This time last year, we were in Turkey. What a treat that was! It took us a lot of plane rides and stress to get there, but once we were there, we had a wonderful time exploring the mosques and markets of Istanbul and the ruins of Seljuk and Ephesus. It wasn’t an easy trip. It was a lot of walking for my husband David whose legs don’t work well because of a degenerative neurological disorder and Theo did not love the food and was a bit lonely without other children. I probably enjoyed it the most, to be honest, because every day was a feast of unfamiliar sounds, smells and sights. And there was the food. I had never photographed my food before this trip, but my breakfast in our hotel was so incredible – dates, grilled eggplant, olives, cherries, halva – that I had to take a picture of it. I think I even shared it on Facebook! And here it is!
Today I had two urges going on that related to the trip to Turkey. One was to eat food similar to the food I gorged myself on in Istanbul. And the second was to do a Giveaway that related to the trip, to commemorate our wonderful adventure. I have been carrying around a Turkish coin purse in my handbag for months now containing little goodies that I could potentially give away. I felt that today would be a good day to find someone to give that too, but had no idea who. Towards the end of the afternoon, my urge to eat Turkish-style food was getting out of control, so I headed for Gelson’s, one of our local supermarkets, where they have a scrumptious olive bar. I loaded up on olives, bought hummus, pita chips and an eggplant with the intention of cooking up some pseudo-Turkish garlicky eggplant dish. I got in line at the checkout and prepared to wait my turn for the man in front of me to be processed though. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder and the words, “Come over here, sweetie.”
It was Maria, my favorite cashier who always asks me how I’m doing and how Theo is getting on. She has a son of around the same age and we often compare notes. Before checking my groceries through, she asked me and her colleague beside her who bagging groceries to witness her paying for a bottle of water. She ran her bottle of water over the scanner, took some cash out of her apron pocket and completed the transaction and started on my groceries. We chatted quickly about her current hairstyle and I paid for my groceries. Then I reached into my handbag, emptied out the Turkish coin purse and offered it to Maria as a little gift “for always being so nice.” “I can keep my cash in it now,” she said happily, pulling a few dollar bills out of her apron and tucking them inside the purse. We thanked each other, and I headed home, eager to feast on some olives and eggplants and some memories of Turkey.