For My Dad…

MoreGhormehSabzi

I’m going to do things much differently this week.  And it’s absolutely necessary.  I lost someone close to me last week.  I lost someone so important to me.   You only get one parent, one mom, and one dad in this lifetime.  It’s a blessing.  But yes, all things must….

I’m heartbroken to say that I lost my dad last week.   I’m still sad, numb, grieving, overwhelmed, and in a state of disbelief.  And he passed just eight days before my birthday.

The timing is never good for these things.

This post will be seen my most on May 31st, which is my birthday.

For my birthday, his birthday, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, other family members’ birthday, and often no particular reason at all, we would share in delicious food from all over the world, and more often times than not, from our native Iran.

That hasn’t happened in quite some time, and it hurts.  And it will no longer happen in person.  That’s a hard thing to accept, but accept I will have to at some point.  I’ll have to make some kind of peace at this at some point.

However, I can still celebrate his honor and spirit by sharing with you some our favorite dishes.   He’s still with me in spirit and I know he’s watching, and I hope he appreciates the foods I’m about to share with you.  I’m sure he’s either having some of this right now, or will be shortly.  It feels weird typing this out this way.  It’s good therapy I guess, but it just feels so weird.

This is over a collection of meals, locations, and times.  Not one in particular.  I could recommend a few places in the DC and Baltimore area if you would like to contact me.  There’s a lot of good Iranian and Middle Eastern food in the area.  I’m grateful my dad and many of our family got to share in many experiences, and created some amazing memories.

I can only hope there’s more memories to come, albeit they’ll be different…

Ghormehsabzi

First up, is one of the first meals I remember as a kid, prepared by both of my parents, Ghormez sabzi.  I won’t elaborate on every ingredient, as links have been provided.  But this is an absolute gem.  The combination of beef, herbs, and dried lime may come off a bit sour or bitter at first, but that won’t last.  I loved this immediately.  I loved this more to this day.   And I particularly love it that much more today.

Morgh&Tahdig

Next, is Zeresh Polo Morgh, or more specifically just Morgh, in this case. This is a favorite of both of my parents.  It took me years later to appreciate chicken off the bone.  And in the last few years, I would prefer it when ordering food with my dad.  Something about the taste off the bone is such a great contrast to simple pieces of grilled (more on that shortly) chicken.  Both are great, but there’s something about it this style of chicken I now love so much.   The carrots, tomato sauce, and potatoes are the perfect complement to this.  Whoever invented this recipe is a genius.

Bademjan&Gheymeh

What you see with that is the Tahdig (crispy rice) next to it and in the picture below is Gheymeh, which goes with the Tahdig, or goes fine just by itself.  Ah such memories of piling at Gheymey on top of that crispy greatness.  It’s the perfect appetizer, or an amazing dinner all by itself.  Even if you don’t love Persian food, Tahdig is univerally loved.

The Bademjan, is another one that took a long time to grow on me.  But now I find eggplant to be divine and a joy to eat.

Another favorite of mine, which is traditionally eaten at Nowruz, which is Iranian New Year (First Day of Spring).  is the Ash reshteh.  The melange of noodles, beans, lentils, and chick peas is perfect for the cold winter months.  During the summer it may not feel right, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s what feels right to you.

whitefish&kuku

To go along with Nowruz is the kuku and whitefish.   I mean what else needs to be said.  You might be able to tell that the kuku is egg based and it’s glorious.  I’m craving everything I’m writing about, right now.

Kababs

I would be foolish to leave out the kababs, so there you go.  Koobideh makes everyone happy, and so does grilled chicken, onion, and tomatoes.  I know right?

The pastries is the one I’ve shared with friends and pals.  I’ve been requested to bring baklava, bamiyeh, jalebi, and all these other delights to parties and gatherings.  Who am I to say no?  I’ve also had friends request it if I ever stop by a store and I’m happy to oblige.

These are the memories that I love.  Food brings people together.  And it bonds us like not many other things do.  I’m grateful I shared so many experiences with my dad, and now hope to share new memories with family, friends, and of course my dad in spirit.

Every story was different, yet me might have shared the same exact dish.  But not everything is going to be same, or what’s the fun in that?

ghormehsabzi2

Our moods may have been different each time, different company may have joined here and there, the soul and spirit behind the food can vary, yet the constant was me my father.

I’ll miss that.  I know he’s still here,  I know somewhere he’ll be reading it.  I know he’s now relaxing and at peace.  I think he was at peace for a while, but not it’s all official, and that just feels weird.  But it’s time.

Everyone will have their time.But for now it’s time appreciate the ones we love, we care about and adore, whether it’s family, friends, our pets, or anything that raises our spirits.   Surrounding ourselves with the best spirits makes us better ones as well.

I’m so grateful I had one of the best spirits of all, my father.  He was a great a man, he was the man,  I love him and miss him so much.

I know I’ll see him and dine with him again soon.

I love you dad.

Ideen

Wegmans, A Place For Friends

wegmans

Or maybe a place for pals, if that’s more to your liking.  I sure do love Wegmans.   I think I visited my first one, when it opened up in Hunt Valley, MD about 10 years ago.  Originating nearly 100 years ago from Rochester, New York, they are growing in popularity and locations.   If you’ve been inside, you know it’s like the Disney World of food stores.  But, It’s more than just that.  It’s a place of joy, inspiration, and happiness.  And of course it’s a place where plenty of wonderful things can be purchased.   Let me not get too carried away here.  The heck with it, let’s have fun. It’s time to evoke emotions.

Anything you want to go, is here; from sandwiches, sushi, salad, soup and of course the hot bar with international foods from all over this wonderful planet.  But this is a pizza blog.  Time to make moves.

I must say, I love their cheese, white, and pepperoni pizza.  Perhaps in the future I will review those.  I will just say they are great.   And there will be more posts regarding Wegmans pies soon.

The specific store I visited for this installment was at Boulevard At Box Hill in Abingdon, MD.

This post will be about the Chef’s Creations, and they are constantly changing :

Slice #1 : The Bacon Cheese Blue Cheeseburger (pictured at the top of this post, on the left) : Oh my goodness.  This was heavenly.   I find their pizza dough to be exquisite.  It’s cooked in their ovens to perfection.  It wasn’t too crunchy nor too soft either.  It tasted like I was eating a naan or pita bread.  And that’s how their dough has resonated with me.  And the mozzarella and blue cheese melted together, with the bacon and hamburger meat is an incredible combination.   Phenomenal stuff.

Slice #2 : The Spinach Ricotta (pictured on the right) : Well something went wrong here.   I could tell it was siting on the tray for a while, as it was starting to look a bit old.  The pizza tasted great, but the crust was too crunchy.  The ingredients were great but needn’t have been out this long. I won’t fault the store, but I will fault time.  It just felt like eating potato chips.

But this will not discourage me from coming back.  In my opinion, they have some underrated pizza.  Maybe because it’s a grocery store and not a specific place to get an amazing slice or pie.  I will be returning and hope to bring another inspirational take on the Wegmans experience.  And with more pictures.

Best,

Ideen