by Marsha Mehran
"A funny and heart-warming debut about three sisters, an old box of recipes and a new, exotic café in a small Irish town.
Hats, sorry to hear you have a conflict, but if you find you can squeeze us in, even if just for a little bit, we'll be glad to see you.
And, yes, Chinese Apple is a pomegranate. Here's a nice link for you.
And I also seem to want to mispell this word but my mistake is wanting to put an 'i' in where the last 'a' is. Oh, well, we now have a quorum and can go out on the main board. I think that's right, PatW??
An interesting nickname. Now I'm going to have to check out the Latin -- do you think it has anything to do with the Punic wars? Giiiiinnnnny!!?
The genus name, Punica is named after the Phoenicians, who were active in spreading its cultivation, partly for religious reasons. Its species name granatum derives from the Latin adjective granatus, meaning 'grainy' (because of the fruit's seeds/grana). However, in classical Latin the species name was malum punicum or malum granatum, where "malus" is an apple. This has influenced the common name for pomegranate in many languages (eg German Granatapfel, seeded apple). Even "pomegranate" itself has this meaning; pomus is Latin for apple.
Another widespread root for "pomegranate" is the Egyptian and Semitic rmn. Attested in Ancient Egyptian, in Hebrew rimmôn, and in Arabic rummân, this root was brought by Arabic to a number of languages, including Portuguese (romă)
I'll try to join you, but I haven't ordered the book yet.
Has anyone had good luck with used copies?
I'm a little cautious because of 3 poor experiences with used books on line, including Barnes & Noble.
Here's some recipes using Pomegranate Molasses which I think sound wonderful.
Has anyone made any of these delicious looking recipes yet? Is there anyone who DIDN'T look through the whole book to check out the different recipes? I have most of the ingredients for Pomegranate Soup, so hope to make that soon. And the Elephant Ears. I wonder if they're the same things I loved as a kid. Big and sticky and yummy.
Now, Thomas McGuire's nose leads him to a shop that had been closed for five years, Delmonico's Pastry Shop, and there he thinks he's found witchcraft being practiced. And, now the first recipe is printed for Dolmeh. When I read the recipe, I found myself comparing it to a similar Greek dish. Hmmmm, how far from Greece is Iran??
Is this not also an Ayurvedic(from India) practice??
It looks like we might want to try the Red Lentil soup although I thought 'dolmeh' looked quite good and tempting.
The way the author brings all the colors of everything around the gardens of Tehran with the pool lined with turqoise and green Esfahanni tiles, the furry stalks of marjoram and golden angelica in dark mounds of earth with its wonderful herbal plants made me want to visit Iran.
I'd love to have more hints about growing herbs, especially ones that would do well in a sunny window.
Here in south Florida, many herbs do not do well grown outside.
One of the joys of reading about other locales is that they take on new meanings as they become more familiar. I'd heard of County Mayo, but had never thought about where it was other than in Ireland. Now I know it's near the sea. And Croagh Patrick is a real mountain, complete with walking tours. Is Ballinacroagh a real town? I couldn't find it on the map, but notice that several towns begin with "Balli"
Thanks also for the tip about red lentil soup being the easiest recipe.
Its so good to see all of you here. Old friends (Pedl'n, Hats, Persian,PatW, Judy Laird,) and new(Mrs Sherlock,EvelynM,Mippy,) plus our author, Marsha Mehran. Let's see, we are missing kidsal but maybe she will come in later.
Are you familiar with the recipes here? I remember that you have relatives in Iran, right?
Like two of our posters, I am savoring this book and its my second time around. Delicious!
I am particularly interested in finding a Pom Molasses recipe using the syrup and maybe some other spice for a glace on Salmon.
1. Each chapter in Pomegranate Soup begins with a traditional Persian recipe, which is then incorporated into the story like a character. Why do you think the author has chosen to highlight the food in this manner? How do you think the recipes guide the narrative? Is there one recipe that resonated more with you than the others? Why?
2. We first meet the three Aminpour sisters, Marjan, Bahar and Layla, in the kitchen of the new Babylon Café. Discuss how this setting offers a glimpse into the differences in their personalities. If you have siblings, do you recognize the dynamics between the three sisters?
