Once upon a time, there was a little girl. For her first few years, both of her parents worked while her grandmother babysat. Before long though, her mother worried that she would become too spoiled and so she switched careers to stay at home and return to her first career-love, children.
The girl spent almost every weekday with her mom from then on. They would drive one town over to another family's home as her mom babysat and she made one of her first real friends. The girl's name was Katie and they were inseparable, probably because Danielle was a bossy little one and insisted upon it. At first they played only with each other but then the time for preschool came and three days a week they went their separate ways. To make up for it though, their moms signed them up for dance class together.
Eventually, Katie moved on in her extracurricular life, and so did the little girl. They went to different schools and Danielle's mom got a new job. Yet the occasional play date, writing class, and summer art camp kept them friends. Nonetheless, by the time high school hit, they'd all but lost touch. Then chance happened. In her first few weeks of college, Katie realized her randomly chosen roommate's best friend went to Danielle's college. She messaged her and the two started keeping in touch again. Though it wasn't consistent, throughout the next few years, the emails and Facebook-stalking kept them informed about the other's lives.After college graduation, they were eager to connect again. Throughout the summer of 2010, they made, cancelled, and re-made numerous plans for drinks and dinner. Katie was excited to hear about Danielle's road trip plans and reconnected her with her own brother who was going to school in New Orleans. When Danielle came back, they caught up once more, this time with more recent stories of family, career, and relationships over full-bodied wine and coincidental reliefs to their Turkish food cravings.
That would be the history of Katie and I :). We had dinner together last Thursday. I'd proposed a few eatery options conveniently located near my office and on her ride home (because apparently I still have control issues) and she chose Beyoglu. I was pleased.
Despite having been to Istanbul, I really haven't had a fair taste of Turkish cuisine. Acquiring a horrid intestinal infection within 24 hours of being there didn't really allow for one. For my meal, I ordered a glass of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Vegetarian Platter including hummus yalanci dolma (stuffed grapes leaves), kisir (a cracked wheat salad), ezme (spicy chopped vegetables), patlican salatasi (mashed eggplant salad), cacik (a thick homemade yogurt) and a few other things I couldn't quite identify.
Scooped up with three fabulous chunks of their fresh bread, each bite was absolutely divine. My dear friend, Katie, on the other hand, went in the entirely opposite direction and enjoyed the Meat Special platter. She liked hers a lot, too. Gosh, I had a wonderful time and cannot wait to meet her again for coffee before I leave. ("Where am I going?" you ask. Stay tuned later this week to find out).
The next day at work, I was greeted by Ottoman-inspired fare again. The office, you see, was having their annual holiday party lunch and had ordered platters from that same Beyoglu. It was delicious. Lamb and minced beef may be popular, but believe it or not, vegetable platters are often the star of midday meals. Afterwards, we enjoyed a much more American dessert; the same cupcakes my beloved ex-coworker, Shirley, had bought for me on my last day at Quirky. I probably had a dozen by the time I left that evening.The brownie, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate chip pancake, and pb cookie varieties are fantastic. Oops? As if.
I'll have you know that I haven't craved sugar since then. I'll also admit that I, once again, ate a Turkish veggie mezze the following day. Yes, that would be my third in three days. Between the leftovers from my restaurant meal and from the overestimated order at work, I had no choice. Thank God for that! I guess some things--like good food and great friends--don't really ever change.