Yashim put out the call, and you came from Wisconsin and Istanbul, from Pakistan and California, from Europe, Asia and the Americas, generously offering to roadtest Yashim’s favourite Ottoman recipes for his Istanbul Cook Book. Soups and stews and dolma and sarma, salads and puddings and meze and fish: they have all been sampled, in kitchens from Ankara to Aberdeen. Many of you already have sent in your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org – most of them, I’m glad to say, enthusiastic.
A well-known crime author loved the lamb and loved the beans, and will definitely do them both again.
A kindly tester took her Albanian dish to a Greek film night and adroitly avoided sparking an international incident.
A five-year old ate everything on his plate, all cooked by his grandfather!
In America a translator set aside his work to deal with the tiny fish lady, and prepared fresh tuna. He came back for more.
In Poland, two women cooked three dishes together – and took the skins off a pot of beans, for Yashim’s salad.
People tracked down urfa biber (aka isot biber) from ethnic groceries – and even on the internet.
The listings magazine Time Out Istanbul did a recipe – and asked to review the book when it comes out on July 9th.
Somewhere in America, a tester went to the store for eggplant and only found leeks, so I offered her a recipe with leeks. When she got back to the shop she found the leeks sold out and eggplant back in stock. She made the dish (and a sensible remark about quantities) and loved it.
A surprising number of cooks sprang a new dish on friends – and were glad that it turned out so well.
I’ve had really useful feedback, too, on quantities, and spicing, and oven temperatures and timing, all of which have gone into the book. If you don’t use metric and centigrade, I’ll be adding a dead simple conversion chart.
So I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has got involved, and hope that you had fun, and to thank your friends and families. I love these photos! Some of you are still engaged on Yashim’s behalf, so thank you: I am really looking forward to your thoughts and reactions, too.