Then, having issued their invitation after me, Tim's wife Minoo (with whom Mari has especially become good friends) called up to say that they were going to deliver Mari some of the Khoresht Fesenjan that they'd whipped up for her, anyway. We were already in Mari's office by that point, where she was going to be for the next few hours, so we went out in front of the University on St. Charles to await delivery. They pulled up, with Professor Moazami of the History Department in tow, who, like Minoo, is also Iranian. They insisted that I then join them, even though it was already pushing 9pm, and so I said farewell to Mari, as I was about to anyway, went back to her place to retrieve my bike, rode home, and then walked over to Tim and Minoo's place, which is also in my neighbourhood. Despite the fact that I had just finished supper, Minoo insisted that I try her dish, which is a classic piece of Persian/Iranian cooking – a sort of chicken stew in a walnut/pomegranate paste called khoresht e fesenjan – and which Professor Moazami insisted was an excellent version thereof. I was trying to figure out exactly what I was tasting in the sauce, and so Minoo opened up a couple of pomegranates for me and Professor Moazami. I had never actually seen a pomegranate before (having really only probably encountered them as a decorative motif in the Hebrew Bible), much less tried to guess which part of it to eat, but I quite enjoyed it, even though it was the sort of thing that you had to struggle with so as not to make a mess. So we talked Persian food and agriculture, and a bit about the logistic unlikelihood of an American-Iranian romance, where I was relieved to hear that she doesn't suffer any kind of political nonsense in being able to travel and see family, despite the tensions of U.S.-Iranian relations. Further talk about finals week, student honesty and (alas!) occasional dishonesty, stories of where we had lived, and such filled out the rest of the night. But it was grand to just relax with talk, good food, and great people.
And then, having gotten a late night's stretch without work hanging over me, I shamelessly read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince again, without a lick of guilt. Granted, I'm opening up A Formcritical Study of Selected Odes of Solomon now, so I'm getting back to it pretty quickly, but still. Good times.