh and polou yesterday, I think someone I know will have a new appreciation!!! As for me, sitting back and letting some one else loose in the kitchen just confirms I’m right about one thing… cooking is an art ! It takes skill, practice and patience.
Right I’m off to try and clean up the kitchen a little ! How on earth did he manage to get oil in the kitchen drawers !
~~COOKING WITH MY DAUGHTER TODAY~~
Mums do come in useful after all! Roshi has a ‘cook off’ at work tomorrow and wanted a Persian curry ! Well there is no Persian ‘curry’ dish that I know of …. correct me if I’m wrong! So we thought about it and decided that ‘curry’ is really just a stew with hot spices and we would make our own dish using typical persian ingredients and educate people about the taste of Persian cooking. We settled with Khoresht e Bamieh as it is distinctive and uses Okra which is rarely used and might be memorable.
Roshi had never made it before so she learnt something new to add to her growing repertoire of recipes! Well done Roshi. For a girl that used to say ‘can’t cook, won’t cook I’m impressed ! Now we will just wait to see what her colleagues think……
Roshi didn’t win the ‘cook off’ but she said she thought her entry was very popular and everyone enjoyed it!
PICNIC TIME IS HERE AGAIN …. YEEEEE!
I just love this time of year. The weather is warm, the sun is shining and we can be outdoors once more. I have many great memories of picnicing with my own children when they were young and even when I myself was a child! It’s a great way to let the kids wear themselves out and soak up the fresh air, it doesnt cost much and they love it.
So next weekend I have my two-year old grand-daughter Phoebe for the day and if the good weather holds, we’re planning to take her for a picnic somewhere. So this week I shall begin to prepare the food we will take with us. Phoebe loves to eat and is a bottom less pit … ! Her favorite food at my house is chicken and rice so I will have to include that in the hamper somehow!
Easter bank holiday Monday family meal
Tomorrow I have the family over for a bank holiday meal. What to cook when there are so many tastes to cater for? I decided to go for a blend of Persian and international mainly to ensure my father eats as he has a very conservative palate! So far the menu includes roast chicken, salad Olivieh, salad, potato salad, Jeweled Rice ( a mix of rice, fruits and nuts) and for desert sholleh zard, safron and pistachio Ice cream and Strawberry gateaux thanks to Mum!
I’m already preparing things in advance like salad Olivieh, potato salad, Sholleh zard and Ice cream, leaving me free to concentrate on the main dishes tomorrow. When choosing a menu it’s pretty essential to build in dishes that can be made in advance or it becomes impossible to manage. Also important, build in dishes that don’t require too much attention, like roast chicken.
What’s hot and What’s not !
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I eat. I have to do this all time because of my allergy to gluten. One of the symptoms when I eat something with gluten in it is that I feel tired and sluggish. So I took it right back and took a look at one of the very basic principles behind Persian cooking… ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ food. This doesn’t relate to temperature but more about what effect the food has on our bodies.
In Iran we love to eat and we fully believe that FOOD IS FUEL and we are only going to be fit for what we have to do if we eat for it. That’s why Persians love to eat and feed everyone else too! You will never go to an Iranian house without being offered food!
So I’m going to put the theory to test over the next few weeks and see if eating ‘hot’ food can boost my energy levels if I inadvertently eat something glutenous. If you care to join me in this trial, please let me know how you find it.
Six Pillars to Persia
I added this upbeat FM radio broadcaster to my blogroll today because I don’t want you to miss what’s going on in the world of entertainment. Based in London UK, they keep me informed of what’s going on in London within the Persian community. I think they are doing a great job and their shows are well worth listening to.
6 Pillars run competitions from time to time. The last very exciting one was Googoosh at Wembley over the norooz weekend and although I really really wanted to enter and was all set up to listen, I had a problem with my connection ! The current competition is to win tickets to see Ebi on the 20th April ( my birthday! perhaps I’ll be lucky this time).
If you’re UK based give them a listen Sunday nights at 8pm. You won’t regret it
I am delighted to have been approved for the ‘Foodie Blogroll‘. It’s a large site with a multitude of links to different food blogs from all over the world. I’m sure you can probably find any dish from anywhere across the globe. I’m going to have fun exploring it and no doubt spend many hours doing so! There are competitions to enter, prizes to gain if your lucky and I entered my first competition yesterday so fingers crossed. I’m not usually lucky in competitions but you never know!
Being part of a larger foodie community has certainly brought my humble little kitchen a great many visitors! And very welcome they are too. May they keep coming and enjoying the delights of Persian cooking.