Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cravings (For Girls Only)

Men: this post is really for women, as most guys can't possibly understand the intensely physical/emotional food cravings that go along with being a girl. I'd thank you to come back and read another day. -Brin

There. That got rid of the lot of them. Mostly nothing but ex's and former co-workers and no-do-gooders anyway. (Smile) Glad it's just us girls now.

So here's a very different post for me. For you. For you and me. But it's a tricky time of the month craving/calorie/cramping wise. You know how it goes. I woke up this morning incredibly hungry for... for... what? What was I hungry for? Not the usual french fries and mayonnaise, as is typically the only thing I want to eat 12 days out of the year. Nope, this time I was hungry for something exotic and spicy and warm and tender and...

... oh no. I'm hungry for Istanbul.

I've been a lot of places in the past year, but none captured my heart so completely as Istanbul. I was so surprised to find that I enjoyed - no, adored - the food there. (Americans are always so snobby about our food, aren't we... so particular and demanding and scared to death that a mouthful of something not regulated by the FDA will surely, without fail, kill us dead.) And of course, we know that Americans can cook. Can we ever. But there sure is some delicious cuisine to be had across those wide oceans.

My two favorite foods from Turkey turned out to be pide and iskender. Hands down. Peter Cherches explains pide best, I think: a flat bread topped with cheeses and/or meat... a Turkish version of pizza. But oh, it's so much more than that. Today I would give my left foot and both my ears for a slice of pide. Just one. Quick. Does anyone have a Turkish restaurant near you? I'll hop a plane tonight.

This is iskender. The lamb ones I had are... sinful. Spicy, tomatoey meat piled on warm, freshly-baked flat bread with butter sauce and yogurt, or something akin, served on the side. Sounds unappealing, I know, but... I dream of it even now. Why does Istanbul have to be so far away?

So. Funny question today, but I'm looking for something to get my mind off pide. Tell me: what do you crave? What do you go reaching for in the middle of the night? What chases away your crampy blues? What food from your past would you like to see on your plate (bowl) again? What recipe has gotten away from you that you'd give anything to find?

Hmm. There. Feel better already. Interested to see what you all crave, and am glad us girls could have this chat. *wink*


Anonymous said...

Brin, my grandmama used to make these cookie with spices and molasses and raisins and nuts that would make the whole house smell so good, and were great with a glass of milk, i still want them. She passed in June '03 and the recipe went with her, i want to taste those cookies so bad sometimes i can hardly stand it, my sister and i have tried to make them and they dont even close so i know what you mean. are you sure a regular old pizza won't work for your cravings?! :-> connie

Anonymous said...

Brownies, always brownies at this particular time that you are talking about here. Yup. I sure am enjoying your posts from your hideaway in the mountains. And no running water? Woah. I don't know how you are doing that, but it still sounds fun. Love from Auntie M

Amy said...

I gotta have a hamburger and fries once a month. (Had one today!)

Daily, I crave coffee with lots of cream and Splenda.

Anonymous said...

I crave Cheese Zombies from when I was in high school. They were a huge mound of dough with a hunk of melted cheddar cheese in the middle. And then butter was brushed on top and they were served warm! We all loved when Cheese Zombies were on the menu!! I haven't had one in almost 30 years!!!


Kristy said...

I'm not complicated - once a month, I just need some chocolate. Preferably in a chocolate chip cookie, like my mom makes, which I think is probably just the Toll House recipe. And if I could really have it the way I wanted it - it would be raw cookie dough. Uncooked eggs and all - if something I eat is going to kill me, that's the way I want to go.

And just for the record, reading (and writing) this is a form of torture, because tomorrow I'm dieting (and doing really well) but tomorrow I go visit my parents, who don't understand dieting and eating healthy, and I keep having this nightmare that my mom is going to make me chocolate chip cookies and give me a big old spoonful of the batter.

Beverly said...

