Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One for the Foodies

Hi all,
I hope you appreciate the lovely picture of my shower, as I can now use it (although not with hot water...?). I accidentally deleted my slideshow, and I'm not exactly sure how I put it in on in the first place...hopefully it'll be back one day. Anyhow, I didn't actually make it into Istanbul proper today, as the older host son was coughing up a storm today. In fact (as HM told me I could add to the blog...lol), he is going in to the hospital in a few minutes tonight as a precaution as he has had bronchial issues in the past...sound familiar Eric? (Except it took ME 6 weeks to drag him to the hospital last year...boys.) Anyhow, I thought I'd share about my food experiences so far and then talk about my short trip into town to pick up K from school with HM.

Fun, Fabulous, and Sometimes Strange
So, the food has all been very good so far and sometimes simply amazing. My first night was a feast (which now makes more sense, as HM's Mom observes Ramadan...) and Sunday's lunch was certainly filling as well. The Authentic restaurant served yogurt (what else??) with bread, a raw vegetable dish (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, spicy pepper), these sort of baked french fries and what looked like miniature hamburgers - which they call meatballs. I also had my first experience with Aiyran (sp?) which is a salted yogurt beverage. Luckily, I had read about it in my guidebook, so the first sip was not a total shock. It definitely takes some getting used to, but is rather refreshing and is a nice way to get calcium. Their milk (Su(e)d) also tastes good. From what I've seen, Turkey is much more dairy-oriented than Germany for drinks...super!

The second day, for breakfast, I got to try a variety of fruits. It's crazy, because I had a peach from their peach tree, grapes, green and purple plums washed down with sour cherry juice (delicious!). Lunch was a little special since G had stayed home sick...we ordered in Dominos Pizza. I was expecting the meat to look different - but I have to say that the corn threw me. (Although, after what I experienced with the Germans putting it in weird places, I suppose I shouldn't be so easily surprised!) Thankfully dinner was a lighter affair, a yummy tomato-based soup and bread.

I slept in this morning a bit, so when faced to rummage through the fridge for breakfast I got a little overwhelmed. So I pulled a Benny...especially since they didn't have a toaster, and had bread with Nutella for breakfast, with a few plums. Lunch was a pasta dish that starts with an M (like that's SO helpful, right?) but involved meat-stuffed triangle pastas (very cute little ones) covered in a sauce made from yogurt, with some red sauce on top of that. G had his topped with ground dried mint, but HM asked me and I decided to try it plain first. Honest to God it was AMAZING. I can't wait to try it WITH the mint! Since it seems so simple, my family will have it to look forward to when I get back! Dinner was a baked fish (I think I may have only swallowed one bone, so I'm calling it a success) with a special bread they only make during Ramadan, a sort of flat bread similiar to what I've had Doeners served on before. It was quite delicious.

Family Time
Today I was home with HM and G again. G managed to amuse himself for most of the day (and as HM pointed out, during the day is not supposed to be my time, but I like getting to know the kids) and so I spent a lot of the time with HM. She's very easy to talk with and has a very fun personality. She apparently already thinks I am a perfect fit for the family, has marveled how the kids have already incorporated me and assured me that family visitors are welcome. When I mentioned my brother B might go visit Benny in Germany, she said "Well, of course you will bring him to here then as well, right? It is a wonderful opportunity!" Talk about getting a fuzzy glowing feeling. It's also nice that she has a similar view on parenting that I grew up around, and knows that boys will simply be boys most of the time - she knows how roughhousing can quickly turn to tears. We've already had moments of talking - freezing (listening to screams to tell if they're pain or not) - and resuming activity together. How funny is that?

We had to pick up K today from school (since the driver was picking up a new housekeeper candidate - the other one simply wasn't working out well so she left today) and I actually got to drive/ride under an aqueduct! Crazy!!! We didn't go into the city center proper, but passed through a little of the outskirts. The school is private, and seems very nice and friendly. K was delighted to see his mother and made us laugh when he insisted on saying "Goodbye!" to his Turkish teacher... Traffic was crazy, and I've already learned that Turkish crosswalks hold none of the sacredness that they do in Germany. Moving targets merely add to the excitment of the Istanbul experience, I guess. However, I will be going in tomorrow with HM (barring all natural disasters and worsening of G's health) and will hopefully not only take pictures, but get the slideshow up and running...but don't hold me to it!

Hope all is well,

PS Ok, who else knew that Green olives are just unripe black olives? I feel like there was this conspiracy against telling me this, and I'm not sure if I'm ok with it...Mom??? : p


Catherine said...

Okay, i kind of feel like i thought green olives were just a different olive...but then again, unripe sounds right too? AHHH why does food have to be soooo complicated?! Sounds like you're having fun and the family is nice! Tell them hi for me!...Cause i know they'll totalyl know who i am? haha

Strayling said...

Lol. SEE?!? That's exactly what I always assumed...Well, they know I need to get back for your wedding, is that good enough? : p

Catherine said...

haha i supposed then, yes they would kind of know who i am :-) Jsut read your new entry! This is fun! I go to work, come home, and read all about your day! Fun!
You should ask them what a Turkish Wedding is like :-)