I watched my grandmother, squatting before a huge bowl of greens, picking through them with her delicate fingers. Preparation for dinner began just after breakfast, and could last throughout the day. 

“Poffak Namakee?” I asked my grandfather. Most often he would oblige, pulling himself out of his chair with his cane and disappearing in the house to get this coat and hat. I ran behind my grandfather in to the house, calling out “Sissy! Ganpapa’s taking us for Poffak Namakee!” skipping through doorways to find her. “Sissy!”

She emerged in the doorway. “He’s gedding his coat right now!” I said excitedly. She pulled the door closed behind her and we both found our shoes by the kitchen door.

With my grandfather and my sister steadily making their way up the side alley alongside our tall garden walls, I danced, I skipped, and I made quick tottering circles around both of them. My mouth watered and I hummed to myself, and ran ahead to be the first to reach the doorway of the tiny shop. “Com’on!” I shouted back to them, hopping impatiently. The shopkeeper was there and he smiled down at me with his funny crooked smile, dark gaps where teeth should have been.

“Salom koochooloo,” he said – he always said – and I always gave him a “salom” back which always made him chuckle. There was not enough room to step in this shop, for it was only big enough for this man and his bright packages, small boxes and the big metal vat that held the Poffak Namakee. 

I loved to watch as he made me a white paper cone and scooped the cheesy puffs in to it until the orange peeked out the top of the paper. I always got mine first and could barely wait until that cone rested in my hand before I reached in to put the first one in my mouth. Closing my eyes, I let the warm, salty powder dissolve on my tongue, turning my tongue orange, and I sucked on the puff before I let my baby teeth grind it down. When I opened my eyes again, my sister was being handed her paper cone and my grandfather was placing two coins in the shopkeeper’s big palm. Our walk back down the alley was slower and my grandfather’s pace, as he leaned in to his cane, suited me fine as I stopped every second step to bathe my mouth once again in sunshine.

Meet Iranian Singles

Iranian Singles

Recipient Of The Serena Shim Award

Serena Shim Award
Meet your Persian Love Today!
Meet your Persian Love Today!