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Monday, February 8, 2010 @ 05:02 PM
posted by admin

Many thanks to my dear friends Aris Bazmadelis and Kay Bash, both librarians, who came over to help make the koliva for Bruce’s memorial. First of all, I had to boil 3 packages of wheat, 1 1/2 kilos for about 1 hour, or until very soft. Aris told me to keep the water from the boiled wheat and that is what we used for the assoure.
The ingredients for koliva are:
1/2 kilo wheat
1/4 kilo raisins
1/4 kilo walnuts or almonds (we used both)
3 T cinamon
2 T cumin
300 grams bread crumbs
1 pomegranate

After boiling the wheat, you put it onto a towel to dry. Aris and Kay arrived at 4.30 Friday afternoon so the wheat was dry and we began adding the raisins, nuts and spices one at a time. I ran out into the garden and found a nice fresh patch of parsley which he cut into the wheat mixture. We made 3 times the amount as were expecting over 50 people. At the same time the pot of left over water from the boiled wheat was rapidly boiling on the stove. Aris added some wheat berries and raisins and then some almonds. He added some sugar to taste. He really wanted rosewater, but since we didn’t have any he added the zest of an orange and some cinamon. Asoure is real soul food which I highly recommend for you to try as it is also very healthy!
He came back to the koliva and packed it tightly into the bowl and then started spreading a layer of breadcrumbs over the wheat. That is when he explained that you never add sugar to the wheat as it is hydroscopic and the sugar will make the wheat dry out. Hence the layer of breadcrumbs over the top and then you sprinkle the sugar over the breadcrumbs. Last of all was a beautifully decorated cross on top made of almonds, walnuts, raisins and pomegranates. The pomegranate symbolizes life and the parsley symbolizes freshness or the greeness of life. The koliva was devoured by our guests the following day and the assoure also. A picture is worth a thousand words so following are some photos of the whole experience.