When two people who don’t share a dialect cook together, they find a universal language in food.
I had the great opportunity yesterday to cook Turkish food with a group of Turkish and American women. On the menu: Grape Leaves, Ravioli Alla Turca, Red Lentil Soup and Eggplant Salad. As I jumped in to help by chopping an onion, the head Turkish cook, who does not speak English, stood near me, looking concerned. I stepped away, handed her the knife, and she showed me exactly how that onion should be chopped for her recipe. A few minutes later, we sat across from each other at a big table, where I watched her roll a mixture of rice, pine nuts, mint, dill, currants spices and lemon juice in big green leaves. I did what she did, and she motioned how I could improve. Soon, I was making lovely cigar-shaped dolmas at a quick pace. She smiled and nodded. A delicious day.