Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Happy Saturday

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

Today must have been the hottest day of the year to date. This is probably why I decided to spend two hours or two back episodes of "This American Life" pulling up morning glory, quack grass and trying to figure out what to do with a million other perennial weeds in my ppatch.

It was probably a really good day to sunscreen the back of my neck, eat breakfast and hydrate before gardening. I was famished when I got home and must have demolished everything within my wake. This is not a good way to eat brunch.

For the last six weeks I've been eating a 90% vegan diet and so far so good. I have had a few lapses into salmon, 10 year old aged cheddar and cream cheese for a bagel. There is so much you can do when you are traveling.  I'm pretty excited to keep up with this for the next six weeks.

Today we went to my parents for a pre-Mother's Day dinner that featured burgers. The vegan burgers are not cutting it for me. I'm going to have to make my own. I think sometimes it is the toppings and the crispy bun and the ritual of construction that are just as important as the meat/meat substitute as burger.

I look forward to the same meal tomorrow except tomorrow I'm bringing my own relish.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Home again

Bershon much?

I'm happy to be home for the next week or so. There is a ton of stuff to do in the garden, around the house and in my brain. I have been slowly been tackling my garden and my house but my brain and thoughts require a little housekeeping as well.

It is also Mother's Day weekend.  I argue that we should celebrate our moms every day, but these days I am even more cognizant of everything my mom has done to keep our family going and how she is strong and resilient. I'm lucky to have her as my mom.

Her desire this year is to have a simple barbecue at their house, using paper plates and cups so that there is no clean up. Most moms wish to be taken out, but my mom is happiest cooking and surrounding herself with her family. We'll give her that.

For all you moms out there - thanks for all you do.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Dinner, all ready. I'm over it.

My father knows how to make three dishes tops, which considering his age and the era in which he was raised, is pretty good.

When we were little, my father left Seattle to go to London to take a course in biomechanical engineering. He went three months earlier than the rest of us. While I missed my father, I was more worried about what he was going to eat. As far as I was concerned, the only thing he knew how to cook was ab-gusht, the Persian lamb stew with shanks, chickpeas, onions, and tomatoes -- all slow cooked to a meaty goodness. The marrow was the best part. My mom assured me that he was going to be okay.

Later, his repetoire expanded to addas katteh - rice with lentils - easy fast and surprisingly meaty and hearty and his version of piperade - a mix up of eggs, tomatoes and potatoes. I used to love watching him make it, mostly because the idea of my father cooking was so unusual. His time at home was outside, or reading and studying. I also loved this combination of flavors - except back them I did not like runny eggs. The sharpness of the tomato combined with the richness of the egg yolks and the substrate of the potato was a classic combination, little did I know my dad was not this dish's inventor, but his version was a knock out.

Piperade is very much the same classic combination of flavors -- sweet peppers and onions as a base with a touch of smoked paprika or chile powder and tomatoes added and cooked down and the crowning glory -- eggs, glorious eggs. The potatoes are addition. Most people would mop up the eggy goodness with bread -- the potatoes are just a nice addition. Ditto for adding ham to liven things up.

The recipe I used was from Chocolate and Zucchini -- I'm going everywhere these days to excite my palate. The best part is the vegetable prep can be done the day before, leaving you with only adding the egg and cooking.

My hack:

2 peppers - red pepper and yellow pepper -- sliced
1 medium onion - chopped
1 t ground chile pepper - not hot
1 T olive oil
1/2 clove chopped garlic
sea salt
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped - could used canned in the winter
sliced cooked potatoes if you have some sitting around
8 eggs

In a large heavy skillet, heat olive oil, add sliced peppers, onions, garlic and cook using low heat until everything is softened and melting - approximately 35 minutes.

Add seeded chopped tomatoes and potatoes if you have them and cook another 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn off the heat -- crack each egg, without breaking the yolks. Add each egg to the pan one by one and cook over low heat until the yolks are softly set.

Remove from heat, divide into fourths and serve with crusty bread.

Monday, December 17, 2007

coming home

Father sun, my garden, sometime in 2006.

Tonight my brother and I are picking my parents up from the airport. It is unusual for even one of us to drive to the airport to pick them up. We're not bad people, its that my parents are pretty independent souls and they are used to either picking up a car that we have left them or getting a taxi.

However, tonight my parents are coming back to Seattle forever.

Growing up we were not particularly peripatetic people. The first few years after leaving Iran, we traveled where my father could get a better position as he moved up the ladder from intern to resident to fellow to faculty. My mother continued to do whatever was needed, making friends and connections as she could, keeping us amused and out of our father's way while he studied or slept between shifts. When he realized that at the ripe age of 41 that he had to move from the University to private practice to give his family everything that he never had, he made that shift.

Even when he made that jump, he went from the University to a hospital in West Seattle that desperately needed someone with his leadership, good nature and organizational skills to bring the hospital around. My father accomplished this and then moved on with his team he had amassed to a larger hospital. He flourished in a practice at a time when medicine was not about HMOs and PPOs and they just went to work and helped people. My father left his practice at the right time, he worked hard and had a good group of doctors around him to carry on.