3. Marjan cooks in accordance to the Zoroastrian system of gastronomic balancing, known as sard and garm. As one of the world’s first monotheistic religions, Zoroastrianism introduced the dual ideas of good and evil, which are now practiced in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Have you ever heard of Zoroastrianism or the concepts of sard and garm, cold and hot foods? How is this balancing system similar to eating habits in the West? How is it different?
4. Why do you think the author has chosen to set Pomegranate Soup in 1980s Ireland, instead of today? How do you think the village of Ballinacroagh perpetuates the fairytale image tourists often have of Ireland? In what ways, if any, does Ballinacroagh differ from this idealized picture?
5. The Aminpour sisters escape Tehran on the eve of the Islamic Revolution. What do you know of Iran’s history, particularly the revolution of 1979? Were you surprised to read that the Shah was as unpopular as he was with many Iranians? If you were around during the time of the revolution, what images do you remember receiving about it through media outlets in the West?
The first chapters give us a wonderful description of the sisters and their differences. 15-year-old Layla seems to have a bit of the slap-dash, devil-may-care, as evidenced by her dolmeh, and the way she's eager to venture forth throughout the town. The middle sister Bahar seems to take life much more seriously, perhaps even timidly, and I have the impression that she is not the family beauty. Marjan, of course, is the one who holds the family together, with common sense and practicality.
Cyrus the Great??? Why do I remember this man? Another book ago, I believe.
My first experience with the Zorastrian religion comes from the opening pages of "Searching For Hassan" when the American family's sons celebrates a Zorastrian holiday. It seem similar to our Halloween??
The comparison of the simplicity and the complexity of Iranian food to a Persian rug seems to fit in this story.
Did I read that the Persian rugs are used like carpeting, wall to wall? Wouldn't having the rugs on the floors of a restaurant present a problem. Did your parents decorate their restaurant in S.A. this way??
Perhaps the weaving of this story with its three young women in a new environment trying to weave a new life will make us wonder what would we do in a similar situation.
In looking back at the questions posed by the author, I do remember the 1979 revolution with its TV images of complete chaos in the streets of Tehran, the ill Shah leaving for the US to be treated for cancer, the arrival of the Ayatollah Khomeni and of course, the hostage situation. Those were perilous times from which our three sisters escaped. I remember reading somewhere about a journalist on the Ayatollah's plane who found the Ayatollah very subdued and peaceful. I wondered at the time, if the rabble rousers took what he offered and made it into ugliness.
Don't you love the descriptions of the food and the spices, and the part they play in the novel. Born too late, huh? And then there are those of us who want to get our hands on those seeds that get rid of heartburn and fatigue -- what do they say, you'll know when you're old when . . ..
Ann made an interesting comment about Thomas McGuire's hot and cold personality, and then was talking about the hot and cold aspects of Iranian cooking, the sard and garm, the good and evil. Fascinating. Thomas seems quite the ugly character right now, but I keep wondering -- can someone who loves to dance be ALL bad?
Food is certainly a big part of this story, and I think the recipes play a major part in introducing us to the characters and events -- such as the personalities of the sister with dolmeh, and the effect of Layla on the townspeople as she seeks onions for the lentil soup, and how Estelle's rosewater-soaked baklava managed to trip Thomas McGuire and add to his anger. I look forward to relating each recipe to its chapter.
I guess one would wonder if this wealth, or show of it, benefitted all the citizens of the country.
Then I searched out 'tantric' and came up with a whole site about it. Here's a little blurb for the word "tantric".
Tantra means loom in Sanskrit, or also, specifically, the warp thread that dresses the loom and gives support to the fabric formed by the moving shuttle or, in a rug, the individual knots. Without it, there can be no cloth. It can also refer to the cord used for stringing beads to make a necklace, a rosary, mala or garland. (In English, you might be familiar with "tenterhooks," as in the phrase "To be on tenterhooks," meaning to be in a state of anticipatory suspense. These hooks are the nails upon which finished cloth is stretched to maintain consistency in width.) Tantric or more rarely, tantrik, is the adjective.
Another word that caught my attention was-
dugh drinkDoogh (also Dooqh, Dugh), also called dugh, abdug, or tahn (the last two mostly by Armenians) is a beverage popular in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries and the Caucasus. Doogh is prepared by beating unflavored yogurt until smooth, and then diluting with water to a consistency similar to whole milk. Salt is added, and commonly dried mint is mixed in as well. Doogh is generally served chilled, or over ice. Doogh is similar to the Turkish beverage Ayran, although the latter is not carbonated. Traditionally, dugh is served with meals, especially kebab. In India, a similar drink called lassi is popular.Does anyone want to try this drink? Doesn't appeal to me as do all the other foods and spices that are presented here.
