Autumn Food Bazaar Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Acclaimed Ethnic Cookbook

FRESNO–The autumn food bazaar of California’s oldest Armenian congregation will mark the 15th anniversary of the church’s recipe collection.

The First Armenian Presbyterian Church of Fresno will mark the publication milestone of “A Hundred Years and Still Cooking” at its 2008 Merchants’ Lunch and Country Store on Thursday, November 13.

The annual harvest season gathering is open to the public and will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Church campus, 430 South First Street, midway between historic Huntington Boulevard and the Kings Canyon/Ventura Avenue Promenade.

Lunch is $12 per person and will include seasoned lulu kebab, rice pilaf, cheese boureg, garden salad, pickled tourshee, fresh peda bread, paklava de’Anatolia, and beverage. Meals will be available on a dine-in, take out, and drive through basis.

The Country Store will be open throughout the luncheon hours for holiday shopping. The Store will offer such ethnic delicacies as choerag, souberag, paklava, yalanchi, bottled grape leaves, gutah, tourshee, rojik, and basdegh. The abundant produce of the Great Central Valley and an array of homemade breads and pastries will round out the comestibles in the Store pantry.

The Store will also sell copies of “A Hundred Years and Still Cooking,” the revised printing of the Congregation’s Centennial recipe collection. Published by H. Markus Printing in 1993, the 500 -page cookbook contains recipes for 636 ethnic dishes and sells for $30. First reviewed in the January 14, 1998 edition of the Los Angeles Times, the volume is a unique compendium of heritage recipes drawn from six generations, Scriptural wisdom, Old World culinary precepts, and history of the Armenian people in the San Joaquin Valley.

Merchants’ Lunch meals and Country Store items may be reserved on or before November 14 for drive-through pick-up by calling (559) 255-6630 or (559) 834-5592 or faxing (559) 834-1147 or (559) 237-9526. The drive-through lane will be located on the Raisina Street side of the church campus, between Huntington and Balch Avenue. Proceeds support missions projects, student scholarships, and camperships.

Forty immigran’s from Marsovan chartered the congregation in the upper room of Major Daniel Nicholls’s Fresno Hall on July 25, 1897. The congregation formally joined the family of Presbyterian Churches in October of that same year.

The boyhood church of authors William Saroyan and A I. Bezzerides, FAPC today is a multigenerational evangelical congregation drawn from the Old and New Worlds. The congregation’s theme for 2008 is “Becoming the Church.”

Reverend Mgrdich Melkonian is Senior Pastor, Reverend Aren Balabanian is Associate Pastor, and Jane S. Bedrosian and Mary Lou Bagdasarian are Co-Chairs of the 2008 Merchant’s Lunch and Country Store.

FAPC is a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America.


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