He wanted to garden in the sun, enjoy his days off without rain gear, he wanted to see blue skies that stayed blue and to garden in short sleeves all year around. They moved to California where they built a house that few could dream of and enjoyed it with their friends. They later decided to downsize and remodeled a house that many would still consider to be palatial. During this time, my mother and father remained upbeat, even as they had to visit their things in storage while the contractors ripped out walls and installed granite counter tops.

Last year, when my brother was offered his dream position back in Seattle, my parents decided it was time to come home. They had different requirements than they did in 70s and 90's and 00's when they did major moves, but over time we managed to find something that would work for them. It still requires time and effort to get my mother's seal of approval, but for me its perfect. It brings them within five minutes of myself and my work, near a good grocery store, a pharmacy, hair salon and close to some of their long time friends.

The last few weeks have been very emotional for my mother and father. In the twelve years they have been associated San Diego and La Jolla they have made an amazing group of friends. My mom has been involved in several large charitable organizations and my father has kept himself busy educating himself at the Salk Institute. They are losing bond to my mother's nursing school friends who are known to fly down for a the weekend to have a bbq. These people gave them a sense of adventure and spontaneity that seems to lack here. I don't know why that is, but it just feels that way. In Seattle, they have twenty seven years of memories and an extended family that cannot wait to see them, yet, it all feels so bittersweet.

I cannot explain it, but the move that is permanent means that they are now rooted here, something that cannot be moved. I hope they do not lose their sense of adventure when they come home.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

random scribblings of a tuesday in seattle

Hmm, what is new?

I went to Boston, drove to New Hampshire, went to Maine and then to New Hampshire for dinner last Friday. I would not recommend it for the faint of heart, it sucked the life blood out of me and no amount of dunkin donuts iced coffee (milk, no sugar) revived me.

I have been really really tired. My doctor and I are trying all sorts of new and exciting things, so we'll see.

TH is leaving town for Alaska! That means that E and I can eat popcorn for dinner and jalepenos for breakfast and listen to NPR all the time, well, mostly while deconstructing closets. We hope she has smooth sailing and seas. Just talking about it over dinner made me queasy. I spent a lot of time doing the same things she is about to do and I can't imagine ever doing it again. Then again, microscope work in 10' seas is always exciting.

It was hot here today. TH and I were going to Pair for dinner, but then she decided that eating outside was desirable to much adored mushroom bisque and small plates. There are very few restaurants in Seattle that are not located downtown or in a mall that have outdoor dining. Ciao Bella, located in the 98105, has a great patio (albeit on a busy street) and great vitello al limone so that worked for me. It was good, the best part was listening to the owner and his friends talking about Lazio football. TH decided that it felt truly like eating in Rome and that made her happy.

Ernest the puppy stayed home all day. He was super brave for a young basset and now is exhausted. Staying up all day to protect your home against maruding cats is hard work!

Other than that, nothing much, the published one is back in MKE, the parentals were last heard from on a train from Teheran to Mashad sharing a compartment with two meterologists. Imagine that, if only they could convey the information that their beloved daughter could talk storm surge with them...

I hope they are having a good time.

NM and her cousin emailed each other today making arrangements for our big fat greek wedding reunion. We both booked into the same hotel in Athens, isn't that wild? I tell you, great minds think alike. Now, I must perform the impossible and find a BA ticket to get me there and back with a stop over in CDG to pick up chocolate.

So, that is my wrap up. Nothing too exciting to report.

How is it going in your world?


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Heeeeeeeeeellllllllllllloooooooooo out there

Father sun, the greenhouse, Seattle, WA May 2007.

Is it something I said, or didn't?

Things here are fine. We're just wrapping up another exciting work week here. Papers are almost done and on Thursday night we're on our way to Boston and not such beautiful New Hampshire to deal with a family issue.

My family is fine, thankyouverymuch. My father met another 15 relatives yesterday and my brother has met close to 60 M&Js he had never met. Pretty cool huh?

I will just be happy when by brother texts me from Paris telling me he's okay.

I've been busy taking all sorts of pictures, you should check out my Flickr photostream and using my rss feed to see my new pics as I load them. Some are silly, some are really bad (those are the ones taken with my phone) and some are down right awesome. I'm contemplating buying a new point and shoot because TH will take the D50 to Alaska with her and goddamnit, I take pictures every freaking day.

Check out my contacts too, they take great pictures.

Well the dog is snoring, I'm ready to read something that doesn't pertain to hazard planning and scientific python and hopefully one of you will comment before too long.



Tuesday, May 08, 2007

the miracle of the mommy network

Where the mommy mafia met, from the

Today my Khaleh Mehri called me to thank me for the email I sent this morning to her son updating her on what my family was up to and where they were in their journey. I know that by sending out an email to a core bunch of my mom's friends, their kids and my family, the news will get disseminated far and wide and fast!

