Recipe: Watermelon Jam

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Imagine living in a place that has a National Holiday called "Melon Day."  You could be surrounded by more than 400 kinds of melon, including some 50 varieties of watermelon.* The cool, sweet flesh would fill your belly and spirit. Eating it would definitely make you smile. And spreading it on bread? Even better. If any of this appeals to you, you might want to consider moving to Turkmenistan. These lovely people have celebrated Melon Day since 1994, and they don't … [Read more...]

Menu: Turkmenistan

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"Whatever you put in your pot comes to your spoon." Turkmen Proverb We're in the middle of summer. The sidewalk's sizzling, but anyone from Turkmenistan can tell you; that's no reason to turn off the kettle. This week we're celebrating summer in true Turkmen Style. First, with a spirited watermelon jam, inspired by the 200 varieties of melon that grow in Turkmenistan. Second, with a central Asian tea party - a fun way to gather with family and friends. *Both recipes and the meal review … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Turkey

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httpv://youtu.be/6hIxigHjUIw After my crazy weekend in Portland speaking in front of 3,000 people, I needed some time to unwind. I was like a hot, thirsty wanderer, begging for a glass of water. But in my case, the "water" was my husband and daughter. I wanted to soak in their company, I wanted to be quenched by their spirits. Because, even if every stranger in the world could hug me, there's nothing cozier than the embrace of my husband and little girl. And that's why, when my little … [Read more...]

Recipe: Turkish tabbouleh | Kisir

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What happens when you eat a lot of international food, but still get in a rut? Is it like when you live by the sea but get tired of looking at the lapping waves (is that even possible?). It's so easy (and delicious), to return to old favorites like stuffed grape leaves, hummus and tabbouleh, but sometimes a little shakedown is in order. We're big tabbouleh eaters in this house, so when I found out there's a Turkish version of this popular bulgur salad, you can bet I jumped on … [Read more...]

Recipe: Turkish Flatbread “Pizza” with Spiced Lamb | Lahmacun

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Lahmacun is Turkey's answer to pizza. The flavors are rich and deep, like an old love story. And, like any good love story, each bite makes my knees sink a little closer to the floor. Why? Because of the layers of flavor. This is no "jarred sauce" affair. This is no mess of waxy cheese. Lahmacun is pure, unadulterated ingredients - as fresh and intense as mother nature grew them. The version we made today includes lamb, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, mint … [Read more...]

Menu: Turkey

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"In a flat country, a hillock thinks itself a mountain" Proverb from Turkey Friends, let's knock the hillocks of life to the ground. And let's do it with Turkish food. This week, I created a fun party menu - a Turkish meal that can be enjoyed on a balmy summer evening, under starlight, with a few close friends and family.  It'll inspire laughter, some much needed spice, and full hearts. After all, isn't that what we all need? A little time to chill out with our loved ones, and get some … [Read more...]

About the food of Turkey

Town of Ortahisar in Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey. Photo by Brocken Inaglory.

Turkey walks the line: her western borders dip into Europe, while the rest lounges in Asia. Indeed,  Istanbul - is the only large city in the world to span two continents. Pretty awesome. Her extensive mountains cradle many small villages and cities, but it is her coastal plains and valleys that produce the most luscious produce. There's everything from citrus to corn, and olives to barley. The food will fill your spirit as well as your mouth. A few years ago I watched a show about … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Thailand

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httpv://youtu.be/-x8snseHl80 It took a Green Papaya Salad from Thailand to make me think about the rhythms of my life. Rat-tat-tat-tat.... Rat-tat-tat.... Rat-tat.. Rat... Rat... Tat-tat... Thwap. As I pounded the garlic and chili peppers into a paste, feeling both awkward and unskilled, I began to ask myself some questions... Namely, how is it that something as simple as pounding food can be so hard for me, yet be so easy for another person - like... oh, say... someone from … [Read more...]