Category Archives: Memories & Events

Remembering scents

Sensory cues are powerful mediums for setting moods and evoking emotions because they possess within themselves the magical quality of carrying small pockets of memories across time and space -memories inhabited by peoples, places, and events; memories which might be pleasant or sad; familiar or rare.

To me, the scent of cinnamon and apple promises the prospect of baking in a cozy kitchen on a beautiful cool autumn day.  The scent of old vinegar, when trapped in a cabinet, always transports me back in time to my childhood when I visited my aunt’s old house and held my breath while playing seek and hide in her food storage lined with tens of “torshi” ceramic jugs. Read more »

Beautiful BC indeed!

I finally got to travel to Vancouver after so many years of residing in Canada and so many attempts to go and visit there. The nature and the city is diverse, lively and just magnificent!  Here is a small sample of what I captured through my lenses At: Suspension Bridge, Granville Island, Victoria Ferry, Butchart Garden, Sea to Sky gondola and trail, Whistler Village, Stanley Park, English Bay Beach and more!

… and a very short video

Some of Vancouver’s (urban) Nature from Afsaneh Hojabri on Vimeo.

Bushehr, the city of fish & warmth

I miss Bushehr, the seaport where in my parents were born and my family’s heritage is anchored. Read more »

Dubai, a vertical mosaic

Rugag bread in the making

About three decades ago, I spent ten days in a small town in the Fars province, called Laar.  I was visiting my eldest sister, who was living there temporarily to teach English to high school students.  The tall, talkative old landlady who had rented one room in her big house to my sister was called Madar-e Fazlollah.

She made me an unforgettably unique and delicious breakfast from an egg and some bread she baked on a small taveh–a flat, sometimes slightly curved, round iron griddle.  By the time my sister left for work each morning, Madar-e Fazlollah had already made her quick and sloppy run of daily sweeping around the house.  She then settled on a short stool in front of a stand-alone oil burner, topped by her taveh, in the middle of her large, walled yard under a four-story-tall palm tree.

She placed a small round of dough in the middle of the hot taveh and swiftly flattened it with her bare fingers.  She then broke an egg onto the baking bread.  A few seconds later she tucked the two sides of the bread tightly together, turned the wrap over for a few more seconds, and removed it from the taveh.  It took only a couple of minutes (and 85 years of experience) to produce the delicious wrap, with the thin bread and scrambled egg artfully blended together.

Madar-e Fazlollah called the dish ni-na-noo. I never ate that food in Iran again, nor did I ever hear its name. Amazingly, however, I came across it once again just recently while I was visiting “Global Village” in Dubai, where local women were baking and selling “Rugag bread’ as they call it on the spot.  As soon as I recognized the dish, I asked women’s permission to film the process and felt so emotional just standing in the crowd, watching them and tasting a very remote memory, while actually being accompanied by a dear friend of my youth.

(Partly, Excerpted from my book, A sip, a bit a mouthful)

Fall in the air

 

 @My_Caldron. Quebec: Ile Bizard, Rigaud, Oct. 2014
… and a good music to listen to:

Facebook notice

My dear friends,

As you might have noticed, I have a face book page for this blog which until recently was used for the sole purpose of reflecting the contents of this blog. Over the past few months however, I have increased my facebook page activities.  I first started with sharing interesting articles, or photographs on food cultures around the world, as well as innovative cuisine from other blogs – the kind of entries that did not have room in my blog but certainly was worth sharing.

Presently, I am also sharing in my facebook page, my own posts as well. These entries are very “short and sweat” so to speak, like a quick tip on how to make walnuts look and taste fresh, here; or a nice picture of Iris in bloom and what they represent, here. These entries are occasional, and might be temporary; I need to share them but they are not “big” or “deep” enough in my mind to occupy a blog space.

Anyhow, I just wanted to keep you posted of the recent development in case you did not know.  BTW, you could always follow me there, by liking my page 😉

 

 

Welcome Summer!

I love the way we, mostly in North American cities, try to make the most of summer by skipping the whole Spring season and calling it “summer” as soon as the temperature raises to  18 C .  After a bitter cold and painfully long winter we have all reasons to rush into summer –especially as the rumor has is we have a short one here in Montreal this year. Well, already boots are out (thanks heaven!) sleeveless out; lots of color out on the streets, shops, gardens, parks, lots of warmth inside and out; And of course a lot of moments to be captured! Have a fun and eventful summer!  (See More Pictures Below!)

Read more »

Montreal’s Rayan Fish

Rayan is a one of my favorite fish restaurants of Middle Eastern origin in Montreal.  It is unique in its simplicity though:  You order the fish or any type of seafood from the counter, tell the cook if you want it to be fried, bar be cued, or grilled, and then will be seated in the restaurant section and wait for your food to arrive. Usually the service is very fast.

Now, the location as well as well as the restaurant’s atmosphere is very plain and simple – no fuss, no fancy dishes, no décor, no alcohol beverages. The idea, one should know in advance, is to enjoy a fresh, fast and delicious seafood at a very reasonable price. The range of the food is amazing –  generally, fried everything is more delicious: fried basa, fried calamari are REALLY good.    I also love their grill shrimp (garlic seasoned) and grilled octopus.  Green salad is amazing and fries are always hot, fresh  and so tasty. Read more »

Happy Norooz!

This year’s Norooz ‘hot music: Ajam – Bayram / عجم – بایرام  and my last years’ video clip about Persian new year,  updated for this year 😉 eyed shoma mobarak!