What would that bud be that Layla's mother expelled after giving birth?? What a thought provoking story. The drs hiding this tale but also savouring it.
Thank you so much for answering our questions. I am interested in finding out more about your favorite poet. And, did anyone else notice that the book about Persian rugs is written by an Irish author?? Brian Murphy. Is there more of a connection there in modern times than we were of?? I know that our Persian is not only of Iranian descent but has some Irish blood in her veins. Maybe the two nationalities have more in common than we are knowing about? Both nationalities have a definite bent for romantic leanings.
Yesterday, I went back through the first three chapters and counted the people who are in our book. So far, we have been introduced to 25 named folks plus the troop of tinkers. Again, I forgot that the gypsies of Ireland were named tinkers until Dervla, the resident gossip, spied the troop of them coming down the Main Mall. The Irish part of my family mentioned used that reference name often.
I sort of felt sorry for Thomas McGuire when reading about his urge to dance. A hidden talent there. Maybe his love of the dance and thus, music, will save him from himself. He's so bitter about everything in his life.
There is such a magic atmosphere to Malachy and Layla's meeting. Her rose water and cinnamon odor surrounds her and his tall lithe figure sends shivers through her body. I love this, "For Malachy, the sight of Layla's exotic profile filling up a bag of white onions was a sign, a resounding yes to the age-old question of the divine." Ahh, young love at first sight!
For our readers, here's a link to the Persian or Iranian celebration of the New Year: Persian New Year
I remember the Persian or Iranian practice of eating their meals on the floor with a special cloth after reading "Searching For Hassan". Sounds like a picnic every meal. What do the seniors in the crowd do about getting up and down?? At the moment, I need a hand to get me upright. Well, unless, I remember my yoga class and remember to roll over on my side, pull up my knees, and use my hands to help me. Now, I would certainly be worried that I might kick something from the cloth. But I am just kidding! :<)
Must go read Chapter 5. See you all tomorrow after water pilates.
Interesting website, Persian. I'm always looking for broiled fish recipes because I don't like to fry and am too lazy to grill (no hubby to do it for me.) Chick with rice looks good too. Is washing rice a Mid-Eastern thing? I don't think I've ever washed it before cooking. Yet the recipe Persian's site calls for it, and one of Marsha's recipes calls for washing it twice.
The only other 'wash rice' story I've heard is about brown rice. How the nuns, being tidy, washed theirs; the monks didn't and lived longer and healthier than the nuns. Thus why brown rice is better.
Tomorrow morning I am off to the Columbus Ballet for Alice In Wonderland so will get here late once again. This is the rehersal and seniors get in for $12. Its a bargain!
I am rereading the three chapters for this week and will comment tomorrow. Have one more to go!
Some questions from the author's site:
6. Both Marjan and Bahar were romantically involved with men who supported the Islamic Revolution. These relationships led the two women to perform revolutionary activities, which they later regretted. Do you feel either sister has come to terms with her violent past? Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your moral compass in a relationship?
7. In the classical Greek myth of Persephone, Demeter, the goddess of Spring, has a daughter named Persephone who is kidnapped by Hades, god of the Underworld. Have you ever heard of this myth? What parallels do you see between this myth and the three sisters’ story?
8. The Babylon Café provides a venue for dreams to flourish. Discuss how the food and the sisters’ temperaments influence the villagers to pursue dreams that may have lay hidden, even to themselves. Have you ever experienced a quiet epiphany such as the one that Father Mahoney has over a bowl of abgusht? Or was your moment of transformation more pronounced, as Tom Junior’s in the Cat’s cottage?
Looking at Question #7 in your post above; I am familiar with it as the story of Ceres and her daughter Proserpina, who was held in the underworld by Pluto. Jupiter ruled that the daughter would spend 6 months with her mother and 6 months in the underworld -- basically the growing season and the dormant period of winter. At this point in the book I'm hard-pressed to relate it to that myth because it would mean the sisters would have to return to the country from which they escaped. I can relate it to Marjan's ability to grow anything anywhere.
