My trip to visit my brother’s family is almost over… I go back to New Jersey, my real life, tomorrow. I have been here for nine days and I don’t know where the time has gone. Basically I spent most of my time sitting at home and watching my nephew while he slept, fed and p…ed. This whole week has had a very calming effect on me; previously, I never would’ve believed that I could’ve sat still without any major activity for this long. This has been the antidote to my hectic, boisterous summer in Bodrum but the predominant essence underlying both trips have been the element of family, connecting and creating memories. I will probably treasure this week among the most precious in my life, the week I spent bonding with my newborn nephew.
Another great coincidence was Cenk’s absence due to business in New York; Wendy and I had a wonderful time at home taking care of the baby, outside taking the baby on our daily outings to the Grove or the museum. As it turns out, Cenk and Wendy’s apartment is five minutes from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, otherwise known as LACMA. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up even in my most serene state of mind. Most people who know me wouldn’t be surprised that I found my way either to the museum itself or to the park surrounding it at least four to five times this past week. It was inevitable…
We did get the opportunity to spend one Saturday with Cenk before he left and it ended up being a lovely day that began with breakfast at home and then later on a trip to the Grove, an outdoor shopping center located next to the Farmer’s Market, which is almost across the street from their apartment complex.
The Grove was delightful; we sat outside by the fountain at ‘the Farm of Beverly Hills’. The coffee was great and the light fare we enjoyed was delicious. Cenk opted for a cheese plate, I had Huevos Rancheros, basted eggs on a crisp corn tortilla with a ranchero sauce topped with cheese and avocado and Wendy had chicken fingers – her classic choice for this particular restaurant, I am told.
I concluded my meal with a piece of cheese and some candied pecans and caramelized pears from Cenk’s Cheese Plate.
This was my colorful ‘Huevos Rancheros’ which was innovative and surprising.
The Farm of Bevelry Hills at the Grove
189 the Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
For Cenk’s last dinner before he left, I prepared some of his favorites including ‘Torn Borek with Cheese’ which is sort of a Turkish version of a cheese soufflé. This was very impressive when it came out of the oven and they told me it tasted as good as it looked; I had to be satisfied with their declaration since I couldn’t judge for myself (it is definitely not gluten-free.)
‘Torn Borek with Cheese’
6 Flour Tortillas Shredded into small pieces
5 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheese (Mozarella or Mixed Mexican Cheese)
1/4 cup melted margarine
Mix all ingredients together and pour in a greased oven proof dish. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. Bake in 350 degree oven for about one hour. Serve immediately.
For this past week, I played the part of the elderly aunt come to help out… I don’t know when my life changed so much or when I changed so much that I am happy and content in this role. I am still surprised at myself and haven’t quite figured out the reason for this transformation… or maybe I have… That sweet smell, those trusting, smiling eyes, those heart melting cooing sounds… there is almost nothing I won’t do, no role I am not willing to play to be able to hold him as he sleeps peacefully in my arms.