When my friend Kathy Puffer heard of our plans, she lent me this beautiful book by Madeleine Segall-Marx. She is a sculptor, and she spent 10 years on an anti-war art project, of which this book is a part. The project is about Listening to the Enemy, and she collected stories from 25 areas of armed conflict, and made an artwork for each one. You can see the project at www.listeningtotheenemy.com. The story for Afghanistan is told by Shabana Basij-Rasikh, who dressed like a boy and went by the name of Shaban the first 10 years of her life, so that she could attend school and walk safely in the streets. No girl should have to hide her gender in order to attend school and be safe. I feel a new appreciation for the freedom Carina enjoyed growing up. I reflect back on her early years of wearing her favorite color fuscia on frilly, girly dresses, her hair decorated with ribbons and bows put all over her head in a wild profusion of straight hair fountains,flamboyantly designed by herself. Once Carina hit her teen years, she favored earth tones and her hair developed nautral waves and curls, quite a contrast to her earlier years. How grateful I am that Carina has been free to express herself just as she wanted during her girly fuscia years to her earthtones older years without fear of judgement or violence, sadly so unlike the country of Afghanistan where Shabana grew up. I am grateful Carina has grown up in the United States, where she could be who she wanted to during different stages of her life!
Below is our menu, with links to the recipes we used, followed by a picture of a plate of food. Kale from our greenhouse garden was added to the Gulpea for a bit of fresh greens. All of the food was absolutely delicious!
Qaubili Pilau(Rice Pilaf)
Gulpea (Tender Cauliflower)
Lavand-e-Murgh (Chicken in Yoghurt)
Nan (Flat Bread)
Eid Mubarak (Baklava)
Finding the ingredients for these meals was like going on a scavenger hunt. The nan recipe called for kalonji seeds, also known as nigella, black cumin, black caraway or onion seeds. I found these seeds at the Aaoji Grocery Store in Middletown, NY. We also discovered many delicious spices, rice and dried beans which we are sure to use in future meals.
Our Cuisines from A to Z is an exciting project, which is introducing us to new cultures, tastes and stories from around the world. Join us for our Armenian adventures next week!