By Gabriella Gage
WATERTOWN — St. James Armenian Church hosted its 65th annual bazaar in Keljik hall on October 12 and 13. As in previous years, the bazaar featured a silent auction, various raffles, a farmer’s market, an attic treasures table and various vendors, including Alex and Ani jewelry. The menu featured the traditional Armenian dishes, shish kebab, chicken kebab, losh kebab, kheyma and eetch, boereg, yalanchi, porov kufteh and the perennial best-seller, manti.
Co-chairs of the bazaar committee, Sandy Raphalian and Nancy Kassabian, began planning this year’s bazaar just weeks after the 2011 one had been completed. “It’s a wonderful venue to bring everyone together as one church family,” Kassabian shared.
In order to bake and freeze the vast quantities of baked goods, such as cheese and spinach boereg, choereg, tahini bread, nazook, simit, apricot and apple squares, bourma, and the ever-popular, paklava, the Women’s Guild began preparing in July, drawing up a baking schedule that intensified as the event drew closer.
With every facet of the church organization partaking in the festivities, there was a conscious effort to pass along traditions by bringing together old and new generations. Kassabian noted the importance of youth involvement in the bazaar, along with “the dedicated older generation coming in to teach the younger generation important traditions.” One such youth, Mary Cimen, remarked, “I always really like doing it,” as she volunteered alongside friend, Aurora Kantarjian, manning this year’s Sunday school bake sale table.
As of this writing, a baking schedule has likely been drawn up for next fall.