I don’t always follow the Coptic Lenten fast, but when I do…

I make okra. What? The Egyptian Lenten fast is 55 days long (out of about 210 days in the year... The Copts take their religious dietary restrictions seriously, it seems). The fast calls for an entirely vegan diet over those 55 days, excluding all dairy, meat and fish products. I'm not a regular practitioner of … Continue reading I don’t always follow the Coptic Lenten fast, but when I do…

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Yabancı Chicken Freekah Soup

Winter has truly arrived here in Kirikkale. Frigid temperatures and a blanket of snow have descended on the city, prompting my hibernation and hot plate to go into full gear-- roads haven't been plowed and a trip down the street to the grocery store seemed daunting and fraught with slip-potential. I decided to make do with … Continue reading Yabancı Chicken Freekah Soup

Easy Vegetarian dinner with tastes of the region

This meal combines tastes and adapted recipes from the Maghreb to the Levant to Anatolia. Nohutlu pilav, or rice with chickpeas, is a street and home cooked staple, often served with boiled shredded chicken. Because I used canned chickpeas, I began by preparing the rice and then added the chickpeas on top towards the end … Continue reading Easy Vegetarian dinner with tastes of the region

Bayram I: Chios – the Mastic Island

Using Izmir as a ‘home base,’ I used the Bayram holiday to travel to two new places, Chios, and Bergama (coming soon!). Chios is a (not that) small island 7 kilometers off the coast from Turkey, in the Aegean Sea. It is most famous for its production of mastic, a tree resin. The name of the … Continue reading Bayram I: Chios – the Mastic Island

Kahvalti

Kahvalti means breakfast in Turkish. What a 'typical' Turkish breakfast consists of could be debated (endlessly?) but some of the basic staples are bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese. Let's follow that basic list with runners-ups: olives, eggs, and sweet spreads (jams, 'bal-kaymak,' which is honey and clotted cream, pekmez (often with tahini, the much improved Turkish … Continue reading Kahvalti