It's that time again. You know the time when the Turks mix up a big ol' batch of asure and then pass it out to their neighbors. What? You say you've never heard of it? Okay then, let me fill you in.
The legend regarding the origins of asure goes as follows: "When the Flood finally subsided and Noah's Ark settled on Mount Ararat in Agri, those on the vessel wanted to hold a celebration as an expression of the gratitute they felt towards God. But alas, the food storages of the ship were practically empty and so they made a soup with all the remaining ingredients they could find and thus ended up with asure".
I must admit...I copied and pasted that last paragraph from a website on Turkish desserts. Okay...now that I have confessed let me give you my version of the holiday.
Asure is pronounced Ah-shur-ay....making sure to roll the 'r' in the word. One month ago we had a holiday called Kurban Bayram. This is the sacrificing holiday. Muslims believe that Abraham was going to sacrifice Ishmael and God stepped up and provided a ram in the thicket. Basically, our Abraham and Isaac story. Anyway, the month afterwards is asure month. I'm not sure how many of our neighbors make asure, but only one gives it to us...thankfully. What is in asure you ask? Good question. Brian says that Noah swept out the ark and made asure with what was in the dust pan. I picture every kind of animal poop imaginable when he describes it this way! Actually the ingredients are as follows....copying from website again...
Dövme (dehusked wheat for asure), Chickpeas, Dry white beans, Rice, Water, Dried apricots, Dried figs, Raisins, Orange, Sugar, Rose water, Walnuts (not crushed), Pomegranate, and the possiblities are endless. Our latest batch had hazelnuts, dried currants, and cinnamon on top. I would say that it is a lot like glorified oatmeal. That is what it tastes like to me. And I don't like oatmeal so I am not crazy about this "dessert" either.
On Sunday night we were having house church at our house. We had just finished dinner and were all sitting around the table when the doorbell rang. When I say all I mean 5 adults. There were also 6 kids running around so I'm sure it seemed really crowded to the nice little man from downstairs who was delivering his wife's homemade asure. He brought one bowl, but quickly ran back downstairs to get more since we had company. We ended up with the three bowls you see pictured above. One bowl was given to the single guy on our team. I'm not sure how well he eats being a single guy and all, and he said he loved desserts so he got to take home a hearty bowl of goodness to help him get by for a couple of days. Another bowl was given to friend who claims to love asure. Brian ate a little out of the last of the bowls and what is left is still in my refrigerator. Oh, Anna Grace also claimed to love it and asked for a bowl. Anna Grace doesn't love anything so I gave her a small amount to taste and I was right. She didn't like it.
I am thankful that God took care of Noah and his family on the ark. I am also thankful that only one of my neighbors shares asure with us. As they say in Turkey...afiyet olsun...or bon appetit!