I met Taniel Koushakjian when he was about 5 years old. I’ve known his mother, Arlys since she was 14 and I was 15. I guess you can say we go way back.
Like our daughter Mandy, Taniel is an only child, so the two of them grew up together in our small Armenian community in Boca Raton, FL. Taniel graduated from the high school where I was teaching Culinary Arts classes, although he never signed on as one of my students. I supposed he would have felt awkward since we knew each other so well.
Taniel has grown into a fine young man, and worked in Washington, D.C. as the Director of Grassroots, Armenian Assembly of America.
Arlys, being a proud mother, recently forwarded me photos of Taniel’s D.C. garden - Armenian cucumbers, watermelon, mint, to name a few -- and food for the grill. (Taniel says he's loves to cook now, particularly marinating and grilling, but that he wasn't ready to learn while in high school. Now I understand!)
The photo above shows Taniel holding shish kebab he prepared with his Armenian roommates, Nick Bazarian and Joe Piatt for their annual Easter BBQ.
Taniel said that he 's been holding the Easter BBQ for Armenians who are in D.C. without family. About 20-30 people come by throughout the day, the ladies doing the pilaf, hummus, boregs, string cheese, etc., while all lend a helping hand with everything.
No matter how hectic it is working in the Nation’s Capitol, there's always time for gardening and grilling.
I’m proud of you Taniel! You’re a man after my own heart.