Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Turkey Dinner

I just had the best Turkey dinner ever!

Actually, it was the only Turkey dinner I've been to. Not that I haven't eaten my weight and then some on Thanksgiving.

This Turkey dinner was actually a luncheon I attended at the Jackson Hilton today. The Turkey, Azerbaijan & Mississippi Business Summit Luncheon, to be exact. I was covering it for a newspaper, but that was just an excuse to be exposed to a culture I knew absolutely nothing about. Until today.

Turkey is a cool country! So is Azerbaijan. The people (and there were a lot of them) are just as nice as they can be, although those with strong accents were a little difficult to understand. All the big-dog elected officials were there: Congressman Gregg Harper, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, and other assorted State senators and representatives and a sprinkling of mayors. And no, we did not eat turkey (big disappointment for me, as I love irony so very much!).

I had so much fun with my new Turkish friends that I went to the Old Capitol Inn tonight for the reception. Am I glad I did. I got to hob-knob with our new governor, Phil Bryant.

(That's Bill and Linda Wilson. Don't they look important, posing with the Guvna?)

And the food (again, no turkey) was a. maze. ing. Kind of a mix between Lebanese and Greek food, but with a twist. All fresh, delicious and beautiful.

We drank special Turkish tea and Turkish coffee in little demitasse cups for dessert. All while listening to wonderful blues music by my man, Raphael Semmes, and some of the best musicians in Jackson: Jewel Bass, Greg "Fingers" Taylor and Barry Leech. It was so surreal, being in that grand ballroom, surrounded by so many people speaking a language I've never heard before, eating amazing food that was new to my tongue and listening to familiar blues music. I loved it when they closed with B.B. King's "The Blues is Alright," and several of the Turkish-Azerbaijan contengency got on stage to sing with them. I've never seen grown men have so much fun!

We even did art projects! I made a picture of a flower, but the technique was the craziest thing I've ever seen. Paint is dropped on water using a paintbrush made of a rose bush stick and horsehair. Then you "dot" the paint with a little metal stylist. It's much more involved than I am describing, but trust me when I tell you my artwork was magnificent. I gave it to my mama and she was so proud of me!

Since the Baptist Hospital, my mother's home-away-from-home, is just down the street from the Old Capitol Inn, I scored a few Turkish treats to surprise her with. She was a happy camper!

Now added to my bucket list: a trip to Istanbul. I'm serious. I want to go!

Blessings to all who read this!


  1. Hey Susan,
    I was in Turkey about six years ago, and plan to go back. Turkey is a very safe country in which to travel. My husband was offered a teaching position there .... he may take them up on it one of these days. Let me know when you're ready to go, and I'll go with you!

  2. a p.s. ..... here's a link to the Turkish cultural organization. There are several throughout the South -- one here in Memphis and one there in Jackson. Put yourself on their mailing list and go to the cooking schools, the henna nights, etc. Click on the link then click on the Mississippi link. http://www.raindropturkishhouse.org/

  3. It could happen...in September. I'm hoping to go as a journalist during a trade mission there...and yes, we will talk! I met some people from raindrop last night...the nicest folks! Thanks for sharing!