Saturday, March 28, 2009

So I do more than eat...Sometimes!

Last week we went to a major cultural site in Ankara, Anıtkabir. Anıtkabir means "memorial tomb" is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemel Atatürk. His origioanl name was Mustafa Kemel but the Parliament gave him the last name Atatürk, literally "Father Turk." He was the military leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. He abolished the Caliphate and converted the Turkish language from the Farsi alphabet to the current Latin alphabet. He is loved with a devotion by most Turkish people that is hard to comprehend from an outsider's point of view. In the US we certainly do not have any politicians that inspire that level of love and passion, maybe the closest translation would be Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jr. to the Civil Rights Movement. On the anniversary of his death, (November 10th), at the time of his death (9:05 a.m.) sirens blare, traffic halts in the streets and people stand at attention.

Catch Up--Life

Food Updates

Two types of börek:

Sigara börek: translated as cigarette pastry, it is white cheese (fetaish) and parsley wrapped in a phyllo dough and fried until the outside is crispy and the cheese is melty.

Lentil börek: Baked instead of fried stuffed with a spiced lentil mix.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Soccer Enthusiasts=An Understatement

I went to a Cimbom game at a pub. While I was aware soccer is more popular here, I did not realized to what extent. When there were bad plays there was groaning. When there were good plays they were applauded. And when there was a goal, this happened....
People were singing in unison, clapping, hugging, and cheering
Ultimately Cimbom lost, people were despondent.

And of course we were sad too!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm Sorry!

I've been distracted, by many things, but I should be better soon. AKA this GRE bitch that has been riding my ass will be over. Lets hope it goes well. So that is next Monday. So let me give you a peek to what I have been up to...
I will call it Goodness Incarnate, or If Jesus Was A Baker!

Otherwise know as Tulumba. For those whose don't know what If Jesus Was A Baker is, it is an amazing pastry that is deep fried then soaked in a sugar syrup, then served while it is still crispy. It is amazing. It is practically juicy with the syrup on the inside and still crispy on the outside. Because I am not working, therefore do not have money to buy clothes in the next size up I am planning to avoid the sight of these incredible things. So if you see me in Turkey and I am twitching and gazing around in a strange manner it means there is probably Tulumba in the vicinity and in self preservation I am avoiding it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More Food.

I have been inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, TFP aka The Food Pornographer, to post more of the foods I eat.

Reason one, they are incredibly delicious! Reason two, the food here is different from the food back home and it might be nice for people to see how it varies. Reason three, the aesthetics. I believe I am a fairly good cook, and even a good hostess. I set the table nicely, and arrange the food semi artistically, well, the food is presented in some way, not just slapped onto a plate like prison sludge. However, my food and presentation has Nothing, Nothing on the aesthetics slammed out on a regular basis by the hostesses here.

Example A:

His mother's table. This is not a special occasion setting. This is how it looks anytime we eat over. The color scheme changes depending on the dining mat colors, which match the napkins. I had to go out and buy a table cloth for Thanksgiving.

Example B:

Salad. In my house salad usually accompanied by dressing, some tomatoes or apples on top, certainly attractive. Nothing like this salad, which kicks my salad's ass. Once again, not a special occasion, just aesthetically pleasing.

Example C:

When serving a pasta dish of some sort I would make sure it looks nice, then serve it family style. Looks good at first and then by the time it is on the plate the visual is gone. Here each plate is dressed accordingly, and looks as good as the first. Below is Manti, a delicate meat ravioli, covered in a garlic yogurt sauce onto which a red pepper sauce is drizzled. mmmmmm

PS. I am going to the gym on a regular basis. I really am.

Turkish Fast Food

Since I have been in Turkey, I have been eating more "Home Cooking" than anything else. The food available in restaurants is dramatically different that food cooked in the home. Well, today we found ourselves in one of the many malls in Ankara. Which means one thing: FOOD COURT.

Well after perusing the options, aka, figuring out what everything was, I decided on Kumpir. Kumpir is a large baked potato of which the inside is mashed and mixed with a little cheese. Then there are topping to chose, such as; corn, peas, pickles, sausage, olives, black and green. Then there are condiments, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, Russian dressing, hot sauce, chili peppers, and yogurt. It is very tasty! Look at it! It is practically oozing deliciousness!

Bülent was craving a Kumru Sandwich, which was also very tasty. A Kumru Sandwich has cheese, sucuk (pronounced as sujuk, a spicy sausage) and tomato. It is served with cucumber pickles, hot pickled pepper and along with ketchup and mayonnaise.

All in all, a very good trip to the mall.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

They still like me...I think

I Stabbed their son!

Well, poked him a little, with a knife. The secret is out. I am clumsy. We were eating fruit after dinner, a common practice. Delicious, and pleasant. However, the practice includes fruit plates and sharp knives, in case we would like to cut the fruit up instead of barbarically tearing pieces off with our teeth. I will stick to the barbaric, I like that my nose gets covered in sticky juice when I eat a piece of fruit. It reminds me that it was tasty and juicy. And I won't stab my fiance with a knife. It was not on purpose, however, I think it still hurt, him at least. And now my image is tarnished. At least he did not bleed, alot.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mass Riots

Well Maybe not a Riot, but there was a disturbance outside my window on Thursday. Cars were honking, flags flown out their windows. There were men singing in unison while marching down the streets wearing matching uniforms and waving flags. There were shouts and cries from neighboring apartments.

All in unison

Was there a coup? A new government? I asked Bülent what was going on. The answer was: Cimbom (pronounced JIM- Bom) It is a Turkish soccer team. They won a game against Bordeaux, a French team. This was cause for Cimbom fans to celebrate.

At least now I know, and next time there is a soccer game and a public response I won't be frightened...much.