Monday, January 19, 2015

An evening in Persia

                              Above: the map of Persia looks like the body of a cat.

I met a lady from Persia who lives in the neighborhood where I stayed, and she invited us to a Persian dinner. She did not begin the preparations til I arrived because she wanted me to see how she prepared the food. 

We were treated to a cup of Persian tea, which is made in pot, heated, and then removed. It was delicious.

She made a point of telling me she had a Persian cat.  She said Iran is ancient Persia and it was a mistake to change the name to Iran. As I had read a lot of ancient history with my children in homeschool, I was a little familiar with Persian history and one of my hobbies is to read about Persia and other ancient spots, especially those mentioned in the Bible.

We were served water in the glasses, which looked blue when we drank it, because of this special Persian glassware with a blue stem. This blue is common in Persian dinnerware.

This is the beginning of the dish called Fahgit, which means "from the bottom of the pot" and is laid on a bed of rice, also cooked in olive oil in the pot.

When Persians have guests, the table has a lot of food on it. The seasonings they use are salt and pepper. Nothing mysterious about that.

Her other guests were also Persian and they spoke Farsi to each other.  They told us Persia was in the shape of a cat, and by that shape they were able to point to the Mountain ranges and cite the different climates of the area.

I have a colossal amount of photos from the evening and will post more later.  Our hostess has written a book bout her family which will be published soon and I will post that too.  She said that Hospitality in Persia is famous.

I wish I had known her earlier so I could spend more time with her but now we will see each other on our blogs, email and skype.

The Persian men kept a hearty conversation going with my DH, as he has just preached a sermon that mentioned the existence of many Chriatians in the nation of Persia in the past and knew where some of these people met for worship.

More dinnerware from Persia, which she uses constantly. "I will show you how much more delicious and special a plain dessert like arisen bread looks when it is presented on this Persian crystal plate," she said.

The older man gave a blessing at the table which was in essence a blessing to us that God would bring us peace and safety and provision.

Rice steamed with a saffron.

Hot tea is served in  a tall narrow glass cup.

A gift from the Persians to us has a pictorial message. Can anyone figure it out?  I cannot find the piece of paper that I wrote on with the symbolism.
غذای خیلی خوبیه ghazaaye kheili khoobiye 
خیلی خوبه kheili khoobe 
When you want to thank from a food in Persian, you should say دستتون درد نکنه ، خیلی خوشمزه بود dastetoon dard nakone, kheili khoshmaze bood. (thank you, that's very delicious) and he/she answer نوش جان "nooshe jaan" means "bon appetite!" or "Enjoy your meal". 


JES said...

This was interesting to me as my husbands grand-parents grew up in Persia. They taught us a few words and share amazing stories! It makes one so thankful for what has been given to us in our nation. They lived there at the time of the Shah...

Shani said...

I just love this article; thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with us, Lady Lydia. I look forward to your next post sharing more photos of this, and wondered if you would share the book title and your new friend's blog with us?

I'm so glad to see you enjoying your visit, and I hope that you and your DH continue to have safe travels until you are once again home.

Warm Regards,

Julian said...

What an interesting day! I have always been interested in the middle east. We used to have Arab neighbors when I was a child. I like the dishes and I'm sure the tea was delicious. Thankyou for sharing!

Anonymous said...

what a lovely time Lydia... the food looks delicious :D mari

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

One of our favorite restaurants in the area is a Persian one, called Hanks. I love the mast o'khiar and Shirazi salad.

One of my all time favorites is Gheymeh which is yellow split peas in a saffron sauce with onions and beef over fluffy rice.

They have a wonderful ambiance and great food. Glad you got to experience it.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful opportunity. I think the stemware and dishes are very pretty. I had my first persian dinner about 3 months ago. The smells and tastes were unique and delicious. I also saw on Rick Steves Europe DVD's that Iran is indeed very hospitable. They serve beautiful meals and encourage fellowship. Kelly

Lydia said...

Yes I watched the Rick Steve's pbs travel program
N Persia and loved it. The Persians told him they are not Asian, not Arabic, not East Indian but Persian only, an ancient nationality that existed at the time of Abraham.

anonymous said...

I'm so glad you got an opportunity to meet and even have a meal with your Persian friends.
They are interesting people. I once worked at a bakery owned by a young Persian man. He taught me to make chocolate eclairs and baklava.

I like the pretty glassware and dishes on the table. The food looks so inviting and delicious.

Looking forward to seeing more of your photos. Thank you for sharing.

Janet Westrup.