Hello everyone! It’s October and once again the time has come for a quick recipe recap of all the delicious food we made in September and also to let you know what we have been up to in the past month! All gathered here in “Best of September” post!
But before we get into that, I hope you all have been keeping well and had a lovely time in September.
We just came back from our one week holiday to Armenia where we celebrated my birthday on September 24th and the engagement of my sister Ariga on September 26th with family 🙂
Armenia also known as The Land of Noah is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Armenia once included Mount Ararat, which biblical tradition identifies as the mountain that Noah’s ark rested on after the flood. It was the first country in the world to officially embrace Christianity as its religion (c. A.D.300).
There are mountains, lush forests and lakes to enjoy, monasteries and remote regions to explore, a vibrant café culture and places where time has stood still. The world’s oldest wine production facility was found in a cave in the village of Areni, making Armenia the oldest wine-producing nation in the world.
We stayed in the capital, Yerevan. Yerevan has everything you ask of a capital city. There are plenty of museums to see, vibrant nightlife to explore, plenty good food to taste and of course variety of Armenian drinks to enjoy. Armenians have a deep toasting culture, particularly at family gatherings, and is one of the few in the world that does not have a drinking age. No visit to Yerevan is complete without a visit to Ararat museum where you can also try the legendary Armenian Brandy (Ararat). Winston Churchill loved Ararat and his love for Ararat was no secret: by his own estimate he had drunk enough brandy to fill three railway carriages by the time he was 71.
Also try Oghi, a spirit distilled from fruits or berries which is widely produced as moonshine from home-grown garden fruits all across Armenia, where it is served as a popular welcome drink to guests and is routinely consumed during meals. My personal favorites are Tuti oghi– mulberry ought and Dzirani oghi– from apricots.
During our stay in Yerevan, we visited “Tsitsernakaberd” A Memorial Complex in Yerevan that is dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who perished in the first genocide of the 20th century, at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. Completed in 1967, the Genocide Monument has since become a pilgrimage site and an integral part of Yerevan’s architecture. Set high on a hill, dominating the landscape, it is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. The austere outlines convey the spirit of the nation that survived a ruthless campaign of extermination. Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies it was genocide, but governments of 28 countries – including France, Russia and Netherlands and only recently Germany– recognise the events as an act of genocide. The 44-meter stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians. Twelve slabs are positioned in a circle, representing the twelve lost provinces in present-day Turkey. In the center of the circle, at a depth of 1.5 meters, there is an eternal flame dedicated to the 1.5 million people killed during the Armenian Genocide.
We went to Khor Virap, which is one of the most popular destinations in Armenia for a number of reasons, primarily because it is where Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of the king and Armenia into the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301. To this day you can visit the underground chamber which he was imprisoned in, located in the nondescript St. Gevorg Chapel apart from the main church.
We visited Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Cathedral is located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin). According to scholars it was the first cathedral built by St. Gregory the illuminator in the 3rd-4th century and is considered the oldest cathedral in the world. Echmiadzin to Armenians is what the Vatican is to the Catholics.
Gerhard monastery is an absolute must and is truly a wonderful place to visit. A medieval monastery in the Kotayk province of Armenia, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery of Geghard contains a number of churches and tombs, most of them cut into the rock, which illustrate the very peak of Armenian medieval architecture.
We also visited The Temple of Garni. It is a classical Hellenistic temple in Garni, Armenia. It is perhaps the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. It was probably built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple to the sun god Mihr.
Here is some other interesting facts about Armenia:
- Chess is a compulsory subject in schools.
- Yerevan is also known as the “pink city”.
- Armenia is home to the world’s longest non-stop double track cable car.
- The country’s national symbol is Mt. Ararat.
- There are approximately 11 million Armenians (or of Armenian descent) worldwide and only 3 million reside in Armenia.
- Armenia has the world’s best apricots.
- In 2008, the total adult literacy rate was 99.50%.
- Armenia’s National Day is celebrated on September 21. It declared its independence from Soviet Union on August 23, 1990, and on September 21,1991, it was recognized as an independent country.
- Armenians built churches in a gothic style of architecture a century before it first appeared in Europe.
- Chess champion Garry Kasparov, Tennis star Andre Agassi, gambling mogul and part-Chrysler owner Kirk Kerkorian, retired pathologist Jack Kevorkian, singer Charles Aznavour, and Cher are all Armenians.
It’s always fun visiting Armenia, Can’t wait to go back next year!
HERE IS A RECAP OF ALL THE DELICIOUS RECIPES OF SEPTEMBER!
We also created a selection of month watering recipes under “A COLORFUL FEAST FOR EID HOLIDAYS” post.
What about you? Which recipes did you get to try last month? Which was your favorite recipe? Share it in the comments! I would love to hear about it!
We watched two seasons of Narcos on Netflix. If you are not familiar with this series, Narcos is inspired by the true story of Colombia’s notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine and Pablo Escobar’s fight to stay ahead of the other Colombia’s infamously violent drug cartels. Narcos is a truly gripping show, one of the best I’ve seen this year and gladly Netflix renewed the series for a third and fourth season, Yay!
We also watched Mechanic Resurrection starring Jason Statham and Jessica Alba at the cinema. The movie is fun to watch and full of action. So if you are a action lover like me, this movie is for you.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH – OCTOBER
I wish that this month brings you joy, love and inspirational moments in your life!