Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Nowruz!

I spent all day
studying very productively and when I finally said enough is enough!  I decided to cook myself a nice meal to provide a reward and also food for my tired brain.  
Also, it is Friday and a good reason to have a nice meal and a glass of the good stuff!   
I have the most interesting cooking appliance, a  portable infrared/convection/radiant oven which does steaks to perfection – while not as good it does provide a reasonable approximation to barbecued steak.  Being on the 21st floor I am not allowed to have a bbq – although I could use the “communal” one which is on our condo patio.  But it is not available in winter and I like my little glass "oven bowl". 

So here is tonight’s dinner – complete with a glass of my favourite wine – A yellow tail Shiraz-Grenache, made in Australia.  The label on the bottle says of the wine “The peppery Shiraz jumps from the glass complementing the cherry fruit flavours of the Grenache.  The two varieties come together in a well balanced wine displaying earthy tones, strawberry aromas and vibrant acids.  A truly Australian wine that will perfectly match a beef stir fry with a medley of spring vegetables.”  I might add pretty good with a steak, baked potato and green beans, as well!   Actually, the wine does have a peppery and cherry fruity flavour (in the good red wine sense).  I like it a lot and happened to have a part bottle open from an earlier dinner I had cooked with a friend earlier in the week.  Glad we saved some for later!

I am sitting here listening to Persian music and Sufi Poetry – which is fitting because it is the Persian New Year – Nowruz.  Just like the Chinese, who have their own New Year at a time they feel is appropriate, the Persians (Iranians, Afghanis and other folks from the Persian Gulf) celebrate their New Year not on Jan 1st, but at the time of the Vernal Equinox – which to me seems very sensible.  Spring is a time of renewal and awakening and it seems fitting to call it the New Year.    

As well, just like the Chinese there is a great deal of celebratory custom surrounding this time involving cleaning the house before hand and eating and drinking and visiting.  Like the Chinese this is not just a one night event (we could learn a thing or two here) the New Year is celebrated over a period of 13 days.  One of the more interesting customs is fire jumping.    

If you want to know more:

The other bit of trivia
I was wondering about was – why does the  Vernal Equinox - arrive at 7:45 in the morning?  Well the answer I discovered is that it is the precise moment when the sun hits the mid point of the equator and there is an equal amount of light shed over both the north and south poles.  Still doesn’t explain why it is at 7:45 and not at sunrise (which I thought earlier than 7:45 today), but I found a neat picture which shows what is happening.  Still puzzling about the timing though – I guess it is at a different time depending on your location but I am going to have to give more thought into why it might be exactly 7:45 a.m. in Toronto, ON, Canada and whether it might be 7:45 a.m. everywhere, since our time is adjusted to account for the sun moving across our sky... And I would imagine that it would vary in time year to year? Could the sun be in the this position at the same time each year? Probably not.  

None the less the first day of spring is always a day of great joy for me - New Year or not.  I always feel wonderfully energized by the warming temperatures and the prospects of days and evenings outdoors.  I have already started watching for the first signs of spring - a robin, a budding branch and/or a few blades of green grass.  

Tomorrow is my big exam day!   I am as ready as I will be.  Having studied lotsa I feel comfortable about going to the exam tomorrow.   And I will feel even better when it is over and I can go out and celebrate the end of a whole pile of work!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails