While Baklava is Niel's favorite Armenian pastry, Taluba is mine. Or more commonly known as Talumba. Taluba is a light, soft yet crispy honey confectionery that I don't get to eat too often. Because it is very difficult to make, Taluba is only served at special occasions. I sometimes find them at Armenian baby showers and then oh my those few moments of devouring them are bliss. I did find some at a bakery near an appointment I had the other day. I went inside the bakery because they advertised an ATM sign. When I told the cashier her ATM was out of service I noticed Taluba in their glass cabinet. I think the Fates made that ATM out of service on purpose. You see it had been too long since I hate enjoyed a good Taluba. I was shocked but not surprised at the price per pound $14.99. Yes that is how much work Taluba takes to be make and is also why it is heavily priced. There is also a special contraption Armenian housewives use, one which I have not personally found, yet is needed to crank out the special shape. And two people are needed to make it. Because while one is pushing out the shape out from the mechanism, the other is making sure it lasts only a few moments in the hot oil. One can be standing at a hot stove for hours. But in the end, it is so worth eating. I went to find another ATM while wondering to myself why did they sell Taluba in this neighborhood, then I saw the golden dome of St. Vartan's Armenian Apostolic Church. And it all made sense. They make them because sometimes after services people come into the bakery to buy the Taluba and other assorted pastries. I hurriedly found another ATM, took out my copay and another amount and went off to my appointment. Afterwards I brought a few pieces of Taluba to share with Niel. A pound of even this wondeful pastry was too much. After leaving the bakery I explored St. Vartan's gift shop and noticed before going in, that the park directly across the church was named after the church. While in the gift shop I got to use my Armenian a bit with a stranger and I did pretty well for myself. It felt a bit homey to be surrounded by the books, tapes, cd's, Armenian Orthodox crosses, jams, Armenian flags, magnets and DVD's. I felt like I had walked through a little portal to a little place in my heart I keep for Armenia. For that small time in the gift shop I did not feel like the strange foreign little girl that I sometimes still feel like, even though I've been in America for about 25 years. Although I never left New York that afternoon I did feel like I had visited my birthplace.
Song Stuck In My Head: "Dear Prudence" by Siouxsie and the Banshees(redone)