The mommy network is an amazing thing. I know I have written about it before. These are a group of amazing women who went to nursing school together in the 50's and still remain amazingly close friends, well, maybe more like sisters. I cannot begin to explain their bond. They laugh together, they cry together and they mourn together.

They are also amazing in their ability to run to eachother in the time of need or find the resources through their networks to make sure things are done correctly. I cannot tell you how much we benefited from K.Mehri when TH's dad needed help and we were 700 miles away.

I love them all.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

view from afar

Shemiran, north Tehran, April 2007, photo courtesy of the published one.

How I wish I could be there to see my dad see everyone again.


Monday, April 30, 2007

everything is wonderful, having the time of my life

Ribbons of chocolate. April 2007.

Not much to report. Heard from everyone, they are fine and I'm very relieved.

Vexed by spreadsheets and contemplating my career choice. I never thought my life would be ruled with such things.

I'm looking forward to a mellow week - I hope.


Thursday, April 12, 2007


Recently I have been househunting, not for myself but for my parents who are reconsidering life up North.

It has been interesting. My parents took risks in the mid 70's to buy more than they could afford at the time and to give their kids dream house to grow up in Seattle. They sold it to build a house from the ground up - a lovely place with a grand ocean view in So Cal .

They lived in that for while and then decided to downsize. It has been interesting to watch that process, they moved from about 4500 square feet to 3200 in So. Cal. plus another 900 in Seattle. It has been amazing to me to watch them pack up, move, remodel and move again four or five times in the same time I have stayed put here in the 98105.

Now, they are thinking about it again. This time they are looking for more room than they currently have, while keeping to their desire for one story home with a view, very few steps to negotiate and large entertaining spaces. It has been fun to wander the internet typing in requirements and seeing what comes up within or near my zipcode where money is less of an object than it would be for me. For now, I can drive by houses I love and think would be perfect in hopes that a for sale sign will pop up and that they will love it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

found weekend

That which is lost and found, Narcissus, March 2007.

I found a weekend and it was marvelous. I walked off my twice mechanicalized (is this a word?) flight from SEA-SAN and told them to refund my ticket and went home, no problem!

My parents suggested this. I saw them on Tuesday, I will see them again in two weeks and I really couldn't be bothered with another weekend spent away from my own bed.

TH was surprised and so was Ernest. So were the friends that TH was planning on seeing and thought that I was out of town.

It was great. I gardened, walked the boy, cooked a storm, did my eight mile training walk today, saw some great friends, caught up with some reading and enjoyed a weekend watching Spring happen here - rufus hummingbirds buzzing around, jays nesting, ducks swimming in vernal ponds and skunk cabbages in their brilliant yellow, making me smile.


Yes, I missed my peeps in the 92037, but honestly, there is no place like home.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy New Year 1386!

Narcissus, March 2006. Seattle, WA.

I'm off to surprise my father for his birthday.

He's a new year's baby and its the first No Ruz I have spent with my parents since 2002.

Here's hoping spring brings you all joy and peace.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry merry merry

Here I sit telling E.dd to leave the tree alone. Our friends R&A said unbreakable ornaments were the way to go.

I have to agree, though the tree looks funny without our normal ornaments. TH picked up some very nice birch and felt ornaments in London, but it just isn't the same.

We're all sort of under the weather here at Chez flora and flying. TH is exhausted, E.dd has the doggie sniffles and I still feel like crud.

I'm hoping a low key tonight and tomorrow will cure us. It will be the first Christmas that TH will spend totally by ourselves - no guests, no family and no 777 to london. My mom and dad are visiting long time friends in Los Angeles and my brother is in the frigid North. I will miss them, but they are in our hearts and I'm sure we'll all talk tomorrow. I will also miss a mild and often sunny Berkeley Christmas. Who knows, maybe Ernest will be a good flyer and we'll start taking him there for Christmas.

Everyone, please have a happy day tomorrow, think of your good lives, your health, your friendships - old and new and save me a mince pie will ya?


nm and e. dd

Monday, November 27, 2006

cyber monday

I have to admit, it hooked me. However, short of buying the kids very cute little flannel robes from Lands End (double miles!), everything else on the list was for moi!

Lucky me, I received a 20 buck gift cert from Lucy today (no strings attached), 15% a purchase of more than one book from the University Bookstore and found another gift card.

Good thing I procrastinated.

Did I say that it snowed? It did, Ernest is in heaven. He loves it.

His grandmere is skeptical. I believe she now wishes she had left with grandpere. However, she has cable, her art projects and food to keep her amused until we can shovel her out tomorrow.

Lucky duck.


Monday, November 20, 2006

nothing to report

of note. I feel crappy and this is a Week with a capital W. My hips are killing me and I'm behind today on my training. Yoikes.

Didn't go in for the blood draw today. Am working on liquids, thanks Z! and hopefully tomorrow am they can suck it out of me.

Other than that, E.dd's grandmere and grandpere are on their way up to Rainy Seattle to see their tiny puppy and admire all 44 lbs of him.

He's a bruiser.

Tonight, we're going out to dinner. None of us can stand to cook and whatever we eat, it is not going to be fowl.

later taters,