Can you say that? POT- la- JOHN…
Well, now you have just increased your Turkish vocabulary by one word. (You already knew Kismet, right? Didn’t know it was Turkish?) Anyway, today’s word is Patlican, pronounced Pot-la-john, the c being pronounced like a J in Turkish.
My friends down the road here gave me a patlican just before they left on their road trip to Maine. It was a beautiful, just the right size, deep purple patlican. I never thought to take a picture of it – I know, I should have. But I am not into cooking (its a chore, not a fun activity for me) so I am not into recipes or putting food pictures on my blog. In fact, if I look thru blogs and find one that is mostly recipes, chances are I will not be back for a return visit. Cooking bores me. Eating bores me. It is a means to an end.
BUT, my friends Beatrice and Grenville are into cooking and love to eat good food, and, well, they gave me this patlican. (are you still reading POT la John?) Maybe it was the prize for recognizing the picture of the boat’s bottom after the barnacles had been scraped off. (My knuckles hurt with the memory of hours of barnacle scraping!) At any rate, home it came and into the dish and oven it went… I must say, it was delicious!
OK, why do I call it patlican? As a little kid growing up in my grandmother’s house in PA, we never ate it. In fact, I never even heard of it until I went to live with my father in Turkey, and there I learned a number of foods by their Turkish names and to this day, that is how I think of them. Having Turkish friends who own a restaurant down the street and having a Turkish waiter most of the time, I love being able to practice my rusty Turkish. And they seldom laugh! In fact, some times they are quite amazed at what I do remember – but not as much as I am! I spent much of my time with older Turkish people and some Kurdish folks. They used (and I picked up) some apparently quaint phrases, actually using very old language, Ottoman, in fact. Hey! What do I know? If this is a phrase you use under certain circumstances, like any other kid, I used it. oh, I do digress… But the point is, I still think of some things by their Turkish name, and if you hang out with me, you will too. Just yesterday, the friend I had lunch with ordered “soot-lotch” – and the waiter brought him some rice pudding. My friend speaks English and Italian, patlican and sutlac in Turkish!
So, the point of this blog, actually, is to thank Beatrice for giving me the patlican, Grenville for growing it, and Anna for cooking it.