Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year because it’s the season of the pumpkin. I love carving jack-o-lanterns, toasting pumpkin seeds, making (and eating) pumpkin pie, and smothering my face in a yummy, tingly pumpkin mask (does anyone remember The Great Pumpkin Mask that Sephora made some years ago? Heaven in a jar…).
Some years ago, my mother-in-law gave me yet another reason to delight in the season with a recipe for kabak tatlIsI, a Turkish pumpkin sweet. It’s easy – and its sweetness can be easily tailored to your own taste.
Here’s hoping the Great Kabak TatlIsI makes it to your pumpkin patch this year!
- ~3 pounds of pie pumpkin
- 1 1/2 tea glasses of sugar (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 glass of water (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 glass of crushed walnuts (about 1/2 cup)
- whipped cream (optional)
- peel and slice the pumpkin into thick wedges; set seeds aside for roasting, if desired
- arrange wedges into a shallow saucepan
- add sugar, add water to pumpkin
- cover and simmer for ~30-40 minutes – pumpkin should be tender but should not break apart at the least provocation…
- plate, pour over sugar syrup, sprinkle with walnuts…and enjoy!
My own mother likes to add a dollop of whipped cream before the nuts…and since it’s a holiday, anything goes!
Nine cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Nine. For those who aren’t familiar, a single cycle of IVF medications and ultrasounds and surgical procedures and non-surgical procedures can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks, often necessitating breaks and more tests in between cycles, and the requisite holding-of-one’s-breath for an additional 2 weeks to pee on a stick. And of course, as you may have already read from Yalya CorbasI, it ain’t over, even then…
So our statistical mantra, borrowed from Aristotle’s Cardinal Virtues, for bringing home baby was fortitude, and persistence. Then, of course, getting baby to eat pIrasa requires a similar virtue. PIrasa is a dish of braised leeks with carrots, rice, lemon juice, and a hint of sugar. It should be love-at-first-bite, but, like many things in our lives, this took a few tries before Ayla looked forward to her leeks.
- 3 tbpsn arborio rice, washed
- 8 long carrots, cut on the bias
- 6 leeks, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch-wide pieces
- 4-6 tbspn olive oil
- 1 tbspn salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 cup boiling water
- remove the outer layers of the leeks and trim off the bottoms and tops, then cut into inch/inch-and-a-half-wide pieces; rinse well
- heat olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat
- add leeks and carrots, stir then cover, and let them “sweat” as Anne says…about 5 minutes
- add rice, cover again for another 5 minutes
- add salt, sugar, lemon juice, boiling water; stir and cover
- cook on medium-low heat for about 25-30 minutes
This dish is one of my sister’s personal faves and is versatile in that it may be served warm or cold!