Snow crazy! That’s what those puppets are. They are afraid to venture out into the 60+ inches of snow we have seen in the past month. For little puppets made of camel hide colored with vegetable dyes, I suppose the snow makes them a bit nervous. And just as the parents of young children run out of things to do on snow days here in the Northeastern part of the United States during snow season, so too do I run out of things for the Karagöz puppets to engage in during these long and chilly days and nights. So, we have turned to cooking.
Specifically, I sent the puppets off into M.’s ears to get him cooking. A fine cook he is, when it comes to Turkish food, but rarely does he break out his talents. I thought that perhaps those puppets could secretly inhabit his head (or whisper ideas in his ears at night) so that he could make our house fragrant with the smells of home. And for months, they have been engaging in this nighttime whispering – until he was primed and ready to accept my offer of switching off on cooking duty now that M’lady is back to work. He accepted galantly and gladly, and for this I know I should be truly grateful.
And so it was, that during yesterday afternoon’s snow day, Izmir köfte came to be in our humble kitchen. M. made the dish from his culinary memory – hazy with images of his Anne (mother) and Babane (grandmother) shuffling about the kitchen. He substituted ground lamb for much of the ground beef – as it is so hard to find fatty ground beef in this country…the result was fabulous. We also eliminated the potato element as our doctor has advised us to cut down on carbohydrates (which, while blasphemous to the ears of a Turk, has been embraced in this Turkish-American home).