Posts Tagged With: Turkey

321/365: National Baklava Day*

If you know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, you’re halfway to enjoying today’s food holiday already. November 17 is National Baklava Day!

It’s also National Homemade Bread Day. A tempting holiday to celebrate, especially given the fact that Tara makes a really good beer bread from scratch that I can never seem to get enough of. But baklava is more exotic, and with our food challenge rapidly winding down – seriously, only 44 days left! – we want to take advantage of some of the more unique foods we might not otherwise eat again for a long time. Or ever. So, baklava it is.

This classic Mediterranean dessert is made with layers of phyllo dough, nuts, butter, and sugar, and topped with syrup or honey. Assyrians have been baking similar sweet layered pastries since the 8th century B.C., though the exact origin of baklava itself is in dispute. Even the name itself is a mystery. It may come from the Mongolian root baγla meaning “to tie, wrap up, pile up” while baklağı and baklağu point to possible Turkish roots. Indeed, the oldest known recipe was found in a food and health manual printed in Turkey in 1330. Other claims include a Mesopotamian, Persian, or Byzantine background. This is just one of those foods that we’ll never really know for sure how or why it came about, but we can be thankful for because it’s so stinkin’ good regardless.

I searched for “baklava” and “Portland” on Yelp and got a bunch of good hits. After skimming through the reviews, we settled on a Greek deli called Ozzie’s. Grabbed some gyros for lunch on Saturday, and brought back baklava. It was wonderful – crispy, chewy, and sweet.

National Baklava Day

Categories: Pastry | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

89/365: National Turkey Neck Soup Day

You’ll want to gobble up a bowl of delicious, hot soup today. March 30th is National Turkey Neck Soup Day! Which, let’s face it, is kind of bizarre. Turkey soup I could see. But turkey neck soup?! Sounds like something only Cousin Eddie would appreciate. Save-Neck-For-Me-Navy-Shirt

Few foods are as quintessentially American as turkey. Not only is it synonymous with Thanksgiving, but every signature on the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other important documents dreamed up by the Founding Fathers was inscribed using a turkey feather quill. By the way, ever wonder why turkeys are referred to as Tom? Benjamin Franklin jokingly called them that because Thomas Jefferson chose the bald eagle over the turkey to represent the new nation’s symbol. I guess Jefferson really ruffled Ben’s feathers.

The turkey neck may not be the most popular part of the bird, but the meat it contains is pretty tasty – as long as you cook it for awhile. It is tough at first, but after several hours simmering in broth, it becomes quite tender and flavorful. Making a turkey neck soup was a breeze. We had some wonderful leftover homemade chicken stock which we used as a base, along with the requisite turkey necks (surprisingly easy to find – thanks, mom!), some carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bell peppers, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. It made for a delicious lunch!

Turkey Neck Soup

Categories: Poultry, Soup | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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