Last night our little house was full of happy people, eating the Persian vegetarian meal I had spent the past two days preparing, talking, laughing, and getting to know each other.
My publisher, Karen Kelsey Davies and her husband Peter, attended, and I think felt very comfortable. My yoga teacher, Bob, put in an appearance, though my other yoga teacher, Denise, couldn't make it. The rest of the crowd consisted of friends old and new, but they all got along famously.
I made the dinner vegetarian out of respect for my yoga teacher Denise and her husband, Ray, who will not eat at a place where meat is served. But no one felt a lack.
I made saffron rice with dill and lima beans and a yogurt spinach accompaniment, an eggplant kookoo (a sort of Persian frittata), loaded with herbs and roasted eggplant, Persian noodle soup, made with loads of mint, parsley, spinach, garlic, and roasted noodles that gave the soup its name. It was garnished with caramelized onions with mint and kashk, a kind of strained and thickened yogurt.
I had gone to the nearby Persian market that morning to pick up herbs and a freshly baked loaf of flatbread, wrapped in brown paper and slung over the push bar of the cart. It tortured me all the way through the market and during my ride home, just having to smell the thing without eating it up entirely.
I also made a couple of salads, shirazi salad, made with crisp Persian cukes, red onions, seeded tomatoes, parsley, mint, olive oil, and sweet lemon juice. Yum. I ate it for breakfast again this morning, a breakfast I far prefer to the usual.
The other salad was roasted tricolor peppers, in a dressing of olive oil and white wine vinegar with garlic. But I forgot to bring it out. It made nice eating today, since it was 90 degrees!
I sold 3 or 4 books, which was nice too!
After most of the guests had left, the rest of us sat around the table, and I read some of the poems. People requested particular poems they wanted to hear, following in their copies. That was fun! As was thinking up novel ways to sign the books to fit each person.
I hope I get to have another launch at the synagogue because there is no way I could fit that crowd in my house!