One cool thing about our family is it's pretty multicultural. We skipped Communion at our wedding because we didn't want to bore our guests, a smattering of individuals representing six religions and nearly as many countries of origin. We have so many accents and customs coming together that our Thanksgiving table looks like a meeting at the United Nations.
Sure, our kids don't know what their relatives are saying half the time and Bee struggles with learning three different words for "foot" (amazing how often the word "foot" comes up in a baby's life) but it certainly is interesting. Among this motley crew of in-laws is one of my mothers-in-law (Yes, I am blessed with two. Jealous?) Her name is Muge and she's a younger, softer twin of Zsa Zsa Gabor. She's a genuine Turk and cooks the most AMAZING vegetarian stuff you could ever ask for. She also loads me up with evil eyes and scatters them around her condo for safekeeping.
Also from Turkey is my husband's cousin's husband, if that makes any sense, and he always brings us all back pashminas when he visits the old country.
So let's explore just what is so great about Turkey, shall we?
1. The Jewelry! Everything is beady and clangy in true gypsy fashion. Usually I feel like too much of a buttoned up whitey to really pull off this look, but the jangling beads are a little more accessible in a neutral palette. I am dying for this necklace . . .
2. Turkish decor. Fine, upstairs we have a couch and a normal dining room set, but there's a little lounge room downstairs that I haven't fully explored. How about crisscrossing rugs and floor pillows? YES! Maybe my friends will want to smoke pot and drink Cokes down there, but I myself will take this seriously.
3. EViL EyEs
. Actually, they're not evil at all. These are little blue amulets called nazars
that look like eyes and are supposed to ward off bad spirits. My mother-in-law loads me up on these things and maybe they do work because positively no evil spirits have annoyed me in my home. (So far.) This is the little beauty that hangs in my kitchen . . .
4. The food! Imam Baildi (fancy talk for stuffed eggplant), dolma (grape leaves), borek (filled bread) and bulgar pilaf are among my favorite stuffs. The thing I love about Turkish food is most of it is vegetarian and made with healthy ingredients.