Dear friends, family and fellow-travelers,
For most people Thanksgiving means a time for reflection on what we are grateful for, a time for friends and family, and a time for cooking and eating. Cooking and eating a lot. Specifically, eating a lot of turkey.
November is a time for dusting off favorite family recipes, trying to decide whether to bake, barbeque or deep fry your turkey, what to stuff in the turkey (sausage and sage, a duck and a chicken?), and figuring out creative ways to serve leftover turkey to those around us who have eaten their annual fill of these Thanksgiving birds.
For those of us at Firstworld Travel, Turkey means something entirely different. When we hear Turkey we think of exotic European and Asian cultures, historic ruins, azure beaches, mystical landscapes, fabulous shopping, and, of course, whirling dervishes.
Why? Because Turkey is the hot travel destination for 2012 so we're going there!
|Fun Facts About Turkey and Turkey|
Turkey is over 1000 miles wide from west to east; 1.5 times wider than Texas at its widest point.
More than 45 million turkeys are cooked and 525 million pounds of turkey are eaten during Thanksgiving.
Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey by population, is the only city in the world which is built on two continents (Asia and Europe).
Ninety percent of American homes eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
Two of "The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" are located in Turkey: The Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed 86 pounds. Imagine getting that in your oven!
Turkey introduced coffee to Europe. Thank you!
The wild turkey's bald head can change color in seconds with excitement or emotion. Heads can be red, pink, white or blue.
Tulips originated in Turkey and are the national flower.
The fleshy growth on the base of a turkey's beak is called the snood.
Turkey is the Hot Travel Destination for 2012. Why?
|It's safe, it's cheap and it's got something for everyone!|
Turkey is one of the safest countries in the world with British Interpol ranking it as the safest holiday destination in Europe. You will find the police helpful and friendly and in many of the tourist resorts there are special tourism police who speak different languages.
Turkey's national currency is the Turkish Lira. Compared to Euro or Dollar, in terms of buying power, it is weaker. This presents an advantage to travelers who convert their Euros or Dollars to Turkish Lira to buy stuff. AND Turkey is a paradise for shoppers with leather, brass, silver, hand painted pottery, rugs, and spices being just some of the goodies you can buy.
Turkey is the land where history comes alive. When you go to Turkey, you will see many of the legends of your history book have originated from this land - be it the Troy of Homer`s Iliad, Constantinople of the legendary Roman empire, landing place of the great Ark of Noah, garden of Eden, home of Virgin Mary or the Seven churches of the New Testament.
|Favorite Turkey Recipes|
Turkey Banh Mi
Martha Stewart Living, November 2009
With its refreshing flavors, this sandwich -- a take on the Vietnamese banh mi -- is perfect the day after Thanksgiving. It combines turkey with spicy mayonnaise, fresh, crisp vegetables, and fragrant
cilantro. Precise measurements aren't necessary; fill as you like.
Chilled cooked turkey
Asian chile sauce (such as our favorite, Huy Fong Sriracha; importfood.com)
Thinly sliced peeled cucumber
Generous handful of fresh cilantro
Jalapeno chiles, if desired
Chop chilled cooked turkey, and mix with mayonnaise spiked with Asian chile sauce (such as our favorite, Huy Fong Sriracha; importfood.com).
Layer turkey with thinly sliced peeled cucumber, grated carrot, and a generous handful of fresh cilantro inside a whole-wheat baguette. Add more heat with sliced jalapeno chiles if desired.
The Glories of Turkey:
March 21 - April 4, 2012
Fifteen days in Turkey for just $2,599 per person, including airfare and insurance.
Turkey is a country of many delights. Turkey combines the history and culture of an ancient land with the natural beauty of its colorful and fantastic landscapes. Whether you visit for the natural beauty, glorious beaches, extensive history, exotic culture, superb food, or just to pick up a hand-woven rug, Turkey will leave you breathless with wonder.
|Click here for complete details.|
Refer a Friend and Receive $25*
For every friend you refer who signs up and travels on The Glories of Turkey Tour, March 21 - April 4, 2012, you will receive a check for $25, upon completion of the tour.
Sign up yourself and get a FREE Bosphorous Cruise and Spice Bazaar Tour!
|Offer Expires: December 31, 2011|
More Fun Facts About Turkey...
- The famous Trojan Wars took place in Western Turkey, around the site where the Trojan horse rests today.