About Thomas McGuire -- I don't think he's evil, just woefully woefully misguided.
Did someone ask earlier why this book was set in the 1980s? The chapters for this week help answer that question. It had to be in that era in order to relate to the revolution.
In these chapters also, we see both Marjan and Layla forming new bonds with the community. Layla with young Malachy and her friends at school, and Marjan with the Father. Poor Bahar seems quite alone except for her sisters.
Don't you love the way Dervla works for Thomas McGuire? She reminds me of an evil old witch.
About Thomas, I find him a pathetic controller of that village and I do wonder that if he had had the oportunity to act on his love for dance, his life might have been better.
The myth so far doesn't seem to fit here but not knowing anything about the myth, I bow to those who do.
Its heartwarming to see Marjan trying to bake the bread of her home, trying to introduce the Irish village to a different way of eating and also at the same, making friends with the owner of the beauty shop. She realizes that she needs to do this.
So we have heard Layla's story of the escape and Marjan's,too, but we still havent' heard from Bahar. I wonder what made her leave. Was she mistreated as Marjan or was she just following along with her older leading sister?
I looked up the girls names and found this: Bahar means Spring, blossom
Layla means nocturnal
Marjan means coral. Hmmmmm. To apply those meanings to the girls doesn't seem to have much to do with the story except for Bahar whose birthday is on or near the Persian New Year's Day.
Were you surprised to have a priest who was once a comedian brought into this story?? I am wondering what that means also. Maybe for disversity of the characters. And now, he has written a play and the beauty shop owner is going to direct it? Will she be in it also?? For a relatively small village, the citizens seem to have many different life stories to tell. Even the schoolchildren that we have been introduced to. This story is a veritable pot of vegetable and fruit soup!
If you are still around, is there a connection for each recipe in the chapter that it heads?
Can you believe walking up and down 14 flights of stairs everyday, several times a day. That was the apartment where the sisters lived in Iran. Reading about their experiences there makes me realize how little I know of Iranian modern history. I tried to find articles through my new NYTimes-Select subscription, but it does not yet include pre-1981 articles. Must get to the library for that.
Marsha, as I read about Iran, I can't help but wonder about your experiences there, if you were old to enough to understand what was going on. I hope your departure from there was more calm than that of the Aminpour women.
I do like the foreshadowing shown. Such as after Layla has told Malachy about leaving Iran. There's still more to the story, but she isn't ready to tell it yet.
Yes, Persian, it would seem to me that it would take very strong women to wear the chador but to meet in someone's home for learning English. Isn't that a book??
I am enjoying the mix of characters in this book -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- such as many of us have encountered. The poor middle sister, Bahar, seems to be having the roughest time. Is this partly the "middle child syndrome" showing? It seems to be her nature to be negative. Poor Layla -- on the eve of the revolution she was worried that Marjan would be caught by the guards, and she, Layla would have to live alone with Bahar forever. I get the impression, also, that she is not considered as good-looking or pretty as Marjan and Layla. Layla is the beauty, Marjan has the outgoing and compassionate personality. And Bahar? Strong arms?
I wish I could help finish off your red lentil soup, Ann. Today I'm going to check my ingredients for Pomegranate soup -- I need the fresh ingredients -- parsley and cilantro. And must check my next-door neighbor's wall, but I don't think there will be mint growing here in February. Also hope the ground lamb I have is not too fatty.
I found two descriptions of Iran, as a country. Each of the authors has visited Iran often and each describes her experience there. One author lived there as a child, Elaine Sciolino and she says in "Persian Mirrors":"The Iran that I have seen is a nation that has chosen not to destroy the remnants of a 2500 year old empire but to preserve them for later. It is a place that long ago produced sensual romantic poetry that even the most austere clerics still read aloud, insisting it is about divine love, not the human varieity. It is a country whose women-even some of its most religious women-adorn themselves with make-up and jewelry behind high walls, then cover themselves in black on the streets and struggle for their rights in the most creative persistent ways. It is a state whose revolutionary system continues to defy those who proclaim its demise. It is a land whose geography, population, and quest for regional supremacy prevent it from being ignored, and that struggles, unevenly for modernity and greatness."
