last night emir and haley (emre's brother and sister-in-law) stayed over. since they live in the not so close reaches of new jersey, this has become an almost weekly tradition that i love, whose days are numbered, because, drumroll please....at the beginning of november they will heed our call and move into an adorable garden apartment in greenpoint. when i say garden apartment, i really mean it. you walk through the street side building and out to the garden to get to their little 'granny' apartment. so cute. if i didn't love them (and my oft-plagued apartment) so much i'd be so green with envy as to consider hating them.
to thank them for taking care of our excruciatingly finicky old cat while we were in turkey, emre made kuru fasilye (a white bean dish) and i made borek (spinach pie). we used all turkish ingredients that somebody who shall remain nameless who is so painfully law abiding that she was sweating bullets like she was maria full of grace or something, smuggled through customs. what officer? fifteen pounds of white cheese? no, i definitely did not pack that!
after dinner i played a slide show of the bazillion pictures i took in istanbul. damn that gorgeous skyline of glorious domes and pointy minarets that resist perfect essential capture yet INSIST you shoot shoot shoot more more more photos while desperately trying!
emre teetered off to bed. and when i say teetered i actually mean groaned, rubbed his bloodshot eyes and collapsed. while the jetlag devastated me on the turkey side, emre's getting it on this end.
and then, midway through the slide show, emir disappeared into the other room. perhaps it was my own jetlag, but i was completely clueless to the fact that he was lighting candles on a cake. i can't remember being so taken by surprise. forgive me if you've surprised me and i'm forgetting, but really, when was a birthday cake a surprise? though this trip to turkey was a beautiful big birthday gift, perhaps because i was out of the country, my birthday passed pretty uneventfully, with shopping at the grand bazaar for little turkish trinkets for christmas gifts and a bowl of soup under the galata bridge. (spoiler alert: you may receive a little turkish trinket from me in the near future). pretty nice. but pretty unceremoniously did the ultimate ex-hovy's selfish holiday slip by.
so the cake. it did take me by surprise. all these words to explain how happy the above sight in my kitchen made me this morning...