Maman’s Homesick Pie is Donia Bijan’s collection of thirty delicious recipes created based on dishes she ate growing up in Tehran and from her experiences as a Cordon Bleu trained chef. Along with her recipes she shares what inspired them; the memories from her family’s exile during the 1978 Islamic Revolution, and their subsequent relocation and adjustment to American culture. Bijan also notes that the family’s endangered status was primarily based on her mother’s work as a celebrated champion of women’s issues and the promoter of women’s access to resources and education. Bijan’s mother’s choices ended up taking a terrible toll on her marriage as her husband, and Bijan’s father became disillusioned and bitter over the loss of his thriving medical practice.
As much as I would have loved Bijan to go deeper into her parent’s history, the majority of the memoir is concerned with Bijan’s struggles to follow her own path as a chef in spite of her father’s deep resistance to her dream, and reconciling herself to the fact that he wished she would follow in his path as a doctor. Besides the temptingly written recipes, Bijan’s writing is fabulously engaging, and as much of a treat as what she dishes up. Recommended.