Then there is author, Christiane Bird who says in "Neither East Nor West":As a land bridge betwee the East and the West, Iran has been invaded countless times, by everyone from the Greeks and the Turks to the Mongongals and the Arabs, and heet nas hever succumbed completely to its conquerors. Instead, the country has coped with invasions by assimilating and adapting those aspects of the conquering cultures that it admired, such as Greek science and Chinese art, and leaving behind the rest. Says a Persian maxim: "Iranians are like wheat fields. When the storm comes, they bend; when the storm passes, they stand up again." Wrote the Greek historian Herodotus: "There is no nation which so readily adopts foreign customs as the Persians. As soon as they hear of any luxury they instantly make it their own."
These two authors have certainly defined the hearts of Iran. To me the Iranians are most evidently very flexible citizens of a country that they love.
9. What parallels do you find between Ballinacroagh's bully, Thomas McGuire, and Hossein Jaferi in Iran? What are the differences? Is Thomas McGuire’s malevolence born of evil, or is his villainy more pathetic, even humorous, perhaps? Can you think of any other parallels between the sisters’ experiences in the Irish village and revolution-era Iran?
10. Marjan, Bahar, and Layla try to protect one another from the memories of the past. Discuss the various forms in which this protection is exhibited. How is this over-protectiveness similar to events you might have experienced in your own life? Do you relate to any one sister’s methods more?
Somewhere there are some questions. I will go find them and leave you a post number. Ahh, its post #109.
While I am posting to the odor of the Red Lentil soup which is being reheated once again. My husband is on his 2nd big bowl for today. Guess I have found something new to add to my recipes.
So, Thomas summons Malachy and tells him to quit his girlfriend, Layla. Dreaming away, Malachy thinks about is future life--"He was going to catch Orion from under an Arizona desert sky and watch as Cassiopeia danced over Norwegian fjords. And he was going to do it with Layla by his side."
Here we hear about Marjan's father dying and she taking over as the head of the family. There is a little bit about the Shah and his dealings with the world, paying for all that he wanted with Iran's oil.
Ann and Mahlia, I enoyed the stories of the magical Iran. I've felt from the beginning that Pom Soup has touches of magic, such as the fragrences and their effects, the rose-bud, that we just have to accept as true. And now the old tales that you have told just seem to enhance the mystical feeling of Pom Soup. I wonder if Marsha was brought up on these tales of the magical Iran.
Haven't you before met people, particularly young people, and you wonder -- How could he/she have ever been born into that family. That certainly is true of young Malachy. His mother's a slut, his older brother's a mess, following the steps of the father, and they don't understand Malachy a bit. Poor boy, but he seems to have found acceptance with the Aminpours.
I am having trouble reconciling post-revolutionary Iran with the ancient Iran, with "bending like wheat in times of trouble and standing up tall when trouble passes." Mahlia, I guess I'm thinking of the politics, not so much the people. I think your descriptions of the women do fit that quote.
Chapter 7 begins with lavash bread
Has anyone tried the recipe? Do any of you bake bread?
I love the different kinds of bread served in Indian restaurants, do you?
However, I do not bake bread. Why (I hope someone asks)? Well, my husband requested, many years ago,
when I was a young bride, ploughing through Julia Child and other challenges, please don't bake bread!
It turns out, his mother made way too big a deal out of her homemade bread, which was one of the few things she did in the kitchen that had any great significance. So I know how to bake all sorts of deserts, but I've never made bread with yeast.
... and it ought to be a life-affirming experience, as yeast is indeed alive.
Between Marsha's recipe and Mahlia's mouth-watering description of lavash bread, I'm tempted to try. It does sound good. Is it a flat bread, Mahlia?
Love the links to the Persian food. Mahlia, I can't believe that the baklava recipe that pops up can be prepared in 35 minutes. It sounds yummy, but I know that it would take me forever. But the pom soup recipe there has now sent me on a search for dried mint, since there doesn't seem to be any growing around here right now. My big goal while we're reading this book is to make pomegranate soup. Now I can't find "yellow" split peas or tumeric.
It's fun to look for the connections between the recipes and chapters -- sort of like trying to spot Alfred Hitchcock in one of his movies. Have you found the ones for the chapters for this week -- 7, 8, and 9?
As we read Chpt. 7, 8, and 9, are you seeing some changes in any of the townspeople? And what about the personalities of the sisters? Big differences between them there. Ann raised the question of "protecting." I see Marjan doing it. What about Bahar and Layla?
