Note: This is the first of what will be several recipe posts, and I’ve added a new recipe category. Most of the stuff in this collection are from my grandmother Georgia, who told us these from memory between 1997 and 2000.

The Khoresh recipe here is originally from my great grandmother Jesse, who picked it up during their days in Or≈myeh in present-day Iran.

We don’t cook all that often, and passing along recipes from generation to generation is a fast-decaying practice. Welcome to the year 2005. And thus, we move this particular oral tradition thread over to the web. The nice thing though is that comments are open if someone can figure out how to improve on these or find some interesting variances…


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 pounds lamb ribs or shanks, cut into bit-sized pieces
  • 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large cans of whole, stewed or chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 2 cups of cut string beans
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped (one half inch pieces)
  • One half teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 whole bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Begin cooking khoresh in the morning. Start by putting tomatoes, beans and 3 cups of beef broth into a stew pot and set aside. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. As you brown the lamb, adjust the heat to keep the temperature between medium and high, doing one layer of lamb pieces at a time. When nicely browned, add to a stew pot and heat. After all lamb has been browned and put into the stew pot, add onions to skillet and brown the onions in the pan drippings, cooking until lightly browned. Add this mixture to stew pot. Now put garlic into the skillet for approximately one minute. Add garlic to stew pot. Finally, add carrots to skillet and brown lightly. If necessary, add a bit of additional oil. Now add carrots to stew pot. Add the spices to the stew pot. Deglase skillet with the remaining 1 cup of beef broth, bringing to just under boiling point, reduce heat and simmer all afternoon, being careful not to allow khoresh to boil. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

jojolewis on AIM is dead, long live me at mac dot com.

I let my AOL account die today. I had been paying them $5 per month for the barest of bare-bones accounts since I think sometime in the late 1990s. Of course, I had the same screen name since 1996, which was ‘jojolewis’. So that is now deactivated, in case you were trying to ping me. My new AIM screen name is through my .Mac account. Contact me and I’ll get you the new one, or you can just try my first name and last name (one word, 8 characters)

All the old web stuff is being archived and moved to this server, at least that which is worth keeping as weblog entries, some pics will move to Flickr, and I’ll let the useless junk evaporate. That old stuff had been online since 1997 and it’s how I learned HTML in the first place. Ciao to you, old hat.

Practice Notes for 6/3/2005

I received an invite last week to sit in on a rehearsal for some great music — the Saint-Säens Septet and Schubert’s Trout Quintet. The Trout I’ve played before at Chautauqua, but the Saint-Säens I’ve never played before. Good double bass parts on both.

In the orchestra, we’re playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, and parts of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. I like this kind of program… bass parts are fun to play and the overall program is pretty much the classical equivalent of head-banging.

I’ve been putting in a little daily time on Carl Flesch’s Scale System, transcribed of course for double bass. I started working more on Flesch after a conversation with a violist who had a funny story: He was coming in to a lesson with a guy from the Chicago Symphony and he was blowing through something wild on the viola. My friend then asked “So what is that? Some concerto, a cadenza or something?” To which his teacher replied with total disgust that he hadn’t recognized it at first: “No…. that’s Flesch!” If you know the Flesch scale patterns, this is extremely funny, for two reasons. One is that the patterns go through several arpeggio variants for each key, they throw in a scale sequence, and some of them are harmonized. The other reason is that it’s so common — every violinist and violist probably had gone through this regimen (and should continue to do so on a daily basis) and it’s been transcribed for cellists and bassists as well. It can be a brutal workout and I usually practice them nice and slow to work on intonation, as does my friend on his viola and most other string players I know that bother with Flesch. And this guy was plowing through the hardest of it at some ridiculous tempo like it was nothing. We are humbled.

One Strawberry

To get Max to eat one strawberry this morning, we had to resort to coercion and bribery.

First of all, I think the boy is going through a growth spurt. He ate like a pig yesterday, which is not normal for him — he usually doesn’t finish his meals but yesterday he was polishing everything off and asking for more. His little tummy was sticking out by the end of the day, which was funny considering how skinny he is.

Also, there was a time when this kid would eat anything. He used to love fruit and veggies and all sorts of healthy things. But then one day he just decided that there were only going to be a few select delicacies in his food vocabulary, and it’s been a battle ever since to get him to eat something that grew out of the ground and wasn’t chopped, pressed, and formed into a breaded nugget shape.

So, this morning again he’s coming up to me after finishing his breakfast of Lucky Charms, and this time he’s asking me to take him to Chili’s. Nevermind that it’s 8:30 Saturday morning and I haven’t had more than half a cup of coffee yet, and this kid wants to follow up on brekkie with some baby back ribs. So methinks – how about using this ravenous hunger to introduce something simple, like fruit.

First tried the blueberries. My god you would have thought I was offering him a plate of bugs. “So how about a strawberry then, Max?” He muttered something that remotely sounded like a yes, so here we go washing and cleaning one strawberry and sticking it on a plate, right in the middle of the dish.

No strawberry for you kiddo, eh? How about if I chase you around? Nah, that kid is too wiggly and I’m sore all over from painting and cleaning our house yesterday. Not gonna happen. But as the old saying goes: Youth and beauty will always be overcome by age and treachery.

First came the bribe. “We’ll get you a prize if you eat this one strawberry” we offered. But Max was smarter than that. He knew he’d have to eat a vegetable — “No way!” So we then hit him where we knew he’d have no defense; his bike. We offered to take him outside for a bike ride, and this is his obsession. You could almost see the smoke pouring out of his ears as he struggled to reconcile the opportunity versus the consequences. We had to turn our heads to laugh so he wouldn’t see.

Finally, kicking and screaming, he took a bite. And then another. Trying to find some way out, which was futile, he finally started going for it. Of course he will never admit that he liked it, but he was going pretty quick on that little strawberry by the end.

And now he’s riding up and down the street on his bike. The strawberry has not killed him, and he’ll live to see another day.

And now I know how to get him to eat broccoli.

Exploring that podcast doohickey

No, I’m not talking about dabbling in doing my own podcast. I’m way more behind the times than that. Yesterday was my first experience with actually downloading and listening to one.

Well three to be exact.

My goal was to see if I could quickly find and download some new content, stick it on a CD, and listen to it for my drive in to San Francisco last night for my weekly orchestra rehearsal. I wanted to find something about technology, something about food, and something about music.

The food and music things were easy – I found a nice reasource at SFGate that had several great entries. I found a nice entry on dim sum and a piece on Jazz jam sessions at Amnesia. Finally I found a great show from Pro PHP for the technology component, and I was good to go.

Most of the time when driving in my car, I like to listen to music off my iPod. But now and then I like to get some news and information, and this way of picking my content is much more interesting than the parade of over-simplified content and constant commercials from AM radio.