My Turkish Cooking School Experience

     I love cooking! It doesn’t matter the cuisine, I love being in the kitchen. The opportunity to join in on a Turkish cooking course for three months came my way and I leapt on it.

Although my Turkish linguistic skills are mediocre at best, thanks to the patient chefs, helpful classmates and observing the cooking process I have already learned so much. I’m so excited for what the days and weeks and months will bring!

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Turkish cooking is absolutely stunning and to be able to learn the Gaziantep style is an honor! Voted one the the UNESCO Creative Cities for Gastronomy, cooking and food play a huge role in the overall economy of the city.

Visit the city and you’ll discover that one day is not enough to taste and see all that Gaziantep has to offer!

Afiyet Olsun!

 

Pirinal Sirinli Corba (Rice & Chickpea Soup)

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Although this soup may sound savory, with ingredients like rice and chickpeas. But, it actually tastes more like a dessert. And if you’re wondering how you could possibly make rice and chickpea soup into something sweet, then this recipe is worth cooking up if only just for that reason.

Similar in texture to a rice pudding with lots of cinnamon, or a cinnamon sugar oatmeal, this soup is a satisfying option as a dessert or an afternoon snack. But if you’re really keen, then why not make it your main course!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 c short grain rice (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 c chickpeas (canned and drained or parboiled)
  • 1 c walnuts (diced)
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 4 TBSP of grape molasses (pekmez)
  • a pinch of fennel powder (optional)
  • a pinch of salt

Preparation:

Combine the rice and chickpeas in a pot. Cover with boiling water and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed (approximately 10 minutes).

Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and grape molasses and stir. Add the salt and fennel poweder (if using) and stir.

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Simmer for 5 more minutes and then add the walnuts (reserving some for the garnish) and remove from the heat.

Serve the soup in dessert glasses and garnish with walnuts.

Enjoy!

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Afiyet Olsun!

This recipe is from the culinary classes at the Gaziantep Mutfak Sanatları Eğitim Merkezi. For more information or to take a class, visit their website

The Keys to Success

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The keys to success are often disguised by a college degree or being well dressed but if you actually stop and consider,

The keys to success belong in the hands of the one who’s not a quitter.
Everyday, they’re committed to the task, they stay focused and give their best without being asked.
They enter their workspace expectant of what will be done. They’re not discouraged by problems or the critiques that come.
 They’re building a stairway that only they can see. Steps to success that are not cultivated for the world’s view and esteem.
 They’re building with diligence, they are the few and the brave. They’re not led by the ego of building their name.
 A quiet success and out from it flows a river running wide through a kingdom unknown.

Choose Love

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Choose Love when your enemy spits in your face
criticizes you and calls you harsh names
Choose Love when hatred feels like a fiery flame
seeking to destroy you and your name
Choose Love when everyone else is choosing to hate
with excuses that seek to justify their pain
Choose Love when every door is closing to you
you can open a door with kindness to a stranger caught aloof
Choose Love when your soul is in pain
when loving seems to be all in vain
Choose Love when the world seems calm
and when life serenades over you like a pillowy balm
Choose Love when the sun sets on your season
and you have to find in hard work a brand new meaning
Choose Love when there is no friend in sight
and you find yourself crying through sleepless nights
Choose Love when it all closes in like a storm
and you’re left with a sadness like never before.
Choose Love when it’s hard and not easy to do
in choosing you’ve selected the greatest option for you
Choose Love when a day turns into a night
and the hardest thing to do is just stay alive
Choose Love when no one believes in the truth
listen closely Love is rooting and cheering for you
Choose Love when it’s not popular or in style
you’ll find it’s always the better choice to go the second mile
Choose Love when it’s hard to persevere
when the going gets tough and the end is near
Choose Love when things don’t go your way
there’s a plan for you just wait and pray
Choose Love when you’re ready to give up
hang in there a little longer – beyond the corner is the mountaintop