The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors

April 1, 2008 at 10:49 am (Uncategorized)

As you can probably imagine find books on Armenia is not very easy.  Thankfully with the internet and wonderful websites like it wasn’t too hard for my son to do his Armenia Lapbook.  I still like the idea of him getting some of the information from books though.  So the other night I noticed that our friends we are staying with had the book The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors mixed in with their cookbooks.  Low and behold the very first chapter is on Armenia!. 

I thought I would pass this information along because while most of you are probably not looking for information on Armenia this book covers A LOT of other immigrant groups.  (Thirty six in all!)

Each chapter has a brief history of the people and what brought them to America.  Then there are 5 or 6 recipes from each Country.  There are also great explanations of cooking technics and suggestions for substitutions for hard to get items. 

I had my son read the chapter on Armenia and pick a recipe to copy and add to his lapbook.  (We had left this section blank because all of Grandma’s recipes are at home and I thought he could add one of those later.)  He chose to add the recipe for Lavosh, which is Armenian Cracker Bread.  This is an Armenian treat my kids are very familiar with because we all love it and eat it all the time!  We have never made it ourselves though, but we will have to try it after we get settled in our new house.

Here is the recipe for Lavosh:


1 1/3 cups tepid water(barely warm, about 105 degrees)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pkg. quick-rising yeast
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk for topping
Sesame seeds for topping


Place the tepid water in your electric mixing bowl and add the olive oil, sugar, and yeast. Using the batter blade let the electric mixer blend these very well. It will take about 5 minutes on low speed. Stir in the salt. Gradually add 2 cups of the flour and beat on low speed until a thick and smooth batter forms. Change the blade to a bread dough hook and knead in the additional 2 cups flour. If you do not have a heavy mixer such as a KitchenAid, incorporate the flour witha wooden spoon and finish the kneading by hand. Kneading should take about 10 minutes in the machine, 20 minutes by hand. Place the dough on a plastic countertop and cover with a large stainless-steel bowl. Allow the dough to rise until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and divide into 8 pieces. Let stand, covered, 15 minutes. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12-inch diameter circle. Working with 2 pieces of dough at a time, arrange breads on ungreased baking sheets. Brush with milk and sprinkle sesame seeds over tops. Prick with a fork many times, all over. Bake on the lowest racks in the oven, at 375 degrees, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light brown. Rotate the pans in the oven from top to bottom, to insure even browning. Serve dry or wet. (To wet, hold the cracker under running water until lightly moistened all over, and then wrap in a moist towel for 10 to 15 minutes.) If the cracker is too dry to roll, it will crack. Sprinkle with a little more water and let stand a few minutes. If it is too wet, cover with a dry towel and let it stand.

Makes 8 Cracker Breads.


I was thinking this book would make a excellent addition to a study of the United States.  I don’t think I have ever come across a study of the American Immigrant before.  Since most all of us fit in that category somewhere wouldn’t it make an interesting study.  I feel a lapbook coming on!  LOL


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