Category Archives: Cooking

Reasons to be Cheerful: Barekendan

Mariam is baking cakes for 70 children this weekend. The priest at Tatev Monastery asked her to do it to mark Barekendan, the festival of freedom and happiness that presages the start of Lent. Barekendan takes place on the 7th … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Armenia, Barekendan, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Easter, Food, friendship, Happiness, Legends, Lent, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy?

It is always a white Christmas in my part of Armenia. Last year there was a meter of snow on the ground for the Apostolic celebration of Christ’s birth on January 6, and the first flakes fell back in October. … Continue reading

Posted in America, apricots, Armenia, Beauty, Borders, Christianity, Christmas, Church, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Great weekends, History, identity, Islam, life lessons, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Nostalgia, Peace Corps, Politics, Religion, Soviet Union, Syunik Marz, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Burn Baby Burn

Aleta is the only person I know who can light an Armenian match. These non-incendiary items come in sad, damp boxes, with inadequate strike pads. Attempt to grip an Armenian match firmly, and its shaft will splinter as it connects … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, fear, Fire, Food, gratitude, know thyself, life lessons, personal failings, resilience, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Winter | Leave a comment

Comfort Food

When Hanna died, we crawled to Peace Corps HQ in Yerevan, and huddled together damply in a shocked and miserable heap. Olivia and Hannah, two volunteers a couple of years ahead of our cohort, made mac n’ cheese for all … Continue reading

Posted in America, American holidays, Armenia, Armenian art, Cooking, drinking, family, Food, friendship, gratitude, Gyumri, joy, Local delicacies, Moonshine, Sisters, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | Leave a comment

Vegetarians: look away

To Gyumri to attend the Cow Head Festival, run by Mr. Digital Pomegranate (not his real name). For me, Caleb and Matt (the two big, bearded Southern gentlemen pictured), the event kicked off at 5pm on Saturday and cost 1000 … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, eating out, Food, friendship, Great weekends, identity, joy, Local delicacies, Marketing, Offal, Peace Corps, travel | 2 Comments

A Killer Recipe

Disclaimer: There follows a recipe both life-enhancing and life threatening. This blog and its author are not responsible for any injuries sustained should you make this soup. I got a bit over-excited at GUM bazar last week and so my … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Armenia, Cooking, Food, friendship, Household tips, life lessons, Peace Corps, personal failings, Things that gladden the heart, travel | 5 Comments

Armenia through fresh eyes: Part Two

A day out with Ara is bettered only by an evening at home with him and his family.  Thursday was his youngest son’s birthday–8 years old. There was a big party with 16 kids and a  cake in the shape … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, chess, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, family, Food, friendship, Games, Moonshine, Mulberries, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment