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Turkish Food And Fun

June 13, 2015

I love recipes, and could spend hours reading food magazines, watching cooking shows, or taking cooking classes. Funny thing is I really don’t cook that often, nor do I use any of these new recipes, but I’m addicted to new food ideas. Of course, this means we had to take a cooking class or two while in Turkey.  While I was drooling over the thoughts of lamb or goat, and how it would be spiced, our class was preparing hummus and bulgur. Do I even like hummus? Hell no, I’m a meat lover, and you can’t bully me into eating healthier. Our classes didn’t change my mind about hummus, but I did have fun and loved the interaction with the others in the class, and walking through the market tasting special treats for the class. We were offered  briny fresh fish, pickled vegetables, wonderful cheese, olives to die for, and of course, Turkish delights, my new most favorite candy.

 

Locally caught fish hanging out to dryDelicious pickle varietiesOlives, olives & more olives!More varieties of Turkish Delight (lokum) than you'll be able to taste!

 

The most interesting cooking adventure, I witnessed was window peeking on the restaurant kitchen directly across from our apartment. We, (my daughter and I) could sit on our patio and watch the chef in action. Many times, we would be yelling at each other, “What is he doing now, what is that?” The menu at the restaurant featured a huge list of soups using offal of sheep. The list was long with liver, spleen, kidney, and intestines, tripe seemed to be popular as there were several ways to enjoy it. But, what caught my attention was sheep head, and trotter soup on the menu. One evening we watched the chef pulling dozens of strange things from the oven. At that moment, we couldn’t agree on what it was, but later on the street we saw the same thing and agreed our chef had been preparing sheep heads. No, we didn’t get to try any, and that was a huge disappointment as I knew it would be wonderful. The picture below isn’t of my neighbor, but these men on the street were preparing baked sheep’s head, just like our neighborhood chef.

Food stall vendor preparing baked sheep head and brain on the central ...

 

Also across the street was a tea shop, being one of a million in Istanbul. Tea is to the Turkish like coffee is to Americans. I am not a tea drinker but let me tell you, if you were tired and needed a pick-up that tea would do the trick. I became a tea drinker, not only for the burst of energy, but I loved sitting drinking out of the darling little glass tea cups and watching the street action. Also, you know 9am, my tea time, is just to early to be drinking wine or raki, and raki is usually drunk after a meal as a digestive aid ( ha ha, or so it is said in Turkey). I think it is fine any time of the day. Raki is Turkey’s favorite drink while Ouzo is Greece’s favorite. I personally liked them both equally well.

                                                               Apple teaTea in the back streets

 

 

OH TURKEY I MISS YOU, AND WANT TO RETURN.

 

 

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