I crave something salty like Ritz crackers and something sweet, like dark chocolate.
The Turkish restaurant nearest to your current location is Efes Turkish Cuisine 1701 E. Guadalupe Road, Tempe - (480) 897-3017 http://www.efesturkishcuisine.com/ only 450 miles away. Maybe they deliver!

Rosa said...

If it comes to chasing away the 'crampy blues' I like to have homemade smartie cookies on hand. Chocolate and carbs! Yum!
As for a lost food that I crave, oddly enough my sister was just visiting me for a week and we both tlaked about how much we missed a dutch dessert my grandma used to make when we were kids.
(This may sound rather gross to most of you! My husband thinks it's disgusting. :))
You make cream of wheat with milk instead of water,use just a pinch of salt, some sugar and a little almond extract.
This gets cold in the fridge while you make the sauce. It's made with red current juice, thickened with cornstarch and sweetened with suger to taste. (You can pour it over the pudding hot or cold.
I like it cold best.)
Not exactly a measured out recipe!
My grandma had shown my sister once, years ago how to make it , so she decided that we would take a shot at satisfiying our craving and it was every bit as good as we remembered!
Every bite made me feel like a child again!
It was lovely.

Anonymous said...

Grilled cheese and tomato soup!

The ultimate comfort foods... :)

Harbor Hon said...

I would walk miles ... literally miles for a good Cioppino (seafood stew). Has always been my favorite and only a very few places still know how to make it. Talk about heaven in a bowl. And a torn, not cut, piece of really good french bread with butter. Hope my keyboard doesn't short out from me salivating over this.

Never had pide, but it sure looks good. Mmmmm! xxoo

redeemed diva said...

first of all, yummy-I love the food pics and the descriptions of the Turkish food. So hungry now!
I grew up in the largest Finnish community in the world outside of Finland-so I CRAVE pulla (a sweet bread with cardamom), karjalanpiirakka found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Karjalanpiirakka-20060227.jpg and mojakka (fish stew), panukakku (pancake cake), and the prune dessert which most people think "Prunes?" until they have it, and then everyone says, "PRUNES!!! Hooray for prunes!"
BTW,thanks for taking us all on your trip!

Anonymous said...

hot dogs and potatoe pancakes- ummm then some chocolate for dessert - please share some more pics of milly- i absolutley adore her - she is so precious!!!elizabeth

Anonymous said...

I crave salty, buttery popcorn. MMM. Wish I had some right now. :o) And if I'm desiring something sweet, either chocolate (most often) or caramel popcorn, which has a gazillion calories so I only make a few times/year.

Those food photos look yummy, and I'm a vegetarian. :o) he, he

Sorry you're feeling crampy. Hope it's all better tomorrow!


Seawashed said...

Chocolate of course! And not just any chocolate, but Doves dark chocolate pieces. Not the bar, but the individually wrapped pieces in the bag.

During the 'red tent' time it's In-n-out french fries. For those of you whom do not know what In-n-Out is, well, the french fries are made from whole potatoes. Yep, you can watch them put them in the potato chopper thingie and then throw them into the hot oil to fry, take them out and salt them. I don't even need a burger to go with them, but usually have one with grilled chopped onions, special sauce, fresh tomato and lettuce. Mmmmm

Healthy cravings...yes, I do have them too...homemade chicken soup, especially with dumplings, or grilled chicken breast on fresh organic greens. And fresh blueberries,strawberries, homemade blueberry scones.

Faith said...

I dread my lovely little female "visit" every month. Why? Because I'm insatiably hungry! ALL THE TIME! What do I crave? What DON'T I crave. The hunger strikes pretty much whenever my eyes are open and I'm upright and even a few times when I'm not. Lately, I've had a ginormous hankerin' for my momma's fabulous apple pie. And of course chocolate.... lots of chocolate. And cereal with raw milk. (SO delicious.) And a burger. And pancakes. And cookies and cream ice cream. And raspberry scones with a yummy cup of coffee. Is that all? Probably not, but I'm running out of room. I had better quite whilst I am ahead!!

