As a gesture of appreciation for letting us stay in Ankara, we decided to cook for our hosts. For those of you that know me, I LOVE to cook. So we went shopping to prepare to different dishes.
The first is a Sanchez classic (acquired from Amy), a Mustard Chicken and Pesto Linguine dish. It’s a hit or miss thing cooking for friends. Even moreso when they are used to a different style of cuisine. They really liked it the dish.
In shopping and preparing the dishes, I learned a few things:
Fresh jalapenos are impossible to find. Impossible. As are black beans… and sour cream.
Rice is not boiled. Instead it is prepared similar to how risotto is cooked.
No peanut butter, but tahini, a sesame seed dirivative (which I think tastes just like it).
There are little to no prepared salad dressings, i.e. Ranch, Italian, Thousand Island.
I didn’t see any bacon. Which I would have understood with Turkey being a country that is predominantly Islam. But the fact that they had different types of sausage and cold cuts threw me off.
Next I tried to cook a Mexican dish. This proved more difficult because there were even more ingredients that I had to do without and things I had to make from scratch. But again, all turned out well.
Lastly, I introduced the heavenly concept of ‘sweet and salty’ as a delicious combination. I was told that they didn’t understand or usually mix the two tastes. So to me this was similar to introducing gunpowder or silk for the first time. But oh, the pressure! What combination to introduce!?!
I settled with salted popcorn and milk chocolate bars. I know some of you will disagree with my draft choices, but I couldn’t call a TV timeout. I went with my gut.
Needless to say, there are more disciples of the ‘sweet and salty’ combo.