I would hate to believe that my friends in Armenia are marking the days until my departure, but with 3 and a 1/2 months to go, the countdown does seem to be underway. I am constantly being invited to try something, do something, eat something before my unique opportunity disappears forever when I leave the country in June.
On Saturday it was a cocktail of homemade vodka, Armenian Champagne and pomegranate seeds at Tava restaurant in Dilijan, tasted after an enjoyable day painting on silk at Buduart.
The day before it was Crossroads wine from Trinity Canyon Vineyards sampled at In Vino. The winery is experimenting with combination of Areni Noir– an Armenian varietal –and either Syrah or Cabernet, which they also grow. I particularly liked the Syrah, but of course nothing compares to my beloved 6100.
Today my family invited me upstairs for a bowl of Khashil, a winter porridge made by boiling rough wheat grains. To this mix was added shallots fried in butter– lots of butter. These should still be bubbling hot when they are poured into a well in the middle of the bowl of brown mush. Then cool things down a little by ladling tan ( half water, half yogurt) on top.
It didn’t look instgrammable, but I promise you it was absolutely delicious. Winter comfort food. The stodge of the porridge. The sweetness of the purple shallots in their golden grease, and the refreshing cool of the buttermilk. We ate slices of Granny Smith apple afterwards. I highly recommend the mix.
My family are working up to kchuch– a lamb stew cooked in a clay pot. I had never heard of kchuch until the weekend. The cocktail people use the clay pots too.
I am cramming now. I have only a few weeks left in my immersion course in all things Armenian.