Hats, good points you and Alf have made about the food in relation to the story. I love your statement "I think Marjan sees her life in the bread baking process." where each step along the way gets easier and easier. And Alf's "I felt the emphasis on leavening, lightening and the memories being "raised."" And the elephant ears being a celebration of good fortune.
The author is really emphasizing the importance of food to the Iranian family and it is fascinating, especially the elements that Ann mentioned earlier in this discussion -- about the balance of hot and cold foods, and the importance of considering the people's natures and infirmities when planning meals. How do think this compares to food preparation in the US and other places in the world? I liked the explanation of "torshi," which apparently is something pickled, but not always the same thing. You will always find "torshi" at Iranian meals. Do you have something similar, a food that accompanies all your meals?
And now, I'm going to fix a cup of tea. I wish is would be cardamon. Maybe I'll follow Mahlia and order it from Mrs. Sherlock's Iranian store.
Mahlia, I know we are all appreciating your input. Do keep it coming.
There's lots going on in Ballinacroach. Patrician Day -- in honor of St. Patrick? -- is coming up, lots of tourists in town, the citizens are putting on a play written by Father Maloney and planning a big festival to boot, complete with sales of torshi from the Babylon Cafe and other delicacies. Poor Estelle Delmonico has been in the hospital due to "heart" trouble, but now seems to be almost a surrogate mother to Marjan. Bahar's self-esteem keeps tumbling and it isn't helped by the cold shoulders she seems to get from all those around her.
And Thomas McGuire -- as our author tells us "was a lucky man, but he was the only one in town not to know it." He seems to have quite a power structure. Is this because he's a big fish in a small pond? Do you see any examples of this kind of power in your community or locale?
We haven't seen much of the tinkers, but they are there. For some reason I have likened them to gypsies, but I'm not sure that quite correct. What do you know about the tinkers. I believe they're Irish.
I've heard of "tadig" -- that crust formed on the bottom of the rice pot, but have never tasted it or made it like that. How about you.
And the Donnelly twins have exhibited compassion, shortly after planning to steal a bus. What has brought about their change of heart?
What are your thoughts about what's going on?
As you say, the world is becoming smaller. Even though there is so much negative news about Iran right now, I'm grateful to have learned more about the good things about the country -- the strength of it's women, and the good food.
And Tom the businessman would almost be a hoot, if he weren't so mean. He's afraid to damage his reputation by going into the Babylon Cafe, so he travels to other towns to note the latest in food trends. And here he is ready to open the TOM TOM Palace, Ballinacroagh's first Chinese restaurant.
I'm beginning to like the Donnelly twins. They're just kids, they like their jokes and like to shock people, but there is some goodness inside them too. What think you?
And, would you go sit on the beach by yourself, even near a small town like Ballinacroagh? But then, we're not 15-year-olds with a great big world to explore.
Hats, I think you're right about Thomas McGuire -- blames others for all his problems -- or things out of his control -- "my hand did it" as the kids used to say.
Mrs. Sherlock, one of my daughters just moved from the Bay area to Bend, Oregon. -- for six months, she says. She telecommutes to her job so can live anywhere. It will be summer before I get back to the Pacific Northwest, so I hope she's still there. I'd love to explore the area.
Mahlia, thanks again for the info about things persian. I'm looking forward to exploring the site, but must now give up the computer, as it is not mine. Also, I'm going to try to find a Persian or at least a Middle Eastern grocery while I'm here.
But first, what are your thoughts about Benny, our recently turned around physical fitness freak. Can we charge that improvement to Layla?
Your posts have really given us a background foundation for this book and I do appreciate them. The links were wonderful. I have wondered about cardamom and its properties ever since you mentioned using it for tea. How do you choose which kind you buy? Is the tea a mix of black tea and cardamom? I drink Earl Grey which is black tea mixed with bergamot. Its my favorite.
