Keşmekeş II: When life gives you limonlar…

20130220-124119.jpgYet again, Slowly-by-slowly has been off the grid with major health problems with pain that has made it hard to read, write or do much of anything. Without wallowing in self pity too much, I must say that my life is still somewhat described by the Turkish word keşmekeş. You can read a little more about that by clicking here. Yesterday, my doctor talked to me about the concept of “radical acceptance” – So here I am!

…And so it was with great jubilation a few months ago that I opened a large heavy box sent to me by my family in the Southwest – to find about 25 lemons! In the United States we have a saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! What better antidote for keşmekeş? Given the keşkemeş that’s rolling in our beloved Turkey right now, may this be a diversion. I’ll do my best to post on that tomorrow as I’m so tired of being tired, done with isolating myself and pained of being pained as I wait for a big & unexpected surgery! No whingeing allowed, as the Brits might say!

So, back to the limonlar, as trite as this saying may be, and it has become an overused phrase, seeing the lemons tumble out across my dining room table sure gave me a giggle (or three). And my family knows that I am always up for a cooking challenge. One of my major coping mechanisms is to cook like a whirling dervish (when İ can manage it, which has not been for months) as my husband puts it. And in February, with these lemons rolling around on my table I had the perfect opportunity to go the limon crazy!

But I was not the only one to go limon crazy…Karagöz, well, he went wild as well. Why, you may ask, would Karagöz go wild at a box of lemons? Well, in traditional versions of the Karagöz Oyunlari, as some of you may know, there is a longstanding feud between Karagöz and Hacivad – about anything and everything.

In my own world of Karagöz puppetry, these two generally steer clear of any puppet battles (you can read about some of my puppet battles by clicking here). But they do erupt once in a while. And these lemons were the start of it all….as the tension between Karagöz the oppositional trickster and Hacivad Bey the learned Sufi elder had been brewing for some time (from opposite ends of the house, usually)…it was ready to rock. And it started like this:

20130220-124146.jpgKaragöz began the banter, saying “finally, something fun to play with – let’s have a futbol match” while kicking the lemons around the table, some of which dropped on the floor and got bruised. Our dog came up and sniffed them before determining that they were not good to eat.

Hacivad Bey entered the room with a gallant leap down the stairs “Stop ruining these regal citrus fruits – we must put them to good use!” careening around the table after the futbol-mad Karagöz, Hacivad Bey proclaimed “I will be a human shield for these, our fruity brethren and sistren!”

Karagöz and Hacivad battle over lemons (Image by Liz Cameron)

Karagöz and Hacivad battle over lemons (Image by Liz Cameron)

Karagöz hooted – “Oh – you old softy – what antiquated language you are using – why do you care a whit about lemons?” And before I could say a word, Hacivad Bey was covered in a pile of lemons, with only his legs showing, if you really looked hard. Meanwhile, Karagöz did a headstand on top of the pile.

Soon, the rest of the puppets ensnared Karagöz and rescued Hacivad Bey – only to engage in a debate about what to do with the lemons.


20130220-124225.jpgChoosing an egalitarian route, the lemons were used proportionately to the votes of all the puppets:

10 lemons went to a lemon souffle (see recipe here)

5 lemons went to a lemon glaze for lemon zest muffins (see recipe here)

5 lemons went to lemon-almond shortbread cookies with lemon glaze (see recipe here)

5 lemons were squeezed into ice cube trays for use throughout the rest of the winter season

And then, all were full of limon goodness, and fell asleep in a happy pile.

So thank you once again, family, for sending me this magic box of sunny yellow happiness! I know that it got me through some of the worst of my keşmekeş!

This entry was posted in A Karagöz puppet battle, Turkish Food!, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Keşmekeş II: When life gives you limonlar…

  1. Alan says:

    . . and not a one for Ekşili Tavuk!

  2. joyce colman says:

    so glad to have you back, lemons and all.

  3. Bravo!! Only I wish I could read the recipes, the links didn’t happen, just plain text. But I applaud, applaud, the post, the photos, the humor and delight, and the connection to Turkey. And, BTW, CNN had a long report which included the woman in red and detailed how the protests have spread and spread. And they interviewed another couple women about their participation in these protests!

  4. Jack Scott says:

    We’ve missed you and your crazy puppets. Sounds like life isn’t exactly a bowl of cherries (or lemons) right now. We’re thinking of you.

  5. LimonCELLO!!!! My heart is so with all the Turkish people right now. May the government open its eyes and heart! Glad you are back and soooo sorry you’re feeling poorly!

  6. pathwriter says:

    Welcome back. Sending healing thoughts to you and all the people of Turkey….

  7. Yippee! You’re back – you’ve been missed. All the lemony dishes sound, well, delish 😉 Hope you’ll have the good spirits to drop in the recipe links when you’ve got a chance. Feel better soon!

  8. omentide says:

    It is very good to read you again.

  9. lizcameron says:

    Thank you so much for writing! It’s been an effort – but perhaps the blogosphere will bring some comedic relief and or escapist relief! I’m sure I have a lot to catch up on your blog! Best, Liz

  10. lizcameron says:

    Arkadaş Justine – Thanks so much for the good wishes and for dropping in – I’m so behind on culture every day – lots to catch up on. Thanks for letting me know about the links!

  11. lizcameron says:

    Dear pathwriter – Thank you so much for these good wishes! The quotes that come into my inbox via you have sometimes made it through the haze to be enjoyed while being sick! Looking forward to immersing myself back in the blogosphere. Best, Liz

  12. lizcameron says:

    Limoncello! What a brilliant idea! Wish I’d thought of that… Must wait till next lemon season. Thank you so much for your good wishes!

  13. lizcameron says:

    Thank you so much, Jack! I think the puppets missed me too. I’m sure I missed the puppets. We’ll see what kind of crazy posts come together with rusty puppets and hazy minds! Being awful to watch your former hometown, Bodrum, on the videos…

  14. lizcameron says:

    Dear Nancy – thank you so much for writing – it was so good to talk to you the other day of bit about turkey and a lot about other matters. I appreciate you so much. I have been especially encouraged about how much the women of Turkey have been recognized as active participants in these protests… Will post more on that. Best, Liz

  15. lizcameron says:

    Who could resist lemons? Surely not the puppets. And surely not the whirling dervish cook when in whirling dervish mood. Thanks for stopping by. Xo

  16. lizcameron says:

    Alan – please send me a recipe post haste! Love, Liz

  17. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.

    Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.

    I want to read even more things about it!

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