We came back to Ankara the Saturday before school started. We had been away from the house for so long there was a lot to do, cleaning, food shopping, and getting ready for work the next day. Since we went vegetarian we pack our lunches, so we also had to do some food preparation. Due to the time constraints, it took a while to get back into the normal swing of things. But by last weekend we were back, and by that, I mean I was back at the pazar.
I wanted to make some hot pepper jelly, and found a great hot pepper stand. I spent quite a while tasting this pepper and that pepper. I bought some really spicy green peppers and he gave me quite different kinds to try. Just as I was leaving I realized there was another type of pepper at the stand. I hit the jackpot! He had a couple of plastic tubs of fresh jalapeños! Normally you can only get jalapeños pickled, which do not have the full flavor of fresh. I immediately started picking out the best ones, and chatting with him about the peppers. The pazarci gave me some more peppers as gifts (probably five different types), and then a mandarin orange as he was concerned about how many hot peppers I had tasted. I told him about my plans to make hot pepper jelly and he was very interested. We talked some more and then I headed off to scour the pazar for the best figs for jam.
Yesterday I got around to making the jalapeño pepper jelly. I haven’t tasted it yet, but at least it jelled, so that is a step in the right direction. Yum! I can’t wait to try it with some labne. I left some seeds in so it actually should be pretty spicy.
It only took two weeks for life to get back to “normal” in Ankara. I am glad we got there because our schedules are pretty packed for the next two weeks. Bülent’s sister is getting married this month. She is doing the nikah (legal marriage contract) with her friends and co-workers in Antalya next weekend, and the weekend after that is having the reception in Ankara. We are looking forward to celebrating both with her.