Armenian herbal tea

This would be chapter 3 of our series – ‘Culinary Experiences’ for journaling some of the best ambrosial culinary experiences, be it the finest cordon bleu delights of a master chef, cultural intricacies discovered in a bowl of an exquisite delicacy or a cheesy experimental simmer at our little kitchen, we are trying to scribe it here.

In July 2019, we tried a variant of Armenian tea. Herbal tea is very popular in Armenian culture. Mkhitar Heratsi, the founder of Armenian Classical medicine is known to have proposed different herbs for several common ailments. In some of his works highly revered in Armenian history,  he has outlined recommendations on using rose, violet, lily, nunufar, sorrel, watercress, basil, asparagus, among wild plants capers and thyme to cure infectious-allergic diseases.

The tea we tasted was very subtle and had a herbal feel to it. We had it after a heavy meal and it felt very luscious on the taste buds. There’s a famous saying in Armenia – “The higher is the mountain the better the herbs are”. Armenia is known for its mountainous terrains and these herbs predominantly grow on hillsides and they are used extensively for tea. I could find lot of variants in Armenian markets with some of them being thyme, chamomile, pomegranate flower, and rosehip teas. They have a rich and profuse tea tradition rooting back to thousands of years.

 

 

Nthree

This is Ep 2 of our new series – ‘Culinary Experiences’ crafted with an unpresuming intention for journaling some of the best ambrosial culinary experiences, be it the finest cordon bleu delights of a master chef or a cheesy experimental simmer at our little kitchen, we are trying to scribe it here.

Although I had tried a takeaway before, this was my first experience visiting Nthree , a cozy cafe at University city, Sharjah. It’s a Kuwaiti restaurant managed by Chef Khaled Al-Saad.



They mostly serve Arabic food and have some Kuwaiti delicacies such as Al-Majabis, Mmoush, Educators, Mutabeed Zabeedi, and Al-Hamsat in their culinary arsenal, which we didn’t experiment with. We tried chicken machboos which has a slow-cooked chicken with sweet lentils and aromatic rice. We tasted Bechamel as well which is basically cheese with pasta, minced meat, and Béchamel sauce. A béchamel or white sauce is one of the classic French “mother sauces” that form the basis of much French cuisine. It’s used since the seventeenth century in French delicacies.

[ Location ]

Previous Eps.
A piece of happiness

flow.

Don’t force anything. What flows will flow. What’s meant for you will be for you.

Above photograph captured by Netta from Pondicherry beach, 2017.

Red mermaid Netta in the above one, Pondicherry, circa 2017.

interpretive

A photograph of a world traveler that I took on a visit to Princess Islands in Istanbul. Remembering the words of Eliott Erwitt that “Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” She was delightfully surprised at the seagull glancing at her through the ferry window. The year is 2014.

“ Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but black and white films still hold an affectionate place in my heart; they have an incomparable mystique and mood.”

― Ginger Rogers

Six months to live | Notes

Almost two weeks went in a blink. I couldn’t pen anything for the past two weeks. My mind was overly occupied with other professional and personal stuff that didn’t yield the notes of composure and poise that I specifically need when I write at this place. It’s like a small personally curated garden of thoughts at the border of my mind. I put my heart and soul into every little word, graphic and theme that you find inscribed here.

While looking at some of the old files on the network, I stumbled across this old book I read at school. This came out somewhere in 2001. So we are talking about a book that I read circa 18 years old!


The publisher Plough summarizes the theme of the book as below:

“I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. If I could choose not to have cancer, and continue my life as it was, I wouldn’t do it.” – Matt Gauger.

You’re twenty-two, in love, and just starting a career. The last thing you’re worried about is the purpose of life (whatever that means) and when you’re going to die. If you think about such things, you certainly don’t talk about them.

With his sociable personality and love of music and basketball, Matt had plenty of friends but didn’t really stand out from the crowd. Then, a month before his wedding, he was diagnosed with cancer. Six months later he was dead. But Six Months to Live isn’t really about dying. It’s the story of how Matt and his family and friends struggled to accept his suffering, and how it changed each of them. It’s about facing (rather than avoiding) life’s most important questions, and – instead of going through the motions – living life to the full.”

Among the books of similar themes, I’ve come across, what rapted me is how positively death was faced by the young man and the pragmatic and inspiring support system of his family and community he had embraced.  The 13-year-old me who read it 18 years ago still remembers this takeaway. True stories like this truly inspire me. If we think about it, this sort of support system is what makes our lives truly memorable. That’s some real wealth and fortune if we are blessed with it.

anamnesis.

/ˌanəmˈniːsɪs/. The title of this post is from the late 16th-century Greek word anamnēsis related to ‘remembrance’.

Clouds and sunset light playing a symphony of art in a winter evening at Sharjah, UAE. November 2019.

“A lot can happen in a year. People die. You outgrow old friends and get tired of mundane jobs. New careers come. New friends find your soul. But no matter what, you grow, you lose your mind a bit and most importantly you get a little wiser. Your circle gets smaller because you get stricter with your energy and time, If you are really lucky, you’ll find love inside yourself, inside of friends and family, and just maybe the universe will bless you with a lover that laughs at your really lame jokes.” .S. Mcnutt

Netta shared this recently and it resonates well. Regardless of where we belong and what we do, it’s worth to have a reminiscence of what changed in one year. Need not be always the specific things mentioned in the above quote. It can be anything and could be even related to how you respond to situations, your thought process, the way you plan things, the priorities you weight in on, people you engage and rely on, the general attitude towards events, etc. For me, personally, I believe it has been by and large about stepping back and striving to be more thoughtful in my responses, not to be too impulsive in general terms, making time for building this site by putting in more content and sharing writings, trying to be more positive, being diplomatic and to have a cohesive spirit of togetherness in responses, setting compassionate boundaries, and an earnest attempt to be more professional and objective in my professional assignments. This may be, also one of the years where some personalities whom I admire for their creative pursuit and passion had the biggest influence in me in terms of the time I spent and also the actions they actuate in all that I do. It was also the year when Genie’s cove was set up with Netta by my side, slowly building our little space and being truly grateful for the we-time. Let’s see what next year turns out to be, God willing.