The dining room looked festive and welcoming with twinkling backyard lights draped from the ceiling and freshly cut dahlias and tea lights adorning the tables. The serving table was laden with colorful bowls of Iranian delights such as chicken, pomegranate and squash stew (Fesenjan), Persian crusty saffron rice (tahdig), a fantastic herbed frittata (kuku), eggplant dip (mirza ghasemi), a beautiful tomato and cucumber salad, creamy raita, and plenty of pita bread. To top off this wonderful feast, we all enjoyed a delicious apple crisp adorned with whipped cream with a hint of rose water.
Many of the ingredients for our dinner were local to Fishers. Lily collected baskets of heirloom tomatoes from her Aunt Jessie’s garden. She also tapped Aunt Jessie’s hens for about a dozen eggs that were used in the kuku. Mint came from Mary Burnham’s garden and the basil and parsley came from Hay Harbor. The delicious watermelon and the beautiful dahlias also came from Hay Harbor. Thank you Dave Denison! The apples in the apple crisp came from the apple trees at the Fishers Island School.
Lily and Armen did a fantastic job cooking together. Lily has graduated from the Ballymoloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. She is awaiting her visa to move to Wales, where she will be working on a farm making a very particular cheddar cheese. We are fortunate she has decided to spend her time on Fishers while the wheels of diplomatic travel permissions move slowly. Lighthouse Works Fellow Armen is a poet and a writer, as well as a PhD candidate at Stanford University. He currently lives in the Bay Area but was raised in Iran also happens to enjoy cooking. We are delighted that he wanted to share his families’ special recipes with us. Claudia DeSimone from Lighthouse Works put on her apron and pitched in to help with lots of cutting and chopping. Thank you Claudia!
We at the Community Center were so pleased that we could bring all this together for our community. Thanks to everyone who contributed, helped, and most importantly, came to dinner!
If anyone wants the recipes, please contact us and we’ll be happy to send you the links.