Istanbul Rocks on 30 April—International Jazz Day
UNESCO International Jazz Day, 30 April
Live stream video performance at this link at 2 PM today http://live.jazzday.com/
Great piece on NBC News about Chobani Yogurt. It’s made in New York…by Turks! Find it here.
This Website, HollyChase.com, is testimony to our passions— travel, history, beautiful photography, books, and gastronomy.
Although our focus is on Turkey and the Middle East, we are eclectic, especially when we cook and share food.
Our recently published eBook, which grew from our popular blog, AlmostItalian.com, explores the cuisine developed by Italian-American immigrants. Illuminating immigrant identity through scholarly sleuthing, pop culture, language, music, and scores of straightforward recipes, Almost Italian: A Cookbook & History of Italian Food in America celebrates the Red Sauce Renaissance with gusto.
Here’s an excerpt from the book. As you’ll see, we like to place our recipes in a cultural context:
The idea of self-purification through deprivation, followed by celebratory consumption, is ancient. A variety of similar practices evolved under the influence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; all “people of the Book” have traditionally observed periods of fasting followed by feasting.
Nowhere are the traditions associated with food more richly varied than in Italy. At the center of the Mediterranean, the peninsula was home to its own pagan rites and those of early Greek colonizers. Roman domination throughout Mare Nostrum meant that ideas, techniques, and ingredients—from the shores around the Empire and beyond—all came back to Rome. Italy in the medieval period saw much Muslim influence—the introduction of sugar cane, rice, citrus, and Asian spices; the widespread use of water-wheels for irrigation; the refinements of alcoholic distillation; and the rediscovery and translation of Greek botanical treatises. Nonetheless, the culture of Catholicism, especially the culinary expressions associated with the Church calendar, remained dominant throughout mainland Italy and coexisted with Islam in Sicily. Later Italian influence extended far beyond the peninsula, for the Age of Discovery sent Genoese merchants and fisherman to the heathen New World. Those mariners brought back the codfish that became the iconic food of Lent throughout Europe…
—from Almost Italian: A Cookbook & History of Italian Food in America
And we invite you to visit our culinary blog, where we continue to post recipes as we compile Volume II of Almost Italian.
The Kindle® Edition of TURKISH TAPESTRY is ready
I’m happy to announce the 1st digital edition of my book, Turkish Tapestry, A Traveller’s Portrait of Turkey. The paperback book has been out-of-print and available only from second-hand sources, but now anyone may download it in less than a minute and read it on the Amazon Kindle®.
It is also formatted for the Sony Reader and other digital devices.
This sort of reinvention is far outside my own disciplines, so I’ve been lucky to have the skills of a colleague with prodigious tech talents—Skip Lombardi. Skip had recently digitized one of his own books for Kindle:
La Cucina dei Poveri, Recipes from My Sicilian Grandparents (a delicious culinary memoir of growing up in a Sicilian-American kitchen).
After Skip had digitized Turkish Tapestry, he took time out to write about the geeky aspect of publishing with Kindle. If the nuts and bolts of electronic publishing interest you, please read Skip’s witty and informative account of publishing without paper. See his blog, Sarasota Soundings
As Skip clearly demonstrates, the dead-tree-to-Kindle conversion is definitely not a one-click process. So, if you are a publisher or author planning to upload your own titles, be forewarned that you’ll probably need several bowls of pasta with Skip’s grandmother’s marinara sauce to keep you going!
We’re pleased, really PLEASED, to let you know that very soon, we’ll begin presenting a series of culinary talks coupled with cooking classes/demonstrations. We’ll be making these presentations—not in a supermarket, not in a cooking school—but in private homes, right here in Sarasota. We hope to have more specifics within a few days, but right now we can tell you that…
• As we did in our classes at Whole Foods, we’ll begin with offerings from the cuisines of Italy and the Middle East (Turkish, Arab, & Persian) …For sample recipes click here.
• Enrollments will be limited (probably no more than 8-12 participants per scheduled class, depending on the venue)…
• We will consider private presentations in your home, to suit YOUR schedule.
• We’ll focus on seasonal ingredients, simple techniques, and preparations that participants can reproduce at home.
Check back here for more details—or better yet—subscribe to our RSS feed and WE”LL KEEP YOU INFORMED OF THE WHERE & WHEN…
Buon appetito, afiyet olsun, sihhateyin, nush e jaan!
Skip Lombardi & Holly Chase
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the video
We’re now designing some Turkish and Mediterranean culinary programs to be conducted in Turkey. At this stage, we are considering week-long packages that would include accommodations; market visits; informal lectures and discussions of food and culture; meals and cooking demonstrations in homes and unusual restaurants; as well as visits to growers, producers, and vendors of traditional foods. English-speaking members of our team would be on hand to translate and facilitate this intimate cultural exchange.
A program could be designed to focus on one particular city or province or be more general, with an overview of, say, Eastern Mediterranean ingredients and dishes common to both Greece and Turkey. These programs will have limited enrollments but would need to have at least 6 participants.
We’d like your input! What features would be most important to YOU? Do you prefer hands-on preparation or simply watching practiced cooks and chefs prepare the delicious dishes you will share? Do you favor a particular time of year? Would you enjoy putting together your own small group so demonstrations and discussions could take place on one of our chartered yachts ? (They all have spacious, topside galleys), or in a potter’s studio. Please write or call us to express your interest
Arthur Frommer has a recent blog post (June 29, 2007) about “Pure Travel Consultants” and the services my colleagues and I provide on a fee basis vs. the commission-based compensation of most travel agents. Please see what the patriarch of good value travel says on Frommer’s Travel Blog. (you’ll need to scroll down the page until you reach June 29th). Needless to say, we are flattered to have caught Mr. Frommer’s eye!
Turkish Cooking with Holly Chase, 11 am – 1:30 pm at Whole Foods, Sarasota.
Holly arranges gastronomic and cultural programs in Turkey and is an avid Turkish cook. Join Holly as she talks about the diverse cuisines of Turkey and prepares Yalanci Dolma (Rice-Stuffed Grape Leaves), Fried Zucchini with Garlic & Yogurt Sauce, Muhammara (Walnut & Red Pepper Dip) and Spicy Lentil & Bulgur Croquettes. Please pre-register for this class located in the Whole Lifestyle Center. For more on Turkish food and culture, please visit Holly’s Web Site.
We are pleased to be the American contact for our Turkish friends and colleagues: Equinox Travel and Asia Minor Tours.
Whether our customers have wanted hot-air balloons, luxury yachts, or outback Jeep itineraries, we’ve long depended upon Equinox Travel to provide customized services for clientele traveling independently in Turkey. Applying equal expertise, Equinox have conducted both Asia Minor Tours’ packages and our own academic and special affiliation tours visiting both well-known and more remote areas of the country.
The Asia Minor Tours website offers imaginative package tours that are of excellent value.
These are guaranteed to run on the dates posted with as few as two participants. Package itineraries and add-on excursions are described in detail.
We urge you to visit both the Equinox Travel and Asia Minor Tours websites as they provide much useful trip-planning information and valuable internet links to sites concerned with Turkish travel and culture.
We are here in the US to help you do virtually anything you’d like to do in Turkey. Chose a package tour or take advantage of us to design an independent itinerary. Whether you’d like to retrace the footsteps of St. Paul, sip wine on the deck of your chartered sailboat, or study the tiles of Istanbul’s fabled Blue Mosque, we’ll make sure that the Turkish welcome mat is unfurled for you. Please do not hesitate to email or call.
Please visit our Travel Services page for more information about our consulting fees.