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< January, 2020 >
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 Recommended
Coming Soon...
Wednesday, Jan 22
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
11:00 AM Poetry for the People: African Americans
7:30 PM Stage: The Great Leap
Thursday, Jan 23
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
4:00 PM Discussion: The Xinjiang Crisis: Domestic and International Reactions
5:00 PM La Bodega Art Gallery Fundraiser
7:00 PM  Italian Film: A Casa Tutti Bene (There Is No Place Like Home)
7:00 PM Italian Film: Mid-August Lunch
7:30 PM Stage: The Great Leap
8:00 PM Comedy: Armando Anto
8:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
Friday, Jan 24
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
9:00 AM Music: Railroad Earth
11:30 AM Lunar New Year Lion Dancing
5:00 PM  San Diego Tết Festival
7:00 PM Music: Kambiz Pakan
7:30 PM Shen Yun Chinese Music and Dance
8:00 PM Stage: The Great Leap
8:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
8:00 PM Stage: Italian American Reconciliation
10:30 PM San Diego Midnight Lion Dance Show 2020
Saturday, Jan 25
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
10:00 AM  San Diego Tết Festival
10:00 AM Lunar New Year at SeaWorld
11:00 AM 2nd Annual Australia Day
11:00 AM  Balboa Park Chinese New Year Festival
1:00 PM Maki Ishiwata Workshop
1:00 PM Discussion: No Human Being is Illegal
2:00 PM Shen Yun Chinese Music and Dance
2:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
3:00 PM Stage: The Great Leap
5:30 PM Celebration: Chinese Lunar New Year Banquet 2020
6:00 PM Year of the Rat Art Show
6:30 PM  Dance: Lakshmi Basile
6:30 PM  Music: Matrida Umoja Band
8:00 PM Music: Railroad Earth
8:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
8:00 PM Stage: Mama Mia!
8:00 PM Stage: Italian American Reconciliation
8:00 PM Stage: The Great Leap
10:00 PM International Student Festival
Sunday, Jan 26
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
10:00 AM Lunar New Year at SeaWorld
11:00 AM  San Diego Tết Festival
11:00 AM  Balboa Park Chinese New Year Festival
12:00 PM Hands On Kimchi Workshop
12:00 PM Stage: Mama Mia!
1:00 PM Maki Ishiwata Workshop 2
2:00 PM Stage: The Great Leap
2:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
2:00 PM Stage: Italian American Reconciliation
2:00 PM Shen Yun Chinese Music and Dance
3:30 PM Stage: Mama Mia!
7:00 PM  Django JazzFest
7:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
Monday, Jan 27
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
6:00 PM Middle-Eastern Drum Class
Tuesday, Jan 28
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
Wednesday, Jan 29
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
11:00 AM Poetry for the People: African Americans
7:30 PM Stage: The Great Leap
Thursday, Jan 30
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
6:00 PM Cine En Sherman & Humano Film Festival
6:30 PM Sushi Making Class
7:00 PM Italian Film: Maccheroni
7:00 PM South Korean Pop Supergroup: SuperM
7:00 PM Book: Between Two Fires
7:00 PM Human Rights Film Festival
7:30 PM Stage: The Great Leap
8:00 PM  Music: Sergio Mendes
8:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
Friday, Jan 31
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
7:00 PM Human Rights Film Festival
8:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
8:00 PM Stage: Italian American Reconciliation
8:00 PM Stage: The Great Leap
Saturday, Feb 1
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
10:00 AM Lunar New Year at SeaWorld
12:00 PM Human Rights Film Festival
2:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
2:30 PM DIY Miso Making Workshop
3:00 PM Stage: The Great Leap
7:00 PM Italian Film: The Girl in the Fog (La Ragazza Nella Nebbia)
7:15 PM Viennese Nights: A Grand Victorian Ball
8:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
8:00 PM Stage: Italian American Reconciliation
8:00 PM Stage: The Great Leap
Sunday, Feb 2
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
10:00 AM Lunar New Year at SeaWorld
2:00 PM Stage: Italian American Reconciliation
2:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
7:00 PM Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
7:00 PM Stage: Bloomsday
Monday, Feb 3
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
6:00 PM Middle-Eastern Drum Class
Tuesday, Feb 4
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
Iranian Pomegranate Soup (Ash Anar)
The Participant Observer Recipe of the Month, Iranian Pomegranate Soup, in Farsi is called Ash Anar. It is a very hearty soup suitable for a cold winter's evening meal. It has a delightful mixture of tastes that remain very distinct when eaten. Different parts of your mouth might experience very different tastes; sweet, sour and savory. This makes for an unusual, but very pleasant experience. Traditionally lamb is used for the meatballs, but beef can be substituted. Vegetarians can substitute red beets for the meat.