- The first church built by man (St. Peter's Church) is in Antioch, Turkey.
- The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (7th Millenium B.C.)
- Ephesus and Halicarnasus (the place for the two of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world) are inTurkey.
- St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, was born in Demre, on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast.
- Noah's Ark landed on Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi) in Eastern Turkey.
- The last meal on Noah's Ark, a pudding of sweet and sour taste (asure), is still served throughout Turkey.
- Tradition in Turkey says that a stranger at one's doorstep is considered "God's guest" for at least three days.
- Turkey is noted for having one of the three most famous and distinctive traditional cuisines in the world.
- The First Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik, Turkey.
- Writing was first used by people in ancient Anatolia. The first clay tablets in the ruins of Assyrian Karum (Merchant Colony) date back to 1950 B.C.
- The oldest tin mine was found in Göltepe, 60 miles south of Tarsus.
- The first Neolithic paintings found on man-made walls are in Catalhöyük, Turkey.
- Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, such as Homer (the poet), King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history), and St. Paul the Apostle.
- Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" in Turkey when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.
- Female goddesses like Cybele dominated the Central Anatolian pantheon for thousands of years before these supernatural powers were transformed to male gods.
- The Hittites sold Abraham the cave where he buried his wife Sarah, when the Israelites came to Palestine.
- The first church dedicated to Virgin Mary is in Ephesus.
- Cherry was first introduced to Europe from Giresun (Northern Turkey)
- Turkey has hundreds beaches and marinas which have the "Blue Flag" (an European award for the best clean water) on the Mediterranean and Aegean.
- The first recorded international treaty in the world was the Treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite and Egyptian Empires, Hattusilis III and Ramses II, in c.1275 BC.
- The oldest known shipwreck on Earth was found and excavated in Uluburun near Kas, in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.
- In 640 BC, for the first time in history, coins made of electrum were used by the Lydian king of Croesus in Sardis, in Aegean region of Turkey.
- King Midas lived in Gordion, capital of Phrigia.
- Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot near Ankara. The double knotting technique used in Turkish rugs is also called as Gordian Knot.
- The Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis was said to be watered by a river which separated into four streams as it left the garden; two of them the Tigris (Dicle) and Euphrates (Firat) rise from the mountains of Eastern Turkey.
- Early Christians escaping from Roman persecutions found shelter in Cappadocia.
- The Seven Churches of Apocalypse are all situated in the Aegean region of Anatolia; Ephesus, Smyrna ( Izmir), Pergamum, Thyatira (Nazilli), Sardis, Philadelphia (Alasehir) and Laodicea.
- Sultan Beyazit II dispatched the Ottoman Navy to bring the Jewish people who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and they were brought safely to the Ottoman lands.
- Istanbul has the historical building of Sirkeci Train Station. This was the last stop of the Simplon-Orient Express - "kings of trains and train of kings" - between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul )from 1883 to 1977. Agatha Christie was one of the passengers of this famous train.
- The number of species of flowers in Turkey is approximately 9,000, of which 3,000 are endemic. In Europe for instance there are 11,500 species. This shows the richness of flora and fauna in Anatolia.
More Why Visit Turkey? ...
Turkey is a land of myth, a cradle of various civilizations, a canvas of nature`s most aesthetic bounties and a confluence of varied streams of culture. Owing to its favorable position, Turkey happens to be the bridging nation between the two most important continents of the east and west (Europe and Asia) and the point where the three continents of the old world (Europe, Asia and Africa) meet.
The country boasts a spicy blend of oriental and modern, East and West, splendor and sleekness, which makes diversity its other name. The world-class cuisine, vibrant market places, warm hospitality of the Turkish people, recreational facilities, architectural splendor of the mosques and castles and an unparalleled natural beauty make Turkey an invincible tourist attraction and answers the question of "why go to Turkey?"
Turkish Bath - Hamam - Spa Experience: This is definitely a must if you are intending to visit Turkey. Hamam, as it is called in Turkey, will help you relax and unwind and get rid of all your nervous energies. A Turkish Spa is also a favorite among tourists since it combines traditional hamam experience with more Far Eastern touches like using aromatic smells and certain massages.
