Living in Turkey, we very rarely run across pork. Stories circulate about the guy who got a suckling pig for new year, or the suitcase full of bacon that someone brought back from Greece. My mother brings us bacon when she comes (you will soon learn that there is nothing that my mother does *not* bring us in those suitcases of hers) and it’s a rare treat. And after awhile, I learned to stop thinking about it as anything else.
Back in late March, we had a birthday party for Baki. This was after he had transferred to the international school, so there was quite a diverse crowd around the parents’ table. And there was the following brief exchange:
A: I sure do miss pork once in awhile. (Sigh)
B: I prefer lamb anyway.
C: You know, there’s a pig farm near Antalya…
And that was it. I didn’t do anything with that information for months, but when summer came I happened to recall that comment and I looked online. Sure enough, one of the three pig farms in Turkey is located in Manavgat, about two hours away from Antalya. But the weather was so hot, I couldn’t think about moving meat around, so I dropped it again.
Well the weather is cooler now and we’ve got a deep freezer to boot, so I finally called up that farm. I ordered some minced pork, pork chops, pork belly and assorted bits with no bone , plus bones for stock and skin for cracklins. There was a flurry of emailing and phone calls, I sent the money and then had to go to the bus station to meet the bus that our meat was on, packed in two styrofoam boxes.
Pork chops for dinner then, I thought. And then it occurred to me that Baki hasn’t ever eaten a pork chop. Would he go anywhere near it, I wondered? He’s just about the pickiest eater on Earth, so it seemed unlikely.
Baki came home and immediately ran to my computer to play Minecraft. I rolled my eyes. Stupid game. Eventually, he noticed the huge boxes of meat that I was dispensing into bags for the freezer.
“What’s that?” He asked.
“Pork,” I said, “and a lot of it.”
“Hey, does that mean we’ll eat pork chops for real?”
Of course, I though to myself – there are pork chops on Minecraft ! (That’s Baki up there in his Minecraft Cut Chart shirt – all the cuts are “pork chops”)
Baki ate his pork chop with enthusiasm, and asked for seconds. And I ate my unkind words about Minecraft.
Dinner, saved by a video game – it’s the last thing I would have expected!