Pomegranate Soup

In most of the world, pomegranates are eaten as fruits or juiced. Pomegranates originally came from what is now Armenia and Iran. They were an extremely popular trade item on the Silk Road and were brought to the Americas with the first Europeans. In the Middle-East, pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses are used in soups and rice dishes. One example of this use is Khoresht Fesenjan stew which is an essential part of most Iranian weddings. The stew consists mainly of ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses (or syrup), saffron, and cinnamon. Fesenjan has a rather ancient heritage. Ash Anar, the recipe for this month, is a bit more savory and contains spiced meatballs and soup greens. Pomegranate molasses can be purchased at the Balboa International Market or any other Middle-Eastern grocery. One can also purchase dried mint there.

Soups (ash) are very popular in Iran, so much so that cooks are known as ashpaz (lit. "maker of soups"). The recipe also calls for pomegranate seeds for a garnish. The trick to removing the seeds from the pomegranate fruit is to score the outer skin several times and then break open the pomegranate in a large bowl of water and nudge the seeds out with your fingers. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the inedible white fiber will float to the top. Another method is to cut the pomegranate in half (perpendicular to the stem), place the half cut side down on the palm of your hand, whack the top with a heavy spoon, and nearly all the seeds will be dislodged into your hand. Please note that this recipe calls for browned onions (really caramelized), part of which go into the soup and part which goes into the meatballs. We use brown lentils (because we had them), but other kinds of lentils can be used if you adjust the cooking times so that the total simmering matches what is required for the lentil being used (as this varies considerably). Basmati rice is used, but other kinds can be substituted.

Ingredients:

Soup Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 cup of chopped spinach
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon (or 1/2 teaspoon of powder)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup of brown lentils
  • 3/4 cup of Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
Meatball Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef or lamb)
  • 2 teaspoons of tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 whole eggs beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
Mint Sauce Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cupped dried crushed mint

Preparation:

  1. In a large pot (see picture) on medium heat, brown onions in the olive oil stirring constantly. Please note that this might take at least 10 minutes; the goal is not to burn the onions and to let them caramelize a bit.
  2. When the onions are close to brown, remove 3 tablespoons of the onions and put them in the bowl you will use to make the meatballs.
  3. Add garlic to pot and cook an additional minute or until garlic is very slightly brown, stirring constantly (garlic burns quickly).
  4. Clean and rinse lentils.
  5. Add lentils and cinnamon, turmeric, salt and pepper.
  6. Turn up heat and bring to a boil.
  7. Turn down heat and simmer soup for 30 minutes.
  8. Mix all the meatball ingredients and shape into walnut sized balls.
  9. After the soup has simmered for 30 minutes, gently stir in the pomegranate molasses, rice, meatballs, cilantro, parsley and spinach.
  10. Turn up heat until the soup boils and then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes more.
  11. Prepare mint sauce by mixing the dried mint and oil and heating in a small pot.
  12. When soup is done, serve in individual bowls, drizzle a tablespoon of the mint sauce on top, and festoon with 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds.
  13. Serve with pita or other middle-eastern flat bread.
بفرماييد (befarma'id)!

Recipe by Thomas Johnston-O'Neill
Photo by Shari Johnston-O'Neill
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