Let me tell you what I was doing while my country was busy dealing with “the Coup”, the bombing of the Turkish Parliament and fighting off the religious fanatics who infiltrated the army.
Me and my husband were out, looking for more diabetic test strips for our daughter. She was fast asleep at the backseat of the car, oblivious to all. Dreaming of ponies and rabbits, I guess. Hell could break loose for all I know, I would not care at that moment. I also remember myself thinking if we could just get to home, everything would be alright.
You see, we were at my mother and father’s house while it all happened. And all I could think about was to get Bade home to safety -which meant somewhere we could find more insulin.
I remember myself telling you about how diseases change our priorities. And in that moment, i knew I could simply do anything if it meant keeping her safe. War and destruction: they change something in us and wake primitive things, things that are asleep and long forgotten inside.
Everything seems calm now, at least for us. Now I can go back to what I was and what I used to do. But it is not that simple, you see, my country has been through a huge trauma. The chaos woke up in our hearts and its aura linked together our worlds in a horrifying silent way. The next day was dead silent (silent but the loud and frequent prayers from the mosques) and I felt close to tears every time I thought about what had happened.
The faces of the wounded and the dead.. and our flag, rippling under the hot wind. Red as blood.
So we left. We let the sun, sea, green lands and wind calm our souls. I read and read and read for days to heal myself. Stayed the hell away from my laptop. Especially facebook posts horrified me. Everyone kept posting hateful comments, everyone blamed others simply for not thinking like them: Apparently everyone in the country was either a traitor, a Coup sympathizer, a religious fanatic, an idiot or a schizophrenic.
Once, years ago and during a very dark time of my life, I tried to heal my soul with constant reading. Escape literature simply saved me. I remember these exact words today, as if they were written by me:
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open. It is my belief – and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken – that we are all facing dark and difficult times “
I welcome you all, those who think of their loved ones first, and simply wish to live in peace in a free land. Your views or beliefs do not matter here.
Now the recipe! These cookies are chewy and delicious and very Turkish. Sesame seeds have a way of showing up in our desserts and always remind me of my childhood. The local markets, the first packaged biscuits they used to sell back then.
As they tend to soften up quickly, I advise you to eat them fast and on the same day.
Grain-free Sesame Coookies
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Serves: 20-25 pcs
100 gr (1 cup) finely ground sesame seeds (1 cup = 200 ml)
50 gr (1/2 cup + 2 tbspns) unsweetened shredded coconut
100 gr (12-13 pcs) dates
2 tbspns extra sesame seeds
1-Soak dates in warm water for 30 min. Remove & pit. Set aside.
2-Set the oven to 150C.
3-Place the first three ingredients in your food processor. Pulse for a few minutes until a sticky dough forms. Add extra sesame seeds and blend in with a spoon.
4-Place the dough between two parchment papers and press firmly with your rolling pin. Cut a 5cm diameter small circle shaped dough with a 1cm diameter hole. Repeat.
5-Place the cookies on a baking pan covered with parchment paper. Bake for 20 min. Cool & serve.