Sunday morning, 10:30 am.
The meat (beef stewing cubes, $4:87 from Superstore) and soaked pinto beans are boiling merrily. I have chopped the onions and they are sizzling in a frying pan. Time to add the dried herbs –ghormeh sabzi for Sunday lunch, Monday supper, and hopefully Tuesday as well.
I start looking for the ghormeh sabzi herbs. I know I have a huge package somewhere. I blogged about it sometime ago. I open the cabinets, and peek into bags. No- this is purple cow-tongue flower for herb tea. No- dried mint. No- esfand, a kind of incense burnt to keep the evil eye away and set smoke alarms off. Where are the herbs? Pasta in this cabinet. Tinned goods in that one. No sign of the ghormeh sabzi herbs. Was I mistaken? Is this the revenge of the grandmother, because I complained about sending too much stuff from Iran? Did she come and spirit away the last packages of herbs? It is 10:45, the children will want their lunch soon.
I decide to convert the stew to “khoresh-e gheimeh”, which does not require herbs. But that needs potatoes! No more potatoes! OK- I’ll just do a plain stew with meat, pinto beans, and tomato paste and spices. A no-name stew. Never mind. I start hunting for the new unopened can of tomato paste I just bought yesterday.
I can’t find it.
11:02. The beans are staring to explode. WhatshallIdo whatshallIdo whatshallIdo? I bang the cupboard doors together. I KNOW I bought tomato paste yesterday. I ask the princess if she has seen the tin. She points me the ketchup. I push around the frying onions which are starting to blacken. I think what to do. I am on the verge of panicking. I had planned at least three meals ahead with this dish- my whole week will unravel if I can’t get a decent lunch together now.
I look in the freezer. I look in the refrigerator. I push things back and forth. 11:20. I open all the cabinets again. And then- I see it- a big red plastic bag as big as a cushion. How did I miss that the last forty million times I looked in that particular cabinet? I grab it and with tears of joy, open it. The last package of herbs.
Sunshine bursts through the grey clouds and fog of Halifax.