Thursday, June 28, 2012


If you are not lucky enough to have your own parsley patch, you have no choice but to purchase parsley from your local greengrocer.  Parsley is so beautiful when you first buy it, but very quickly deteriorates into a limp mound of greenness, and then a mushy mess (that is, if it's left in the plastic bag where you place it when you buy it).  Menzmama  (Marash Boy's mother) used to wash parsley, dry it on towels, and leave the clean parsley wrapped in a damp towel in the vegetable drawer until she needed it, which was daily, as parsley, and lots of it, went into EVERYTHING she made.  Armenian style.  But there is another solution to keeping parsley fresh, a prettier one, one that takes very little space, very little time, and beautifies your kitchen.  That is, a bouquet of parsley on your kitchen table.  Wash your parsley, trim the stems, and put the parsley in a glass jar filled with water.  Your parsley will stay fresh, and your kitchen more beautiful.  Don't make the mistake of putting that glass full of water with parsley onto a refrigerator shelf.  The refrigerator will dry the parsley, leaving it limp, and you will have defeated your purpose.  Oh . . . and don't forget to change the parsley's water daily!


  1. Parsley is one of those nutritionally dense, and as it turns out, spiritually dense vegetables, left over, like so much of America's religious heritage, as an afterthought on the plate of the American dinner table. It may explain the rise of vampire sightings in D.C. and other political centers of power. Garlic has been the traditional defense against the vampire, along with the 'cross'. Because of politically correct thinking, the 'cross' is no longer in use, which leaves the PC of garlic as our last remaining defense against the rise of that cult of the vampire. Garlic, though, unless you are a Cuban, is socially unacceptable, or at least its fragrant waves of pulmonary unrest are. There is a solution and a salvation to this dilemma, and it can be found in the many millennial old custom of parsley made ubiquitous in the Caucasus mountain cultural cuisines of Armenia, which expanded down to the valleys and plains of Anatolia and then to the farthest reaches of the known world of the Mediterranean. Why? because parsley crushes the garlic splendor and can be drawn from the holster of any truly Armenian/Mediterranean family recipe book, as fast as an Old West Shootist could draw his pistol. So, here we get to the nub of it all. Dear Marash girl has dared to tread, albeit unwittingly, and by inference, on a religious symbol, the garlic clove. Since parsley civilizes garlic, and garlic saves civilization, the lesson learned is to sprig away or be spirited away. Take your pick. I will make mine a green one.

  2. I love your bouquet and totally agree; there's not reason that parsley shouldn't be a showcase in the kitchen! I wish I could grow it in the abundant amounts I need it, but I just can't. I will use your idea from here on. Thanks!

  3. There is something more to be said of the use of garlic and parsley. Because Armenians entering the United States a century ago tended to be much shorter than their American peers, they found the garlic clove their ally every time they visited a movie theatre. Movies were a startling experience for those who were coming from countries too impoverished materially and politically to have experienced the wonder of the celluloid life of the imagination. The Armenians, always a practical people, as well as law abiding and peaceful, particularly those who had survived the depredations of the Turkish onslaught on their bodies and souls, used their dinner table as Archimedes would have, and devised a lever that was big enough to move the world, or, in this case, the six foot tall American who sat in front of them and made their viewing of the movie screen hopeless. This was an early prototype of multi-culturalism at work. It took a Greek, Archimedes, to teach an Armenian immigrant, how to move an American out of the way. Raw garlic was the answer, and the answer was stuffed in their mouths immediately upon occupying their seats. The best seats available were always chosen, and because of that, the tallest Americans sat there in their blithe unconcern and heightened anticipation of what was about to grace the screen. What they had not counted on were the winds of war, in this case the air conditioning which surrounded them with the exhalations from those garlic stuffed mouths. Sure enough, the breeze of the AC blew away the human obstructions sitting in front of them, leaving an unobstructed view of the magic of Hollywood.

    The story does not end there, because the clever ones stuffed sprigs of parsley in their other pockets, and consumed them as they were leaving the theatre. The parsley vanquished the malevolent tumors that emanated from their breath and which had filled the seats in front of them, and made the garlic stuffers safe for re-entry into the land of the living (easier than making the world safe for democracy). Ah, yes, it was garlic, the lever large enough to move the world, at least the one sitting in front of you, and parsley, that spirited sprig, which restored the world back to its rightful, sweet place.

    1. M.P. Says.... I live on garlic, with no apologies. None the less I appreciate information about parsley absorbing garlic breath for when necessary. I also like the story of garlic as repellent in the movie theatres. See William Saroyan's story in his introduction to "My Name is Aram". The school teacher in the Fresno school complained about the Armenian kids smelling of garlic. Parsley is also a mainstay of Italina cuisine.
      I don't have a parsley patch or a basil patch, at least not yet. I do have rosemary tree. In December I bought a rosemary Christmas tree. In the course, December, January and February I used most of the Rosemary. After that I left the "tree" or stem on the window sill and continued to water it every day. It is thriving, with even more leaves than before.