We've seen the first baby lambs...twin ones. Cute...or what? Everything is having babies, budding and blossoming.
There were three whole days to ourselves at the weekend to catch up with decorating. Mostly bright, bright sunny days. I'd lost part of the kitchen again but it meant that the bathroom was getting completed, walls plastered and sink fitted. A couple of coats of paint, then half a day making the front room into a temporary workshop. I am determined the kitchen won't get eaten up again.
We sanded and undercoated and painted, and things are moving on bit by bit.
A friend popped around Sunday afternoon with a sweet gift of fragrant rose and pomegranate bath oil made with damask rose, patchouli leaf, cedar-wood and bergamot; with organic pomegranate and apricot oil, from this lovely shop. It proposes to restore a peaceful balance to mind and body.
It certainly did something. Don't you think it sounds like the scent of a lake where Minnehaha might have bathed? Stepping into the warm perfumed water for a soak with a Mallen streak of white paint in my dusty hair and the last few pages of a novel to read, I didn't notice the unfinished shower or tools piled in the corner.
Ahmad has been putting me to shame, cooking much more than I have this week. He made Fesanjoon (or Fesanjan) which is Persian chicken cooked in a walnut and pomegranate sauce. It's probably one of the easiest Persian dishes to cook and yet somehow always seems one of the most luxurious. But you do really need to get traditional Pomegranate Molasses to get the authentic taste, a mildly sweet/sour flavour.There's a link below with information about where you may be able to find it.
To make generous servings of Fesanjan for four people you will need the following ingredients:
- A small free-range chicken that has been skinned and jointed, or a chicken portion per person
- 200-250g of finely ground walnuts
- Pomegranate molasses. Lots of supermarkets now stock this or you can find it in most middle-eastern deli's or on-line.
- One large or two medium sized onions, chopped finely.
- Mildly flavoured oil like groundnut for frying
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fry the onion in a little oil until golden brown but not quite caramelised.
- Add the chicken portions and brown
- Add the ground walnuts and fry for a further couple of minutes, stirring all the time to ensure that the mixture doesn't stick and burn.
- Cover all the ingredients with boiling water, remembering that this will be cooking for at least and hour, so add enough.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Add a some of the pomegranate molasses to liquid and give it a good stir. It should look pale to mid golden brown at this stage. Like in the image below.
- Cover the pan and simmer for a long time until the liquid has reduced and the sauce is much darker in colour. A heavy cast iron pan is ideal for making this. So that it can be left to leave simmering for at least an hour. Maybe two or more. Checking every so often to ensure that it doesn't stick.
- The sauce should be sweet/sour and dark brown once cooked. This will depend on the quality of the molasses syrup you use. You may like to add a little runny honey while it continues to cook if it's too sour. Some recipes ask for sugar but I think that you can taste the sugar in the food. Honey somehow melds in more easily and becomes part of the flavour. It's up to your own taste but it should have a lovely sweet/sour flavour but not overly so...delicious.
I wonder if there is a whisper of spring in your neck of the wood yet...
joining with Karen for weekends