Friday, December 17, 2010
ON PERFECT SOLID CIRCLES
One of my earliest memories is that of my mother (Jennie Vartanian Bilezikian), my aunt (Zabelle Apovian Bilezikian) and my grandmother (Epros Kurtgusian Bilezikian) rolling out dough into solid circles in preparation for making lamejun. The three of them would sit next to each other at the breakfast nook table. At the end of the table was the dough they had prepared, cut into lumps about the size of a snowball, and rising under a clean damp towel, next to the 'hamour' a small pile of white flour in which to dip the balls of dough before rolling, and three wooden rolling pins with red handles. It was always fascinating for me to watch my mother (born in Cambridge, Mass., Aintabsi) roll out not so perfect solid circles with uneven edges, my aunt (born in Palisades Park, New Jersey, Marashtsi) who made sure her solid circles were perfect by placing a pot cover over the rolled out not so perfect circle of dough and cutting around the edges of the pot cover, and my grandmother (born in Marash in 1887) who with no effort at all rolled out a perfect solid circle every time. Now here was my dilemma. My grandmother was blind. How was it that she could roll out such perfect solid circles? And anyway, what was perfect and why? My mother's lamejun was always the most delicious. Was it because she was my mother? Or because her lamejun circles were uneven and thus had more crispy edges? Or because she was Aintabsi and even Marashtsis know that Aintabsis are the best cooks!