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2005 Bayram Dinner Reports

SEATTLE  BAYRAM CELEBRATION


Kneeling: Ruth Hultengren and Patty Anderson
Sitting: Ali San, Yasemin San, Diana Pearce, Eleonora Fayzuellaeva and Pat Anderson
Standing: Ismail Fayzuellaeva, George Wright, Dick Denda, Ashley Kangas, Rana San, Dale Hultengren, Dana Marmion and Kent Breidenstein

Seattle Cumhuriyet Bayram

The Cumhuriyet Bayram dinner invitations promoted it as a "potluck of Turkish Foods (or other delights) with a little music and a maybe few tall tales".

Just possibly, it lived up to its billing.  And, just possibly, Seattle area RPCV's are among the best preparers of Turkish cuisine this side of Istanbul. Who needs a restaurant when we can eat like this?

Still pleasantly suffering from the good-feelings hangover from the wonderful Portland reunion, we got together on October 29th at the home of Ruth and Dale Hultengren in Shoreline, a north Seattle suburb. Several dozen volunteers and friends of Turkey attended. RPCV's included: Pat & Patty Anderson (T-16), Dick Denda (T-13), Hanna Eulenberg (T-15), George Wright and Diana Pearce (T-9), Danny & Joanne White (T-4), Ed Elenbaas (T-8), Dana Marmion (T-15) and Dale Hultengren (T-15). Ali San, a Turkish instructor at Occidental in 1968, attended along with his wife, Yasemin, and daughter, Rana. Also present were Kent Breidenstein, Ruth Hultengren, Ashley Kangas (Sandy's daughter), Mac Wichman, David Hultengren, and Yannick Kirchhof (the Hultengren family's exchange student of the year). Our special guests were Ismail and Eleonora Fayzuellaeva of Uzbekistan.

(Thanks to George and Diana for bringing the Fayzuellaevas. Elenora is a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Washington with a special interest in women's roles in Central Asian society including domestic violence.   Multi-talented, she has also produced documentary films. Ismail used to be in charge of equipment procurement at the Ministry of Transportation. )

Meze, according to the Redhouse Sözlüğü, is from Persian and means 'savory tidbits'. That is where we began. Along with the Şam fıstık were the requisite variety of vegetables – the later featuring some wonderful roasted peppers. There was kaşar peynir and lots and lots of beyaz peynir to go wıth the zeytinler, pide and humus. Not just one version of yaprak dolması would do for us. We had two. 

There would be neither truth nor justice in suggesting "the main course featured". There were too many choices to call one a 'feature'. And there wasn't enough room on our bowls and plates to handle the choices. How does one choose from among mercimek çorbası, patlıcan musakkası, tabouhle, Adana kebab, peynirli börek, and pilav – again, not one type, but two: one from Uzbekistan the other from Adana. Topping our plates with cacık and pide, we searched for a place to sit. 

As though we had not dined well enough there were, to further fill us: ayva kompostu, baklava and havuç kekki. (Larry Montgomery, where are you when I need you? "kekki" mi?)

Sitting at three different tables, it was difficult to share conversation equally with everyone who attended. But share we did. Or share we tried. We missed the many local RPCV's who were unable to attend and hope that they will be with us next year.  We, also, unfortunately missed getting everyone together for a picture at the start of the evening.  So apologies to those not pictured.

                                                                                   Dale Hultengren (T-15)

Bayram Dinner Reports

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10/30/16