When our friend Ina Braun makes a recommendation on any subject, I listen. I even follow through sometimes. Over lunch the other day, Ina mentioned Radio Cherry Bombe, a podcast about women and food.
Two episodes in, and this interview with Yasmin Khan really got me.
Khan is the author of The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen. Her background as a human rights activist and career switch to become a food writer are covered in a lively, smart conversation with host Kerry Diamond, who has one of the best radio voices I’ve heard in a while.
Their talk started my brain zipping with connections: to Persiana, by Sabrina Ghayour, and a 2015 trip to Peckham, with our late friend Belinda Boaden, to gather all the exotic-to-me spices and ingredients. (Some of which (hello, dried limes) remain sealed in mason jars in my kitchen, and some of which I’ve replaced again and again to make my favorite one-pot tagines and salads from my Belinda-annotated copy of that great book.) My thoughts also flew to Persepolis, the book and the film, which made such a deep impression on my then-middle school girl, and on me.
It didn’t hurt that this episode of the Cherry Bombe podcast started off with a chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Cherry Bombe Cookbook that I absolutely must try. It sounded like it’s a worthy addition to my short list of Unexpected (Great) Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes:
- Julia Moskin’s Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Heidi Swanson’s Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Belinda was a daily cook, and if she liked a new cookbook, she would work her way through the whole book, following her curiosity. If I wanted to join in (even vicariously, for the most part), she’d annotate a copy for me, with sticky notes giving her commentary on the recipes she’d liked, or her neighbors had made, etc. (This is a great present, by the way: annotate a new copy of a beloved cookbook for a friend.)
I haven’t gotten a new cookbook since Persiana. It feels like time, and these two look promising. I’m hungry!