you asked about Ireland and I remembered reading Marjan's thoughts about that wonderful country as she makes Pom Soup and worries about Bahar's flight and hiding. "Surely the endless green quilted fields, separated by the tidy pilings of rock borders, were ideal coverlets for escape."I remember seeing the fields bordered by rocks in England. The author has photos of Croag Patrick at her site. Being a quilter, I like the comparison of the fields to a quilt. Makes me want to cut and sew a new one. Marsha's Photos Roll down to the lower part of the page to see her photo shoot at the mountain. Its really a small mountain and reminds me of a cute movie that I saw about an Irish village and their mountain. Maybe you have seen it. Titled: "The Man Who Went Up A Hill and Came Down a Mountain". Hugh Grant is the male star in it. There are quite a few movies that were filmed in Ireland but titles escape me for the moment. I remember one about man who worked a specific plot of ground his whole life and it was being taken from him. Another good movie about Ireland. Here's an official link to Ireland that I think you will like. Lots of pictures! Ireland
My husband has relatives in Ireland but we have never visited there. My family on both sides came from Ireland in the 1800's and settled in Indiana and Illinois. They were railroaders and farmers for the most part and seemed to be successful in their endeavors. My grandfather, on my mother's side, used quite a number of Irish sayings and language which he heard while growing up. He had a totally Irish background.
Croagh Patrick means Patrick's Mountain, the holiest mountain in Ireland, it's on coast of Mayo in the west. Sometime around 800 AD the name of Patrick was imposed on Croagh Patrick - a Christianization of an old pagan festival. The pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick takes place on the last Sunday (Reek Sunday) in July. In pre-Christian times, that was when there was a great harvest festival in honour of the god Lug.
By the way, I have tried using Pom Molasses and really like the taste. If you mix a little catsup, olive oil, Pom Molasses and Rosemary and spread it over salmon filets, then cover the dish with plastic wrap and cook it on high for 2 minutes in the microwave, its delicious. We had rice and brussel sprouts with it. Made a nice dinner! Probably not 'hot' and 'cold' correctness but tasty anyway.
I have the newest book by Feiler, titled "Where God Was Born" and hope its equal to "Abraham" and "Walking the Bible". I like the way he writes. Am looking forward to reading it soon.
Hats, I wondered too, about your question -- would the Aminpour sisters ever be able to go back to Iran without repercussions. Would it be dangerous? It must be difficult for someone in that position, they would have mixed feelings -- a country that they loved at one time, yet one that also made life very hard for them. Still it's the country of their heritage. But I can't imagine Bahar wanting to go back knowing how much her husband hated her.
In the book, the tour bus driver mentions climbing the Reek, hence, Reek Sunday. I forget why the change in name.
I think we are for the most part done with the book itself except for a few little things which I will bring up tomorrow. Had a busy day today with water classes and luncheon and a visit to the library.
Your insightful posts have been a delight. Please stay with us until Tuesday as we finish the book.
And, Alf, where have you gone. You also leave posts that are jewels.
This has certainly been a discussion that makes one want to delve deeper -- into the history of Iran, it's folklore, and most definitely it's food and accompanying customs.
Hats, I know you wanted to talk a bit more about Ireland, and this was in it's own way, also an Irish story. But I don't know that we could have done justice to both cultures in the time we had. I am glad we talked a bit about Croagh Patrick and the County Mayo. At least I feel more knowledgable about the geography of that part of Ireland.
Yes, that was how she would like to think of that particular sweetness. The myriad seedling that could only, really, be the flower of new beginnings."
Notice the mention of life going on in other's gardens. You mention of biblical gardens made me think of this ending of the book.
On another topic but of interest, I hope, I am leaving here a paragraph about Dale Chihuly's Persian period of glass blowing. I hope you enjoy it.
A link to the photo will be here somewhere.
And then this text
"This series’ title hints at associations with ancient glass styles and reflects the fusion of East and West. Historically, Venice has shown an assimilation of Persian, Byzantine and eastern ideas. When Chihuly worked at the Venini factory in Venice, he became aware of these historical ties and stylistic influences in Venetian art. Persians, with their gently fluted edges, are delicate yet powerful, and their jewel-like colors and sensuous curving forms make them some of Chihuly’s most glorious works.
And if you scroll down here you will see the old samovars, with the teapot sitting on top -- The Culture of Tea
I am glad that you all seemed to enjoy this drifting story and hope you will join us in another discussion here on Seniornet whenever you feel the need to share a book or a thought with friends.
A special thanks to Marsha Mehran, our author, for taking a chance on us and enjoying it. We are truly grateful for your gracious participation and hope you will let us know when the new book is published.