This is Barr Andreasian’s recipe for Armenian-style pickles, or tourshi.
The only thing I know about Barr is that she had a connection to my Grandma Sadie, such that her tourshi recipe made it into my Grandma’s sacred recipe binder.
Lately I have been excavating recipes from my grandma’s contemporaries. Women like Barr and Martha Parvanian, whose eggplant I recently featured, are the strangers in my kitchen. I imagine them preparing these dishes for their families, years ago. I revive them, in a sense, as I cook.
The idea came to me when I visited Ararat Armenian Cemetery with my dad last month. William Saroyan is buried there, as is Soghomon Tehlirian, the infamous Armenian who shot Talat Pasha. But I wasn’t thinking about these “notable burials” when I visited the historic cemetary. I was looking around at the small graves, reading the epitaphs so lovingly dedicated to moms and grandmas who cared for their families so well.
These were the heroines I wanted to know more about, so I began teaching myself their recipes. Perhaps you will find it a cliché – my undertaking such a morbid project during a pandemic, and I wouldn’t blame you.
But before you go, let me just say that I DO plan to mix it up a bit. In about 30 minutes, I will honor Barr Andreasian with a pickling party on Facebook I will read her instructions, follow them to the letter, and toast to her with something bubbly while recreating the wonderful tradition of preserving summer’s bounty in pickle form.
It’s perfect for Labor Day 2020, and I hope you will join me.
- 2 quarts water
- 1 quart, plus one cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 3 jalapeño peppers
- cauliflower, cup into florets
- carrots, peeled and cut into coins
- celery, cut into small sticks
- napa or regular cabbage, cut into large chunks
- green beans, ends removed
- Combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to make the brine.
- After mixing the vegetables in the brine, leave at room temperature for three days.
- Place vegetables and in jars and cover with brine before sealing. Include a garlic clove and a jalapeño in each jar.
Visit @FresnoArmenian on FB. See you soon!