Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Carrot jam reminds me of Shamsi

I got this carrot jam at the middle-eastern grocery store. It’s about 45 miles away but I go there every other week. They have everything I need to make a proper Persian meal. Yep, my husband is from Iran. Rather than get into the political ramifications about all of that I will tell you that he graduated from university here in the states, Utah in fact. He is pretty Americanized but he loves all the things his mother Shamsi cooks. Don’t all men love what their mothers cook?

Shamsi has been out to visit about 4 times. I can not be exactly certain how many times she has really been here because I tend to get a little “drinky” when she comes out here. You see she stays a very long time, eight months last time. Usually it is about 6 months. It all becomes a sort of haze after 3 months. I do love her, but I love my hubby more.

Anyway, she is a wonderful cook and loves to make jam. She is the original domestic goddess of the Middle East. At 70-something, Shamsi wouldn’t learn a single syllable of English, so I learned to speak Farsi. I am such a Chatty Cathy. I always loved how she put on a pretty blouse and fresh lipstick when my hubby came home from work.

Whenever we have carrot jam I think of Shamsi stirring her little pot of jam simmering on the stove while wearing her black cashmere sweater over her housedress. The Persian ladies like their fashion you know. She would spend all day simmering jam while she sat and crocheted.

Carrot jam is light and sweet. It has only shredded carrots, sugar and a little vanilla. Shamsi used to put Cardamom in her recipe. Don’t be afraid to try it. If you have an international grocery store you should stop in and try new things. Jam is a good safe place to start.

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