Monday, November 2, 2009

Cigarette Pie and other yummy things

We ate at a restaurant/museum on top of one of the hills of Ankara. We were taken here by two wonderful Turkish women, sisters.  You enter the restaurant and go through some rooms that are really a museum devoted to the traditional home in Turkey and food preparation in the traditional way.

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The door to the restaurant is just below those flags.

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Here are some dolls set in an interior.

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Here we are crossing another room. We climbed two flights of stairs, I think to get to the dining room.

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This is another display in one of the rooms we went through.

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Here a woman is rolling out some dough into a flat pancake. We got to try this. It looked like a quesadilla with cheese between layers of phillo dough. Yummm.

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Here's what one looked like just after being grilled.

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This is taken looking out a window. That balcony is used for seating when it's nicer out.

IMG_2315 And finally here we are at our table. We had a view overlooking Ankara. At times we saw cats crawling on the roof just outside the window.

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This dish was called 'cigarette pie' on the menu. Needless to say Jim and I wouldn't have ordered it, but our hostesses thought we should try it. As you can see it is similar to a pizza with Turkish seasoning, and in a long cigar shape.

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After he put the 'pie' on the table the waiter went away and returned in this costume with this big knife and threatened to chop Jim with it.

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But he was just joking. He then cut the "pie" with the big knife very rapidly. Chop chop chop.

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This was our dessert. I think this is one serving, but we split it 4 ways, which was just enough. It is pumpkin soaked overnight in sugar water, then baked and sprinkled with ground pistachios.

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As we were leaving these women were making a different dish. These are like teeny-tiny meat filled dumplings or ravioli. They would be boiled and served with tomato sauce.

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The dough was cut into tiny squares and a tiny bit of meat mixture put on each one. She is folding them up here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More pictures from Rome

I did get a page of pictures put together for our one-week trip to Rome. This is the trip I described in the previous post.

 

Looking back at the pictures I feel I'd like to go back, but then I remember when we were there we felt we didn't need to return to Rome. I would not go again in the summer. It was just too hot and crowded. I would guess Rome is usually crowded, but in winter might be less so. The other thing I didn't like was the traffic. There were vehicles everywhere!!  They need to institute a city driving tax to try to reduce the number of vehicles. There isn't enough room for them to park, so they park in the pedestrian crosswalks and intersections. Crossing the streets was difficult. The motor cycles are more annoying than the cars--noisier and in the way of pedestrians more. Unfortunately their subway/underground system isn't that great either. We did ride the two lines that go under the city and that worked out for us some of the time. One line stopped about 6 blocks from our apartment. Walking in the smaller streets was fun, though.

 

We also enjoyed the museums and piazzas and food.  We are on a hunt for paintings by Caravaggio. Rome was a good place to start. We saw 24 there, I think in 6 museums and 3 churches.

 

And we loved the apartment we rented for the week. The page of pictures includes some photos of the apartment and some description.

Here's a link to the page of pictures of Rome.

 

I'm off this afternoon to a family reunion, visit with my mother, High School Class reunion and then a visit with Jim's family. I won't be home again till the 19th. Jim left this morning. He has meetings in St. Paul. I'm driving down to meet him and we'll continue from there.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Spring 2009 Travel-Gnomes, Caravaggio, Roman ruins etc.

I have been traveling again and have lots of photos, but have not had the time to sort them and put them together in any coherent way, so I thought I'd just do a quick update and hope to get to the photos still before another trip.

 

In May we flew to Frankfurt, Germany, spent a night then flew to Wrocław, Poland, where we spent 2 1/2 days, then back to Frankfurt and from there to Rome, for a week. It was our first trip to Rome and we tried to do it all. But our real mission there was to see as many paintings by Caravaggio as we could. We were pretty successful there. We did see 24, which is almost all that are on view to the public.  One or two were on tour, so we missed those and there is a ceiling he painted, which is in a house that is only open one day a month. I couldn't find out this information before we left home. It turns out the house was open on the day we arrived, but we didn't know it then. When we got there the next day we found out we had missed it. We will try again some day. It is the only ceiling Caravaggio painted.

 

In Wrocław, I walked around the botanical garden one day, which was full of blooming flowers. It's a gorgeous garden.  And then I picked up a brochure telling me approximately where some of the little bronze gnomes can be found and I walked around looking for those. Here's a picture of one of them.  I photographed 20-some, but those photos aren't on-line yet.

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I took lots of pictures in Rome. Rome was hot (upper 80's) and crowded with way too many vehicles for comfort or safety, but we had a great time walking around, occasionally riding the subway, eating Italian food, visiting churches, museums and trying to find parks. Rome has a dearth of parks, but we did find two to walk around in.  (I got spoiled in Paris with all the gorgeous parks there.)

This page on my website has links to some of the walks we took and some of my pictures. I'll add more when I get a chance.

 

Here's a photo of Rome as a teaser.

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I really need to find some time to organize these.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Venice

We visited Venice in October 2008. It's now January 2009, but I didn't get around to posting about our trip here until now.

 

We got to see Venice while it was still dry, at least part of the time. When we arrived in the afternoon we took a vaporetto to get to St. Mark's Square (San Marco) which was close to our hotel. We had a very nice evening, but wondered what the funny-looking platforms we saw in the square were used for. The next morning we found out. The square was flooded that morning, but was dry again in the afternoon. So we got to see both aspects of the city.

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This is the square with St. Mark's and the campanile tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the bridge of Sighs was undergoing renovation and was mostly boarded up. This is all we could see of it. In case it's not clear, the bridge is right in the middle of this photo with everything around it boarded up.

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For more of my pictures and the rest of the story visit this web page.

Jim and Ceci's visit to Venice