On Thursday, I was very lucky to be able to see Donia Bijan at the Redwood City Public Library. I missed her book tour last fall when Maman’s Homesick Pie was first released. I was glad to get another chance.
Maman’s Homesick Pie is part memoir, part Persian/French cookbook and partly an ode to her ever supportive and loving mother. Since there are so few memoirs of Armenians who have left Iran for California, I try to grab as many Persian memoirs in the field as I can.
Last night was a special treat, because Donia wasn’t there to talk about her book. She was there to discuss the Persian New Year of Norouz and explain how it is celebrated. She went over the Haft-seen (the table display of seven items that begin with the letter S), the big picnic held on the 13th day of the new year, and of course the meals.
Donia discussed stories of her family, her childhood, and her mother, touching lightly upon the topics in the book, but mostly discussing new stories. The good news is that she is currently working on her next book, but the sad news is that I didn’t get a chance to ask her if it was another memoir or if it would be a cookbook, because I’d love to have either. Her recipes are the same ones that my mom makes, but are also the ones that I can never replicate because the instructions just don’t carry over well. I can also happily say that Donia provided all of my favorite Persian cookies as a gift for the audience. I believe she made the cookies herself. =) Food + Books = Awesome.