The Babysitters Love said...

PICKLES! Dill. Love, love, love them hugged by wheat bread and cream cheese! I always love pickles, but during this time, I HAVE to have a jar near by!

Anonymous said...

My once-a-month craving varies, but it is always salty (cheese and crackers, chips, fries, etc...).

The food I miss is my mom's sour cream chicken enchiladas and her Spanish rice. I can fix them myself, but it taste so much better when my mom cooks it. Or maybe it's eating good food with people I love. *sigh* I'm going to have to plan a trip home.

Anonymous said...

Lots of Mexican food. Everything from queso to chips & hot sauce. But if I can't have that I will eat just about anything in sight. Oh, I also have to have chocolate. That is about the only time that my sweet tooth acts up.

Hope you find something to settle your cravings. Knowing you the way that I do, you could find something to cook and without a doubt it will be wonderful.

Be safe on your journey and come home wholehearted and healed with a new lease on life. See you when you get home. :) Amber

singingsolace said...

Come to New York! We have tons of great Turkish food!


That one is the best one in town!

I adore your blog! I check for updates several times a day!

Anonymous said...

There's a local restaurant that makes the best pimiento cheese using a hint of mustard. The serve it warmed and gooey with fresh tortilla chips. I'd wash it back with sweet iced tea, so common in my Southern home - but I never tire of it.

And if I can't have that, give me a chili cheese dog from the neighborhood grill and a tall, refreshingly cold glass of orangeade. . .


Kath said...

Garlic Bread! Or garlic anything! Almost more than chocolate - Hershey's, of course :)

(love your blog, by the way, even though I am a stranger from the other side of the world)

Anonymous said...

Once a month, I MUST have a Runza (local fast food chain) cheeseburger with mustard and pickles and LARGE french fries, extra salt and dipped in more mustard (or mayo on some months); an XL Mountain Dew to wash it all down.

Also coffee- creamed & sweetened.

DARK chocolate

Good crusty bread & butter
Mashed potatoes w/ butter
Bacon or sausage, waffles with butter
(are you seeing a trend here?)
Steak, baked potato with... you know.

Basically the 4 PMS food groups- Grease, SALT, Chocolate and Caffeine.

Thanks for sharing your Turkish cravings. They sound wonderful!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

I roast a can of garbanzo beans in the oven. I put them on a cookie sheet, cover them with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Then I roast them at 400 degrees for around 15 minutes (you've got to keep an eye on them). So good!

But be sure to get a small can of beans. I once made a whole can and proceeded to eat the whole can. Only after did I look at the calorie info and noticed that an entire can of beans had about as many calories as a Big Mac.

Kim said...

Hands down -- my grandmother's rigatoni. She's gone now and no one absolutely no one can make it like she did. Wonder if you can cook in heaven? I know we won't need it, but wonder just wonder if you can indulge? I hope so because after lavishing my sweet Jesus with praise the next best thing is spending time with my grandmother.

Anonymous said...

OK~since my monthly curse(yes, curse..the cramps are AWFUL..and the cravings...oh the cravings!)is due any day now..AND my stomach is so bloated that it gets there 10 min. before I do(I always have to tell people I am NOT pregnant,they swear up and down I am...ummmm...I would know! I am unable to have kids)I crave sweets one day(or maybe several days, if the truth be told)..cinnamon rolls..the homemade kind...tons of cinnamon and gooey frosting...then I go into the salty faze..there is an armenian dish (I am armenian)called cheese bodags (or borags..I can just see my aunt cringing at still being unable to spell it)It is made from filo dough...jack cheese inside..parsley...tons of butter...oh it is HEAVENLY....then yes, the cheeseburger and fries...and a chocolate shake....now its not all eaten on the same day...although there are some months when it does feel possible...I drag it all out through the process...if I could just cut out the killer cramps, major bloating...MAYBE it would be half tolerable?
Hang in there Brin,
Geneen from Calif

a woman who is said...

