Eating Turkey in Turkey

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Aylin, Nadine, Barbara, me, Stephanie, Talin and Alex. Kate came later.
Aylin, Nadine, Barbara, me, Stephanie, Talin and Alex. Kate came later.

11/27/2015
I so enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast at school yesterday, organized by some of the teachers. It was a true thanksgiving potluck with lots of folks contributing. The award goes to Stephanie, who baked the turkey, and made pumpkin pie and rolls from scratch. This was her first time making all these items, so it was really great that everything turned out so well. As she said on FB, “I have made purée from an actual pumpkin and making ground cinnamon from cinnamon sticks Istanbul is upping my pilgrim game.” Somayah’s Iranian potato salad was also a big hit, plus it was beautiful. (I think she commented that this was her first and last Thanksgiving.) And though there was no cranberry sauce, the stuffing was great.

I contributed deviled eggs (which mystified the Turks in the office) and panna cotta (they took one bite to be polite and then pushed it aside). It can be overwhelming to try new foods, and Turks are particularly sensitive. When my students talk about other cuisines, it is usually with disdain. I thought our office staff (those who came) were pretty daring.

Stephanie with her perfectly roasted turkey and pumpkin pie. Both survived the trip by metro bus to the school.
Stephanie with her perfectly roasted turkey and pumpkin pie. Both survived the trip by metro bus to the school.
Barbara made cornbread, an item the Turks recognized.
Barbara made cornbread, an item the Turks recognized.

After the dinner, there was a power outage at school, so classes were canceled. We all grabbed a bus to Bakrikoy to go to a bar. With soccer on the TV, it rounded out a truly traditional Thanksgiving—too much food, lots to be thankful for and football.

We chowed down like there was no tomorrow! Nadine, Stephanie and Somayah.
We chowed down like there was no tomorrow! Nadine, Stephanie and Somayah.
Barbara and a Turkish man from our office--he was clearly the most daring of the staff. I think he tried everything!
Barbara and a Turkish man from our office–he was clearly the most daring of the staff. I think he tried everything!
Alex and his devilish grin came in from Silivi.
Alex and his devilish grin came in from Silivi.
Her smile was so good, I used both pictures.
Her smile was so good, I used both pictures.
This week's drawing, in honor of Thanksgiving.
This week’s drawing, in honor of Thanksgiving.
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Beth

I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I'm exploring the world and you can come too!

5 thoughts on “Eating Turkey in Turkey”

  1. It’s interesting to celebrate the holiday with folks from other cultures. When I was studying in France, we all brought a non-american to the dinner. I don’t know how it is in Turkey, but in France, pumpkin is eaten like a vegetable (savory squash), so the idea of a pie made of pumpkin really grossed them out.

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