Since a group of us from Unique Vintage always find ourselves sitting around at lunch discussing all the books we've read, we recently decided to start our very own Unique Vintage Book Club! Last month, we read funny girl Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) which I loved! (You know, the girl from The Office?)
This month, we read a little known gem called Siren's Feast, An Edible Odyssey by Nancy Mehagian. Not only is this one of the most exciting culinary memoirs in years, Nancy is a good friend of mine and she was actually kind enough to join all of us at our book club meeting this past weekend! Between all of the delicious recipes we made and devoured from the book to grilling Nancy on every detail of her fantastic escapades, we had an amazing evening.
Siren's Feast follows Mehagian's life growing up as an Armenian-American in the '60s and '70s as she rebelliously travels through Morocco, India and Ibiza, and even spends 16 months in a London prison with her newborn daughter. The constant that threads her journey together is her passion for food and cooking. Siren's Feast contains more than 40 mouth-watering recipes that will definitely bring out your inner chef. Honestly, the only problem with this book is that it ends!
I made a Vegetable Tajine (recipe in book) and served it over couscous.
Nancy made Muhammara, a Lebanese Walnut dip, which is incredible and addicting. (recipe in book)
Lots of pita chips and hummus were consumed
Quincy Jones, longtime friend of Mehagian's, calls Siren's Feast, “A spicy brew of recipes and adventures. I don’t know whether to eat this book, smoke it or make love to it.”
Siren's Feast was originally published in 2008 and has received lots of press and awards over the last four years. Here is what the Armenian Reporter wrote about her book:
Sex, Drugs and Couscous: We may never have snuck out of our teenage bedroom and crossed the railroad tracks to see Ray Charles and James Brown perform. We may never find ourselves in the back room of a gift shop in Tangier with a group of stoned hippies, eating spicy tagines, drinking mint tea and using a jeweled kif pipe to smoke Morocco's finest hashish., We may never attend a party on Ibiza with blues singer Taj Mahal and folk singer Joni Mitchell. But through Nancy Mehagian's glittering culinary memoir, Siren's Feast, An Edible Odyssey, we can live her experiences vicariously.
"I don't regret anything," Mehagian says about her life, even her time in prison. "Every life has its ups and downs. I was young. I didn't have the greatest judgment all the time. But having a good heart can go a long way and can protect you in difficult circumstances."