Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dining Turkish Style

from Eris Field

Kadin Budu Kofte or Ladies Thighs are a delightfully different meatball and each Turkish grandmother has a special recipe. In my novel, Lattices of Love, the heroine, Emine, kicks a hole in the lattices formed by her Turkish grandmother’s harem rules refusing to marry the man her grandmother has chosen, but, she discovers that it is not easy to gain the love of the man she chooses instead. She goes into battle with the ammunition at her disposal. For the first round, she uses the recipe for her grandmother’s famous Kadin Budu Kofte.

For a delicious summer meal, try Kadin Budu Kofte and roasted layered vegetables topped with Cucuk, a Turkish dish of yogurt and diced Persian cucumbers.

Make the Layered Vegetables and Cucuk first. Let them stand while you make the meat balls.

Kadin Budu Kofte
1 cup cooked rice, cooled
1½ pound ground lamb, or beef, or a mixture of lamb and beef
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 ounces of a soft white cheese grated (any soft white cheese)
1 tbsp. dill, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten

Mix the ingredients together in a medium-size bowl. Knead until the mixture is a smooth paste.
Shape into egg shaped meat balls and place on a rimmed plate.

Pour the egg over the meat balls.

Fry them in medium-hot vegetable oil until done. Turn to brown all sides. Cook 6 minutes or so. You want them done but not dried out.

Layered Vegetables
1 medium red onion, chopped coarsely
1 slender eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 yellow pepper, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 red pepper, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 slim zucchini, cut into ½ inch cubes leave skin on
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. dried oregano or dried thyme
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. red pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Scatter onion in a shallow baking dish. Add the remaining vegetables and the garlic.

Sprinkle olive oil, your herb of choice, salt and red pepper over the vegetables. Gently toss together.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes.

2 cups yogurt
2 Persian cucumbers (small cucumbers) or ½ an English cucumber, leave the skin on and diced fine
½ tsp salt
Olive oil
Chives, chopped

Put two cups of yogurt into a serving bowl. Stir until smooth. Add the cucumber and salt. Mix well.

Just before serving, drizzle olive oil over the top and add chives. Cucuk is served at room temperature and a spoonful is placed on the top of the baked vegetables.

Here’s a little from Lattices of Love for you.

Emine Wheeler, a 26-year-old Turkish-American professor of psychiatric nursing, has vowed to marry for love, like her American father. When she meets Marc van Etten, a reticent Dutch psychiatrist, at a conference in Amsterdam, she recognizes him as the man she has been waiting for and knows that she can’t live behind the lattices of old harem rules any longer.

Marc, who believes that his colleagues blame him for his wife's suicide, restricts his life to work and caring for the troubled four-year-old girl he calls his daughter. But, when Emine runs into difficulties, he offers his assistance. Emine, ignoring the age-old harem rule that forbids talking or spending time with a man who is not a family member, accepts his help.

Later, when Emine must choose between accepting the family-approved proposal of a man she does not love or damaging her family's honor, Marc offers a solution—marriage. It will save her family’s honor and provide a mother for his daughter.

Believing that her fierce love for Marc will be enough, Emine agrees, only to discover that it is not. When Marc erroneously accuses her of betraying him, she flees. Realizing belatedly that he loves Emine beyond everything in his life, Marc must find a way to win her back.

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Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen-year-old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who she later married. He told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, about the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and about forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—an endeavor requiring a great deal of hard labor.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, her interests include Honor Killings, eradicating female genital mutilation, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about the old cities of the world.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.


  1. Eris, Always fascinating. I feel like I've visited a foreign country when I read your post. Thanks for a dip into a different culture. Those meatballs make my mouth water, although I think the veggies sound superb. Another winning blog post, Sloane!
    Emma Lane

  2. Fabulous food and good read, Eris! Cheers!

  3. What an interesting premise. The backstory must be fascinating. Perhaps you'll share that in a future post.

  4. Truthfully I can't tell you, out of Eris Field's books, which I loved the best. It may be the same with the food. Soooo good.-Annie

  5. Great job, Eris! What a wonderful way to learn about history, delicious food and love all at once! Larkin