Today Turkey is abuzz with life, energy and enterprise. It is a modern, secular democratic country with a booming economy. It embraces the future as a bridge between the east and West. Its cities teem with vibrant cosmopolitan life. Wherever you travel in Turkey, the country and its people will amaze and impress, the surge of its market forces and the modernization of the infrastructure of the whole country is impressive. Turkish hospitality and genuine warmth is a tradition. Turks have a certain "Joie de vivre" for life and enjoy nothing more than sharing their optimism and enthusiasm with travelers over a hot cup of tea served in the traditional tulip shaped glass.
Your trip to Turkey is incomplete if you do not come home with a Turkish carpet as a keepsake. Turkish carpets are either knotted or flat woven. It is a form of craft prevalent in Turkey since ancient times. Originally woven as utility items, they soon became known for their beauty and durability. A Turkish carpet is a rare piece of art that will decorate your house as well as bring a slice of Anatolian tradition into your drawing room. Today they are the most popular shopping item for foreigners.
An exquisite piece of gold and silver jewelry, with or without stone setting, is something you should look for. Surprisingly, although the prices of gold and silver are fixed internationally, jewelry items in Turkey are cheaper than in other places due to the low labor cost.
Turkey is also famous for its leather goods. In fact, some of the finest leather items manufactured in Turkey often find their way to shops in Italy. Premium grade leather is selected. This is then designed by fine craftsmanship into beautiful leather goods that speak of style and elegance.
|More Favorite Turkey Recipes...|
By Kate Merker, November 2009 Real Simple Magazine
Makes 8| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 50m
- Cut 1 store-bought refrigerated rolled piecrust into 8 triangles. Mix 1 cup shredded roasted turkey with ¼ cup mango chutney.
- Top the triangles with the turkey mixture and ½ cup leftover mashed potatoes. Brush edges with water and pinch corners together to seal.
- Bake at 375° F until golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.
Creamy Turkey with Artichokes
By Diana Rattray, About.com Guide
Serve this creamy turkey and vegetables over hot baked puff pastry shells, or serve over toast or split biscuits. This delicious leftover turkey makes a delicious after-the-holiday meal the whole family will enjoy.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced, about 1/3 cup
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups diced leftover turkey
- 1 can (about 15 ounces) artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 6 to 8 frozen puff pastry shells, baked, or split baked biscuits
Preparation: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender. Add flour and stir until smooth and well blended. Add chicken broth, stirring until thickened. Add the milk, stirring to blend. Add seasonings, turkey, and artichokes. Continue cooking until thick and bubbly. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Serve over hot baked puff pastry shells, split fresh baked biscuits, or toast.
Serves 6 to 8.
Turkey broccoli quiche recipe with Swiss cheese and eggs and a little curry powder.
- 1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh broccoli
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup chopped cooked turkey
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preparation: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook broccoli and onion, stirring frequently, until tender. Drain.
Sprinkle broccoli and onion, turkey, and cheese into prepared pie shell.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs slightly; beat in half-and-half, curry powder, and salt. Pour egg mixture over turkey and broccoli mixture. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325° continue baking for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Day-After Turkey Soup
This soup makes great use of leftover turkey. If you've already frozen the carcass, there's no need to thaw it out before using it in this recipe.
Yield Serves 8
- 1 turkey carcass, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
- 3 carrots, halved crosswise
- 2 celery stalks, halved crosswise
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 5 cups kale leaves, shredded
- 3 cups leftover diced cooked turkey
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
- 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
Place the carcass in a large soup pot or stockpot and add cold water to cover by 2 inches (about 14 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.
Add carrots, celery, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary. Return to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 2 hours.
With a wire skimmer, remove and discard turkey carcass and vegetables. Strain and transfer 8 cups of broth to a large saucepan; freeze the remainder.
Bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add red-pepper flakes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary; season with salt. Add kale, reduce to a simmer, and cook until kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in turkey, corn, beans, and scallions and cook just until corn is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt if desired.
Quick Turkey and Rice Soup
Martha Stewart Living, November 2008
Barley or orzo can stand in for rice from one batch to the next.
Yield Serves 4 as a side dish
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 medium leek, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise and rinsed well
- 3 ounces celery root, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
- 1 medium parsnip, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 1/2 cups Turkey Stock
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey
- 1 cup cooked rice
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek, celery root, parsnip, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek is translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in turkey and rice, and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Firstworld Travel and Cruises
7443 Mission Gorge Rd
San Diego, California 92120