Closer We Are to Pork


What I crave more than anything during this year in Turkey is something lusciously fatty, thoroughly smoked, noticeably aged–something that either snaps crisply or wobbles slightly when laid on a platter.

Silly poppets:  no matter how many martinis you’ve had already today, do not err and peg the above as self-description.  Because then–oddly–you’d be thinking that I came to Turkey only to crave myself.  And that’s not at all what has happened during the last nine months (it is, however, exactly what happened back in ’74 when I made the stupid decision to renew my passport and head off on a week-long junket to Paradise only to realize afterwards that, sure, I’d been to Paradise, but I’d never been to me).

Rather, I’m describing pork junk, people. PORK. Butt shavin’s, hock sicles, chop chowin’s, rump roastin’s, jowl jawin’s, loin lumps, all preferably slow roasted and served with a side of salty taters.

Definitely, during this year of craving, we’ve made the most of our trips out of the country, the odd ten-day vacations that I already recall fondly as 30-Meal Tours of Wilbur.  What’s more, my mom cemented her place in my will (note to self:  make will) when she responded to my request for a package of pepperoni and tucked the yum into her suitcase before visiting last month.

But still.  We miss Porky.  We pine for Pig.  The ache runs so deep that I found myself licking the television the other night when the kids were watching Loony Tunes.

Luckily, I’ve found a diversion, something that distracts me from this yen for swine.  Applying the same technique that unlocked Kafka for me in Honors English during junior year of high school, I’ve turned to dreamy musing.

I dream of bacon.  The dream always starts the same way, the way all my best dreams launch:  with a vision of my Groom.

Groomy has his eyes closed here (because–HELLO–it’s a dream, so we’re all sleeping, like in Honors English class) as he poses next to our favorite guy at the fruit & nut shop over in the town of Urgup. Nut Dude never fails to hasten a glass of tea into our hands before we exit the store, smiling and clutching our sesame-covered peanuts and ginormous figs.

A big moment for Nut Dude occurred a couple of months ago, when a cel-e-brit-eeee came to Cappadocia. Why yes, yes it isNicolas Cage, most recently of mug shot fame. But back in the day, back in Urgup, Nick was just another famous L.A.-based American with a thick wallet meandering into the fruit & nut shop looking to load up on lokum and tarhana.

Nut Dude and all his colleagues maintain to this day that–despite those pesky headlines about “Cage Yanks Wife and Punches Cars“–Nicolas was a charm, a real “iyi” guy, ready to pose for all photos, taste all sugared kiwis, and waddle out with five bags of Turkey-specific gifts for all his many beloveds except maybe not his wife unless there were 300 grams of Drunk and Disorderly sealed off with a twist-tie and earmarked for their next trip to New Orleans.  Thusly bolstered by delicious tastiness did Ghostrider 2 find its heart amidst the dusty Cappadocian mesas.

Here’s the thing.  Nicolas Cage was in Adaptation with Meryl Streep.

And Meryl Streep was in River Wild with Kevin, um, what’s his name?

Oh, yea. Now I remember. 

Dish it up for me, Chef. ‘Cause I can hear the sizzle; we’re cooking with heat now…roughly five very hot degrees:

From Groom
to Nut Dude
to Nicolas Cage
to Meryl Streep
to Kevin Bacon.

Mmmmmmm. Bacon.







14 responses to “Closer We Are to Pork”

  1. kmkat Avatar

    Mmmm. bacon. #2 Son’s gf doesn’t like pork of any kind — can you imagine? She’s a winner in every other way, though, so we let her off on the bacon thing.

  2. geewits Avatar

    Thanks alot. Now I have to go grab the bag of picante pork rinds.

  3. Monica Avatar

    LOL. !! Ahem, there was a time I wouldn’t mind me a piece of Kevin Bacon – back in the Footloose days – but then THEN I saw him in the TERRIBLE, HORRIFIC, NEVERABLETOFORGET, SAD, GRUESOME movie “Sleepers”, thus he will never appeal to me again… guess that’s the downside of being an excellent actor…

    When are you heading back to Amewica?

  4. lime Avatar

    so 5 degrees of separation and all roads lead to bacon. yes, i can see why you’d miss it. and libraries, i pined for them when i was abroad.

  5. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    And here I thought we’d read a punchline about Nicholas Cage BEING nuts.
    There is no fair substitute for bacon. None.

  6. Pearl Avatar

    Well done, grasshopper. 🙂

  7. Jazz Avatar

    Good thing for you and any pigs in Turkey that you’ll be coming back in a few months…

  8. pam Avatar

    Funny about pork and the cultural thing. I remember a post where you emptied your freezer, and me thinking “Americans must eat a LOT of pork” confirmed with reading other U.S. blogs, and therefore familiarizing myself with the unfamiliar term of “pulled pork”.
    While our national advertising campaign in Australia is to “throw another shrimp on the barbie”, I notice that “give the pig another turn on the rotisserie” might well apply to Greece, the Phillipines, and New Guinea amongst others.
    Being vegetarians our mates have added “wish you’d give that sad little chick pea burger the flick” to the barbie lingo.*
    *translation: To the barbecue linguistics our friends have added the desire to see our culinary attempt at ethically sound food practices end up tossed in the garden where all things that contain sprouts belong.
    My daughter calls our vegie sausagies “mockages”. She is a a turned vegetarian defecting to the other side. The smell of sizzling bacon did her in.

  9. secret agent woman Avatar

    I suspect I could live in Turkey the rest of my life and never crave pork. Sushi, maybe.

  10. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar

    Pardon me while I make a quick run to my favorite neighborhood taco shop for a carnitas burrito.

  11. Choochoo Avatar

    You just reminded me that I have a packet of frozen bacon in the freezer that I could have some fun with. If I was a mench, I’d send it to you.

  12. Jeni Hill Ertmer Avatar

    I too am a big lover of pork -provided it isn’t of the governmental kind. Oh sheesh, I lied as sometimes I suppose even I, in my hidden away location in this gully in central Pennsylvania, probably have benefited now and again from some of that pork too, haven’t I? But bacon -nirvana!
    Now, you have to visit my place so you can pick up a much deserved Overlord award. I’m sure you can wave your wand and create lots and lots of ways to make use of that award, can’t you?

  13. Mother Theresa Avatar

    Email me your address, and I’ll send you a vacuum-sealed package of Spanish ham…that’s how the Spanish exchange students smuggle it into the U.S. 😀

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