What I'm up to
  • Oxo Good Grips Small Wooden Spoon
    Oxo Good Grips Small Wooden Spoon

    everyone needs these, many of them.

  • Mauviel Cuprinox Style 8-inch Round Frying Pan
    Mauviel Cuprinox Style 8-inch Round Frying Pan

    Scarily, I can say I have enough copper. Not many people can utter those words.

  • Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French Oven, Red
    Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French Oven, Red
    Le Creuset

    The same thing could be said for Le Creuset, but still. Great for braising and soup making.

  • The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century
    The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century
    by Amanda Hesser
  • Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet, 13 X 18 X 1
    Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet, 13 X 18 X 1
    Nordic Ware

    What did I do before I started using this half sheet? Cry.

flora and flying. Get yours at bighugelabs.com



If you have come here from floraandlfying -more rantings from me, I hope you like it here. We're in the start up phase of operations - so the more I hear from you now, the better.  I hate change orders in the middle of a project. Really!

 I will never promise to be the go to source for anything, nor will I profess that my take on Persian cuisine is correct.  What I say here is about me, my family (with their permission) and my desire to learn all the things that my mom did magically in the kitchen while I was watching the Rockford files and doing my algebra homework.  Later, my excuse for coming over, getting something to go and leaving would be a meeting or a work deadline.

Those meals are some of the best meals of my life.  Those meals are meals that are made with love.  Those are meals I want to recreate at home.  The aroma of steaming rice and a simmering stew when you walk in the door of my parent's house is something that is not be missed.  There is something very complex in the nature of Persian food I have yet to completely understand. 

I hope the next few months we'll all learn something.


What is with the name?

Banamak – pronounced "Baw-nahm-mac" , is literally translated to mean with salt. In colloquial terms, banamak means cute.  Silly name? Well, for a project that weaves food, culture, photos and snippets of one family’s stories, it works.  Life is full of salt – the salt of tears, the salt my mom uses to season food and the salt of many oceans crossed to get us here.

Incidentally, the opposite of  banamak is binamak pronounced "bee-nahm-mac" – which translates to without salt. If you are a dull boring person, you are binamak. You really don’t want to be known as a person that is binamak.

My parents came to this country with formal English language skills– the type of language training used by health professionals but wasn’t peppered with idiomatic  English.  When my parents met two nurses outside their apartment building in Chicago and they commented on how cute I was, my parents simply nodded and thanked them.  They immediately went back upstairs to look up the meaning of the word “cute”.  Relieved that it didn’t mean that I would eventually spend the rest of my life with a bag over my head,  they went off with their day. The word means a lot of to me.  It is symbolic of an event  that brought my parents closer to a foreign culture that they jumped in with feet first. 

On occasion, I am still considered banamak.



why here? why now?

In 2005, I started a blog.  I blogged about all sorts of things - travel, my relationship, work, food and  the same themes kept on reappearing.  I traveled too much, I ate a lot of good food, I loved to cook, I love my family and my TH, and I really was not happy at my job.

However, let's not get into that shall we?

In the last six months, I have been doing a lot soul searching without traveling the world in search of pasta, prayer or love, trying to determine how to make my life less miserable and keep those near me from not killing me.  I have toyed with many ideas,  and short of rearranging all the books in the house and learning to knit - I have decided that maybe I should devote a little time to learning something useful.

What is that you ask?

I would like to learn how to cook from my mom.  All my life, I have cooked like a fiend, but for some reason I have yet to master the art of persian cooking.  I love the food I grew up with, but when its around you all the time, it is something you take for granted.  These days, I realize you just can't do that - things change, people move on and history is lost. 

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