2005 Bayram Dinner Reports
SEATTLE BAYRAM CELEBRATION
Kneeling: Ruth Hultengren and
Sitting: Ali San, Yasemin San, Diana
Pearce, Eleonora Fayzuellaeva and Pat Anderson
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
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,
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"
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)