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Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Classic Armenian Recipes": another cookbook discovery

You know how I love cookbooks, and that Doug and I are now writing articles for the AGBU's newly-launched online Ararat magazine, right?


I recently received a very warm email from Talia Jebejian, ABGU Special Events Coordinator. She noted that her family has Aintabtsi roots on both sides, and that their specialty recipe is yogurt soup with round keufteh and mint, called “keufteli yaghne” or “yogurt soup with wheat balls” - a recipe found in her late grandmother’s cookbook, “Classic Armenian Recipes: Cooking Without Meat”. This cookbook was written by Talia’s grandmother, Mariam Jebejian and Alice Antreassian back in the early 1980's.

Did Talia mention "cookbook"? Another “must have” as far as I was concerned.


But, easier said than done... I thought for sure I could order one from the St. Vartan Bookstore in NYC, but they didn’t have any. I thought all was lost.

Doug, came to my rescue by finding a used copy through Amazon.com. (Feel free to scroll down to see our Amazon link and other items we recommend.) He never told me he found the cookbook or that he ordered a copy. He quietly handed me the package when it arrived, saying, “This is a special gift for you, honey.”  I was delighted to discover the Jebejian-Antreassian cookbook inside...and in pretty good shape, too for something used.

Thanks, Talia, for letting me know about this cookbook. And thanks, Doug, for finding it and buying it for me!

All I need now is a larger bookcase.



11 comments:

  1. OMG, this is a totally must-have amazing book! And unlike many "Armenian" cookbooks, most of the recipes are actually Armenian. Alice Antreassian has a couple of other, similar, cookbooks but this one is the classic. She has two recipes for anushabur, one "Bolsetsi" style and the other from Aintab. The one from Aintab matches my mom's recipe (handed down from my grandmother). She has a recipe for 40-Martyrs keuftah. Etc. etc.

    The other must-have set of cookbooks is a series of thin spiral-bound books published in the early 80's by Hamazkayin. Each volume, in Armenian, has recipes from one region of Western Armenia. There are recipes from Aintab, Dikranagerd, Daron, and I forget the others. Most of the recipes are for every day dishes and some I have not found anywhere else. It's out of print and I have not been able to find my two missing volumes even from Hamazkayin in Beirut. If anyone has them, I will pay serious money for them.

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  2. WOW, Ara! I had no idea this cookbook was such a gem. Thanks for your valuable information.

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  3. Hi there. Congrats on finding that cookbook. What a sweet husband to do that for you!!! There's another resource that you could use when looking for these books. www.oldcornerbooks.com is an online store owned by an Armenian in Boston. She has a big selection but will hunt down any book wanted or needed.

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  4. That's fantastic! Thanks for the tip; I'll pass it along to Doug for future reference.

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  5. Hello there! I am fasting for lent and was wondering if you could do your next blog on tasty armenian recipes for the Lenten season. It would be very helpful. Love the website! Thanks!!!

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  6. You're in luck! I began posting Lenten items/recipes as of March 7, 2011. Here's a link to one of last year's Lenten posts that you might find helpful:
    http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/2010/02/preparing-for-lent.html
    PS: Glad you like our website!

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  7. Hi love all the recipes, thank you.
    Did not find recipe for Tahinov Hats?
    It is one of the few sweet treats I can bake during Lent.
    Sue

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    1. Susan, would you care to share your recipe for Tahinov Hatz with The Armenian Kitchen? or, are you looking for a recipe? Please let me know via email: robyn@thearmeniankitchen.com. Thanks!

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  8. Dear Robyn and Doug,

    As an Aintabtsi from both sides of my family for many generation I feel nothing but pure joy to have found your website.

    Living in Southern Virginia is so difficult for my appetite. True Armenian cuisine is so difficult to find and I rue the day Armenians leave the embrace of their Mothers' kitchen. If they are ill equipped to cook what they were raised on they will lose a part of themselves. Which is what happened with me until I broke off the daily grind and started cooking years ago.

    However I find it difficult to replicate the exact taste of some of my dishes like Sarma or Dolma or Eech or Vartabedi Shorba or Madzounov Kufta.

    The red pepper powder that is hand made by the Armenian women of Aleppo....how could I ever get my hands on that? Or authentic, zesty sumac that is a deep purple, not the tasteless black powder you find on shelves....I was lucky to find Armenian string cheese at walmart of all places and it turned out to taste great. made by a company called Su-ni I believe.

    I have lost touched with family in Aleppo and Lebanon over the years. Oooohhhhh what I would do for fresh sujuk and cheese grilled flatbread with olive oil or sujuk and eggs. Or to actually find the pale green type of zucchini to make Nivic with Eggs.

    Please keep up this beautiful thing that you are doing and spread the incomparable taste of our Armenian cuisine. I truly believe and Armenian is no longer Armenian when he or she stops eating the food he/she was raised on.


    Bravo!

    You may reach me at norayer@gmail.com

    Sincerely,

    Norayer

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    Replies
    1. COME TO MONTREAL IN THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY WE HAVE THE BEST SOTRES WHERE WE CAN BUY EVERYTHING FROM THE OLD COUNTRY ,I AM ALSO AINTAPSY FROM MY MOM SIDE

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  9. wonderful recipes... my husband was in Armenia for 6 yrs so he loves their food. check out my blog at www.passionatecookers.blogspot.com

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