Maman's Homesick Pie

Maman's Homesick Pie

A Persian Heart in An American Kitchen

Book - 2011
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"A lavish taste of Persian culture and cuisine . . . [A] compelling, poignant and most delectable book." -- BookPage

For Donia Bijan's family, food has been the language they use to tell their stories and to communicate their love. In 1978, when the Islamic revolution in Iran threatened their safety, they fled to California's Bay Area, where the familiar flavors of Bijan's mother's cooking formed a bridge to the life they left behind. Now, through the prism of food, award-winning chef Donia Bijan unwinds her own story, finding that at the heart of it all is her mother, whose love and support enabled Bijan to realize her dreams.

From the Persian world of her youth to the American life she embraced as a teenager to her years at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris (studying under the infamous Madame Brassart) to apprenticeships in France's three-star kitchens and finally back to San Francisco, where she opened her own celebrated bistro, Bijan evokes a vibrant kaleidoscope of cultures and cuisines. And she shares thirty inspired recipes from her childhood (Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken and Eggplant and Orange Cardamom Cookies), her French training (Ratatouille with Black Olives and Fried Bread and Purple Plum Skillet Tart), and her cooking career (Roast Duck Legs with Dates and Warm Lentil Salad and Rose Petal Ice Cream).

An exhilarating, heartfelt memoir, Maman's Homesick Pie is also a reminder of the women who encourage us to shine.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. :, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,, 2011, ©2011.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781565129573
Branch Call Number: 641. 5955 BIJ
Characteristics: ix, 254 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 22, 2017

It is about precious childhood memories, heartfelt teen age years experience and finally adulthood challenges, heart breaks and dear moments. It is a beautifully written memoir, with the addition of delicious recipes that takes you on a journey along with the author.

May 20, 2017

This is a poignant tale of losing, then finding, an emotional home, interwoven with recipes that remind the author of various points in her life. I love reading books about food and restaurants, and will often find my bedtime story in a cookbook, so I very much enjoyed this format. In addition, I am grateful to have a new perspective on Iran through the story of this chef and her family.

Aug 25, 2013

Many years ago I overheard a friendly conversation between a Starbucks barista and a customer. What are you, he asked her. Persian, she replied. And it struck me right then that she wasn't comfortable telling an American that she was from Iran. This story came back to me as I read the delightful Maman's Homesick Pie, Donia Bijan's memoir about growing up in Iran, the daughter of a medical doctor and his wife, a nurse. The family eventually ended up in the US after the revolution, where Bijan eventually became an accomplished chef. The descriptions of the food (and the accompanying recipes) are wonderful!

The author's father did not make a good adjustment to life in America. Think of all the immigrants who come to this country who are educated and had relatively high status positions in their own country, only to be relegated to driving taxis or some other position that wastes their skills once they get to America. Yet, the author and her mother did adjust well. Indeed, although the book is ostensibly the author's memoir, it is really a tribute to her indomitable mother, an accomplished home cook and women's rights activist, whose shining personality comes through with every page.

A completely engaging book well worth reading.

Feb 28, 2013

Donna Bijan will be speaking at the Woodside Public Library in San Mateo County on Saturday, March 2nd at 2pm.

Aug 27, 2012

I like this sort of cookbook, half recipes/half memoir. I thought it was a lovely story of how a family survived and thrived in America after being in a perilous situation-and having the home they knew completely disappear, with only the recipes and food they knew to remind them of what is now gone. Melancholy, but triumphant at the same time.

Jul 28, 2012

I wasn't impressed w/this book. Found it to be a difficult read. The recipes & text ran together. With recipes like these, photos or illustrations of the process of making the dishes would be a great help to the home cook, especially those who aren't very familiar with Persian cooking.

Didn't impress me enough to try the recipes.

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