By Robyn & Doug Kalajian
FLArmenians Cuisine Contributors
The Women’s Guild of St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, FL has a special way of observing michink, or mid-lent – with a potluck dinner. This year our dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 13th in Mardigian Fellowship Hall. Each guild member is asked to bring a Lenten recipe large enough to serve 6 people. Attendees eagerly sample a wide variety of tasty, healthy Lenten recipes, while enjoying the camaraderie of everyone present.
Upon the conclusion of the meal, a brief service is conducted by the Very Rev. Father Nareg Berberian.
I don’t know what the other members will be bringing, but I’m planning to contribute one of the following green bean recipes; I haven’t decided which yet.
Option #1: A fresh and delicious way to prepare green beans.
Green Beans with Orange Dressing
- 1 1/2 pound green beans, stems trimmed and cut in half
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup toasted unsalted pistachios, chopped
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves (or 1 tsp. dried mint, crushed)
- Steam beans until tender (they should still be bright green), about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest, juice, salt and pepper.
- Place green beans in a serving bowl; toss with orange dressing.
- Garnish with a sprinkling of pistachios and mint. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Option #2: A reliable stand-by recipe.
Lenten-Style Green Beans
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs. Italian pole beans or string beans, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
- 1 cup tomato Sauce
- 1- 15 oz. can diced canned tomato with its liquid
- 1 cup water (more if needed)
- salt, black pepper, allspice to taste
- ¼ Tbsp. cayenne pepper, optional
- In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sautė onions and garlic until the onions become translucent. Reduce heat to low. Add the beans, cover, and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. (At this point no liquid has been added.)
- Add the sauce, diced tomatoes, water and seasonings. Mix well; cover and cook on low for 30 minutes till the green beans are tender.
- Add additional water, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Can be served hot or at room temperature.
On Friday, March 1, 2013, under the guidance of Hayr Soorp Nareg Berberian, the altar servers and the preteens of St. David Armenian Church along with the parents took a trip to Orlando. Nearly 35 people participated on the journey. The group stayed at the Lake Eve Resort on Universal Drive. On Friday evening, they visited Disney Downtown. Then on Saturday, the group spent the entire day at the Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure. The trip was a great opportunity for the children and parents to grow their bonds as parishioners of St. David Armenian Church.
Although it was a rather cold day for Florida, the group had a wonderful time getting to know each other better and enjoyed the thrills of Orlando’s amusement parks. Afterwards, it was decided that the group would take another trip in April to Key West.
Jacksonville Parish Completes Hall Renovation
Last weekend, parishioners of the Jacksonville mission parish gathered for the provisional opening of the church’s new hall. On Sunday, February 17, the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, the Diocese’s Director of Mission Parishes, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and performed a Home Blessing service in the new facility.
The hall is located on the first floor of a two-story building that the parish purchased in the summer of 2011. Since then, parishioners have worked together to renovate the building, which will serve as a community center, where local Armenians can gather for worship, and for cultural and social programs. The second floor, which will be completed soon, will be used for liturgical celebrations and performing sacraments. The formal blessing ceremony will be presided over by Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian later this year.
Parish Council chair Elmira Grigoryan expressed her appreciation to the community for its dedication to the project. Special thanks went to Suren Vardanian and Harout Baboyan, who have been overseeing the renovations.
Also during his visit, Fr. Abdalian performed a requiem service to honor the Armenian victims of Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing. Many of the families in Jacksonville moved to the U.S. after fleeing anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait and Baku.
ACYOA Juniors Gather for Retreat in Florida
Earlier in February, Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s Youth Outreach Coordinator, traveled to the Sunshine State where she led the Western Florida ACYOA Juniors Retreat. More than 20 teens from St. Hagop Church of Pinellas Park, and Soorp Haroutiun Church of Orlando, gathered for small group discussions and Bible study sessions that encouraged them to think about how they can better share the light of Christ in their everyday lives.
On Sunday morning, the Rev. Fr. Hovnan Demerjian, pastor of St. Hagop Church, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and welcomed Jennifer Morris to speak to the parish about the Diocesan Summer Camp programs. The retreat was hosted by St. Hagop Church, with the leadership of youth adviser Yn. Anna Demerjian and the support of several parish volunteers.
Story combined from the February 21st Armenian Church E-Newsletter.