Trump’s Garlic Problem

by Louisa on February 20, 2017

This post was written for the #ImmigrationIsTasty campaign launched by food writer extraordinaire Cathy Erway. Share your own story or find others on social media using the hashtag.

I’ve figured out Donald Trump’s problem: He didn’t get enough garlic growing up. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Inspiration from Hafiz

by Louisa on May 26, 2015

Hafiz tomb day

The shrine of the tomb of Hafiz, Shiraz.

The other day I came across this poem by the 14th century Persian poet Hafiz. The words jumped off the page and all of a sudden I found myself crying. Since then I’ve been rereading it, and the words are never far from my mind. Although it’s abstract and mystical, I find that it accesses something that’s universal and profound. Hm, maybe that’s why Hafiz is still so well loved today.

Man reading at shrine

In the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, where Hafiz lived, his majestic shrine is a favorite tourist destination and a sanctuary for those seeking solace. It’s always buzzing with visitors.

Hafiz shrine sunsetI wasn’t prepared for its beauty, or the feeling of serenity and comfort that it exudes. I didn’t want to leave, I just wanted to stay and soak up the good vibrations. I stayed into the evening, so I got to see it glowing softly at sunset, when for me it became even more magical. Here is the poem, as interpreted by the respected Hafiz translator Daniel Ladinsky.

Your Mother and My Mother, by Hafiz

~

Fear is the cheapest room in the house.

I would like to see you living

In better conditions,

~

For your mother and my mother

Were friends.

~

I know the Innkeeper

In this part of the universe.

Get some rest tonight,

Come to my verse again tomorrow.

We’ll go speak to the Friend together.

~

I should not make any promises right now,

But I know if you

Pray

Somewhere in this world–

Something good will happen.

~

God wants to see

More love and playfulness in your eyes

For that is your greatest witness to Him.

~

Your soul and my soul

Once sat together in the Beloved’s womb

Playing footsie.

~

Your heart and my heart

Are very, very old

Friends.

{ 9 comments }

My Trip to Iran, One Year Ago Today

May 12, 2015
Thumbnail image for My Trip to Iran, One Year Ago Today

A year ago today I traveled to Iran for the first time. It was the realization of a dream I’d had for decades, and it changed my life, as I knew it would.

The trip still feels like a dream. Most of the Farsi words and expressions that I learned are fading from memory. And the […]

15 comments Read the full article →

A Persian Dinner to Celebrate Spring, with Meal Sharing on April 9

April 6, 2015
Thumbnail image for A Persian Dinner to Celebrate Spring, with Meal Sharing on April 9

This Thursday April 9 I’m cooking a dinner, A Persian Meal to Celebrate Spring. I’m doing it through Meal Sharing, a platform for people to experience homemade meals around the world at very affordable prices. The goal is to bring people together around food, rather than make a profit, so the ticket price for the […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Two Exciting New Cookbooks, and A Panel on Food & Culture March 31

March 29, 2015
Thumbnail image for Two Exciting New Cookbooks, and A Panel on Food & Culture March 31

Two New York food writers of whom I’m a big fan – Cathy Erway and Leah Koenig – just released new cookbooks. This Tuesday March 31, I’ll be on a panel with them talking about what it’s like to take on your own heritage in a cookbook. The panel/book launch party will be hosted by […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Our Final Lakh Lakh Dinner, Monday March 23

March 22, 2015
Thumbnail image for Our Final Lakh Lakh Dinner, Monday March 23

 
After seven months of doing Lakh Lakh, my Persian street food pop-up, it’s time to move on to other projects. But before we wrap it up, we’re going out with a bang tomorrow night. For our final dinner, we’re making some of Iran’s best and most famous offal dishes, including kaleh pacheh, sheep’s head and […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Get Your Norooz On!

March 15, 2015
Thumbnail image for Get Your Norooz On!

The Persian New Year is coming up this weekend at the spring equinox, and we’re celebrating with a Norooz dinner at Porsena on Monday March 16. Over the last few days we’ve been making handmade noodles, tamarind sauce, beet yogurt with mint, and a delicious tangy curd flavored with limoo omani, dried Omani limes, for […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Lakh Lakh Menu for Monday March 9

March 8, 2015
Thumbnail image for Lakh Lakh Menu for Monday March 9

We are winding down to the very final weeks of Lakh Lakh. It’s been an incredible run, but other projects are calling, so we have to end this month on the 23rd, just after the start of the Persian New Year! We are getting ready for a big Norooz dinner at Porsena on March 16, […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Lakh Lakh Menu for Monday March 2

March 1, 2015
Thumbnail image for Lakh Lakh Menu for Monday March 2

Even though it snowed all afternoon, I know winter is going to end because the spring equinox is three weeks away. With that comes Norooz, the Persian New Year, and I’ll be celebrating with a Norooz dinner at Porsena on March 16. The menu is full of herbs and spring ingredients, including an Azerbaijani smoked […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Lakh Lakh Menu for Monday February 23

February 23, 2015
Thumbnail image for Lakh Lakh Menu for Monday February 23

We’re back tonight to bring you the next installment of Lakh Lakh! With recipes from Gilan Province, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan – Iran’s neighbor to the south. Here’s a piece I wrote for Food52 about the cookbooks that have been inspiring my menus recently. These are all wonderful books about Silk Road cooking and beyond, do […]

0 comments Read the full article →