hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


January 26, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: Hostesses greet their guests with a mouthful

For merry travelers, the long and winding road usually leads to someone's kitchen.

By that, I mean, no outside guests get a cold shoulder unless it's on a plate served up with plenty of side dishes.

Food is still the All-American staple and it's usually offered in large doses to guests who happen to drop by for conversation and get a mouthful instead. Any conscientious cook — me excluded — prepares a table sagging with chow. To beg off would be improper protocol.

For when it comes to eating, it isn't so much what's on the table that matters, as what's on the chairs. How quickly I found that out, especially over the holidays.

It was a long weekend and I suggested taking a trip to the mid-Atlantic region to visit friends with whom I've lost contact. These would be friends I've made over the years in New York and New Jersey.

Seems the only time we ever see these people is at weddings and funerals, I maintained. Every year we say we're going to get together and nobody takes the initiative. I was prepared to take the first step.

I sat down with a directory and jotted down five families we would visit at random. Not to put anyone out, we would stay at motels along the way, though that thought appeared inane. What friend would let you spend the night in transit and not give up their bedroom or a spare?

We spent a week mapping out our itinerary. We'd visit with the Hagopians on Friday night, then meet up the next morning with the Kazanjians. From there, we'd head off toward the Boyajians, then spend Saturday night with the Ohanians. On Sunday, we'd call upon the Mooradians, then conclude the junket with a visit to the Sohigians.

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