Brin,I know you must get a jillion of these, but I am giving you an award for the fine art of living. Stop by and see how you influence and bless people!

Betty said...

Hmmm..that 'special time' of the month bothers me no more! But I do so well remember the cravings..usually anything edible but breads of any kind, donuts and ice cream were my cravings!

Anonymous said...

I love to take a Hershey bar and dip it into peanut butter. Its so much better than a Reese's Cup! Also I have to admit at "certain" times of the month I have been known to squirt Whip Cream directly into my mouth from the cannister! Instant gratification....:) Rae

Anonymous said...

Mexican food, Chili Cheese Fries and chocolate dipped strawberries. There is a Hispanic Church here in our little town that on Fridays would serve & sell the. very. best. food. ever. Think about it... a bunch of church ladies cooking the way their mama's taught them. Stretchy eatin' britches time! Can't wait until sidewalk sale days.....that's the only time they do it now.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but what I crave is a nice full glass of yummy smooth and fruity red wine. Usually served with pasta and my homemade sauce topped with plenty of Parmesan.

Either that, or chocolate. Dark chocolate. The darker the better!

Terri Steffes said...

brin,such an adorable post. You know, when I am really feeling particularly unloved, I crave my mom's potato soup. It is made with whole milk, chunks of potatoes and onions and dumplings! I eat it hot with buttered toast. I absolutely love this and for me it is the pide you are craving. ooops, I said pide. Ooops, there I go again.

Pappy said...

Oooooh Cooties! A girly blog. Hi Brin. As Toby Kieth would say "Let's talk about me." I was honored along with you in a post by A Woman Who Is. I have two daughters 20 Something/30 Something and a wife, so I am not unfamiliar with my feminine side. Loved the food pictures and that bit of sass in the commentary. Come by for a visit when you feel like it. Pappy

Lettered Cottage said...

I crave sushi. Usually once a month, and not necessarily at that CERTAIN TIME of the month either. It just happens. Out of nowhere. The thought of eating sushi pops in my head, the memory of the taste pops in my mouth, and BAM! I HAVE to have it. But I usually don't...I'd rather spend the money on our cottage. :-)

Kristie @ Comfy Cozy said...

What don't I crave!?!

Okay really, at "certain" times I crave Dove milk chocolate, sweet tea and pizza. Right now I'm craving a reubon sandwich...gotta get me one soon!

Unknown said...

When "Aunt Flo" visits I treat myself to good chocolates, dark and rich! Lately, I've been into sampling the new flavored chocolates like Starbucks has come out with, yummy! Brin, if anyone can copy a recipe, you can, so I know you will come up with your own version of pide so we all can savor Istanbul with you!

Anonymous said...

I need to find a Turkish restaurant the next time I'm in S.F. I want to try that pide now! I must be on your same female schedule...today & yesterday I crave Kettle Chips~ the Backyard Barbeque flavor.

Anonymous said...

San Antonio has a surfeit of fine restaurants (if that's possible), but the thing to die for is Shrimp Paesano. I also crave a dessert called Baby Huey (or Bambino Huey) -- indescribable really, but some sort of gooey something that melts in your mouth. On the savory side, in Boerne and Gruene you can get Fickle Pickles -- sweet, zesty, and crunchy. Save the juice for use as a marinade. I also love to fix roasted red peppers (just add olive oil) and roasted sliced cauliflower (just add pepper). My grandmother was a fantastic cook and I loved her applesauce stack cake. God did a good thing when he gave us taste buds!

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

Brin, you make me giggle! girls only! Ha! that'll stop em :). The one thing I am not close to that I crave would be she crab soup at the Old Pinke House in Savannah, GA :). Chocolate would be my second choice.