You never know where Armenian ingredients will turn up

We took a few unexpected twists and turns on our Northern drive this summer, including an unplanned visit with our friends David and Jane Kinney at their getaway home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

The setting is just slightly past gorgeous: nearly 30 acres sprawling across a tree-covered slope where deer and the occasional bear sip from the spring-fed pond out back.

I love mountains — pretty much all mountains. So even as we made our way along the winding roads to meet them, I began musing aloud about how I’d love to live in a place like that.

Robyn, of course, responded in typical fashion: “I can’t live in a place where you can’t buy bulgur.”

This seemed like an irrefutable objection.  It’s hard enough to buy any sort of food in rural Floyd County, VA, as we learned when we volunteered to make a grocery run and kept winding our way down one mountainside and up the next. It turned out to be a 36-mile round-trip to the supermarket!

But…when we got stuck behind a slow-climbing lumber truck, we pulled off the road at a vegetable-stand/bakery. The first clue that we were in a special place was the sign by the vegetables advising customers to help themselves and take their own change out of the coffee can!

The inside store turned out to be a real marvel, too, full of fresh-baked pies and breads and locally made cheeses — as well as a vast selection of dried fruits, nuts and grains.

On a whim, we squinted our way down the aisles toward the back of the store — and, there it was: Bulgur!

It wasn’t quite enough to sell Robyn on the idea of life on a Virginia mountaintop, but it sure was fun to see another sign of changing times and tastes in America.

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