We had the fortune to fall in with a great group of folks when we lived in LA the year prior to our continental shift. I talked to one of them last week and he requested that we blog more frequently about the minutiae of our lives. Making his point-- he said everyday things that our clan now takes as "normal" were not normal for us 16 months ago when we first moved to Asia...And "that" is what he wants to read about.
Hence the "Breakfast Report".
I am not a breakfast person...I know it is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but I figure that it was designed for Important People. I am happy waiting until late afternoon before I start grazing. If I eat breakfast it makes me want to get to lunch...which leads to dinner coming earlier and then I am forced to fit in a late evening meal.
Here in Turkey breakfast is culturally big...not to say it is the most important meal of the day...in fact, anytime Turks sit down to eat it is a big deal. As an example a few days ago a knock on our door brought in half the occupants of our apartment building...since it was so hot they asked if we would mind turning on the A/C...We did and they brought the food and we had a party.
Kemal & Metin
This "Klima" party rotates from one apartment to another depending on how hot the day is and who is willing to turn the A/C on and pay for the electric. Those without A/C are few, but all of us are frugal...So if just one or two apartments a day run the A/C the rest can come with food, little electric is used, everyone is cool and everyone eats. Quite a concept, eh?
They sat on the carpet, the couch and some even laid down and slept while the rest of us talked. When others heard there was a "group eat" going on at the Stewards...our little apartment filled up. Our afternoon of work stopped from 2pm until they departed after 7pm. While that is so culturally different from the States...it was a truly delightful afternoon.
Begum, Benal & Ann
This morning as we were eating our breakfast on our small balcony which overlooks one of Istanbul's busiest avenues when I realized how I had changed. There, on my plate, were 21 olive stones from my breakfast. It amazed me that I now expect and look forward to the time each morning where we sit and look out at the street and eat. The vendors below us, (a market, clothing store and used car dealer are located on the ground level) walk out and look up to see if we are out and about each morning. Once they see us in place and yell their greetings to us, their world is in order and all is right.
Our typical Turkish breakfast is:
- Fresh Bread (not less than an hour old)
- White Cheese (goat or cow...close to Feta)
- Olives (black and green...both in brine)
- Apricot or Raspberry preserves
- Hot Tea or Turkish Khave
- Plain Yogurt
- Hard boiled Eggs
You put a spoonful of crumbled cheese on a slice of bread, cover it with apricot preserves, tomato and cuke and eat. The yogurt is eaten plain or with some apricot preserve mixed in and the olives are consumed in vast quantities...believe it or not, it is not uncommon to go thru 10 or 15 pounds of olives per family a month.
You leave a Turkish breakfast feeling "light and cool"...and unfortunately looking forward to çay and sweets, and then lunch. That my friends, is the Breakfast Report for today. Afiyet Olsun!