We are rounding out the micro-vacation by having a meal with the human female’s knittery friend and her family. A restaurant specializing in Turkish food has been selected. It is–I jest not–back in the same neighborhood with the pen emporium, the bookstore, and the ice cream sandwich truck. A whole city to explore and these mortals largely confine themselves to about ten square blocks. Pitiful.
Still, it might be interesting to try. By Heimdall’s shiny wind-up toy! What is that? The server has deposited a small bowl of aromatic green sludge upon the table. I don’t trust it. (Yes, it IS green, but look at it!)
Sigyn! Sigyn, are you actually trying it? What is it? Oh, I see–a fragrant oil with herbs, for dipping this soft, flat bread in.
Mmm. This zatar and pide bread– I like them!
Ah. Here are the entrees. They seem to consist of meat roasted on skewers, served atop some savory grains, with a bit of tart salad alongside.
Sigyn wants to know what the white stuff is. (Nibble.) It is a salty cheese, Sigyn. Try it. I think you will find it pleasing. No, I think they called it "feta," not "fetid." Yes, I’m pretty sure. Mostly.
I think the humans are going to sit here and talk and laugh until they are thrown out by the waitstaff. While we wait, my dearest, would you like to sample a dessert? Let us ask for some of that sticky-flaky pastry the diners at the other table are enjoying.
Look at all that syrupy deliciousness. I scarcely know whether to eat it or bathe in it! Ack! NO! Sigyn, I WAS JESTING! DO NOT WADE IN THE SAUCER, SIGYN!
One much-needed bath later and we have at last left the restaurant. The humans are visiting an exotic food emporium as their last stop before leaving town. It is an amazing place. Some sort of mechanical bread roller-coaster is taking balls of dough, moving them through an overhead oven, ferrying them above the shop floor, and sending them down to be bagged. The aroma is almost a meal in itself. The human female has picked out her favorite kind, rich with sesame seeds and flavored with something called mahlab. (The way that woman eats bread, it is a marvel to me that she is not large enough to stick in doorways.)
Sigyn, stay close. You could easily get lost in here. Fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, more breads, spices, wines, teas, and confections of every kind are piled tantalizingly on every side. I do not know what half of these items are.
The human female is not buying any of these today, but she has had them before and says they are crumbly but delicious, if one likes cardamom. Do I like cardamom? I do not know. But apparently they have been making them since the Midgardian year 1942. One supposed they would have quit by now if these things were awful.
What have you there, my dear? Whatever it is, the recipe goes back even farther than the cardamom cookies.
Loukoum… Loukoum… Where have I heard that before? I know! Sigyn, this is what is also known as Turkish Delight. Do you not remember, the traitor, Edmund, ate much of this candy when he was a guest of the White Witch in that book by Mister Lewis? Would you like to purchase some to try? Do you want the almond sort…
…or this kind, with the green nuts and the green box?
Grrr. The human female refuses to buy either sort. Instead, she has selected from the bakery counter a dense, delicious-looking layer cake redolent of ground almonds and marzipan. If I know her, she is planning to eat it all herself. Just for that, I will have it tip over in the ice chest on the long trip home, so that its decorative swirls of almond cream are smashed. Serves her right.
The humans are checking out. Nothing remains but to climb back into the automobile, along with the CD’s, the books, souvenirs, and all the other clutter that this micro-vacation has generated. Have you had fun, my dearest? I have, too.
And I will finish off my little holiday with the looks on the humans’ faces when they arrive home to find that the cat (upon pre-arrangement with myself, kitty treats forthcoming) has left a nice juicy hairball in the middle of the living room floor.
There’s no place like home!