Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Honor of my Great, Great...

I came across this wonderful book at the library...

How many blog posts can I begin with that line? Lots and lots, and it's a very healthy occupational hazard! So anyway, I was checking-in the other day and this cookbook caught my eye. It's called Secrets of Cooking: Armenian/Lebanese/Persian by Linda Chirinian. The cover photo looks like something I'd be happy to dig right into, and I NEED to find some new recipes so that I'll be more motivated to cook. Tonight's meal... well, more about that in a moment.

There's family history that explains this unusual culinary choice. My great, great grandparents were missionaries in Persia in the mid-nineteenth century. My great grandmother was born there. One of her brothers returned to carry on the work after their father passed away. The little research I've done tells me it was an amazing thing to travel all that way, learn the language, and only return home after seventeen years. William and his family lived in the northwest corner of Persia, at a rather high elevation, in a city not far from a large salt lake. Perhaps the food they ate was something like the sweet chicken and carrots I fixed tonight.

Now, about tonight's dinner. I altered the recipe to suit my pantry and my family's tastes. When it was almost ready, I took a picture of the chicken, carrots, and raisins (forget the prunes in the original, please) and sent it to each of my sons so they would know to hurry home to eat. Riiiiight.

The decently appetizing photo above is copied from the cookbook. That's what the author's dish looked like when carefully photographed by her husband. My concoction didn't look quite the same... and my camera phone didn't do me any favors. One of my sons, who should remain nameless, wondered at first if I was showing him that our garbage disposal had backed up. But bless Peter's heart, he came home anyway!

It would be fun to write a book someday about what great, great William's life might have been like. I'll have to try some more of the delicious recipes in Mrs. Chirinian's book. Oh, and there was one more unexpected connection. The publisher (Lionhart, Inc.) is based in New Canaan, Connecticut. My great, greats were from Connecticut, as well. Is that cool, or is that cool?

Oh, and everyone eventually came home, and they all ate the chicken. Willingly.

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