Kalyn's Kitchen

Going to Istanbul and Nairobi, Turkish Food, and Other Things I’m Thinking About

I’ve definitely got plenty to think about this week, because I’m heading out for two weeks in Istanbul and Nairobi!

(Photo from TurkishAirlines.com)

It’s been a about a month since I’ve shared some Things I’m Thinking About, and this time I really have some fun news to share. Remember in my Ten Year Anniversary Post how I talked about wanting to spend less time sitting in front of the computer and more time traveling? Well this weekend I’m taking off for a two-week adventure visiting Turkey and Kenya. And needless to say I am a little bit excited!

The trip came about when I offered to accompany my blogging and real-life friend Donna when she went to visit her daughter and son in law who are living in Narobi. (Thanks Donna, for letting me invite myself!) Once Donna and I started planning the trip, we decided it made complete sense to stop somewhere on the way to Kenya, so we added Istanbul to our travel plans. And it’s a long plane ride to fly home from Nairobi too, so we’re stopping in Istanbul again for a few more days on the way home.

I’m so excited about trying the food in Turkey! My first exposure to Turkish Food was back in 2006 when I discovered a blog called Almost Turkish Recipes, written by a Turkish woman living in the U.S. She stopped blogging a few years ago, but I remember fondly when Burcu sent me some Aleppo Pepper as a gift.
(Photo of Turkish Stuffed Quince from Panning the Globe.)

I’ve been reading everything I can find about Turkey, including this amazing post about visiting Istanbul from Panning the Globe. Turkish Hot Layered Hummus and Turkish Manti are two foods I discovered from this blog.

(Photo of Turkish Spicy Ezme Salad from Give Recipe.)

In recent years I’ve had some online conversations with another Turkish food blogger, and I’m really looking forward to meeting her on this trip! Zerrin from Give Recipe shares amazing sounding Turkish Food on her blog, including things like Turkish Stuffed Zucchini, Simit, and Kofte (Turkish Meatballs). Zerrin and her husband have offered to come to Istanbul for a day and tour the city with us so we will be meeting in person soon!
(Photo from World Karma.)

After a few days in Istanbul we fly to Nairobi where Neil and Kate have a great itinerary planned for us in Kenya, including a visit to Ziwa Bush Lodge.

I’ve been a long time collector of African masks, statues, and batiks, so I’m especially excited to shop for a few new piece in Nairobi!

For those who remember the movie Out of Africa, we’re also going to The Karen Blixen Museum. (And I’ve got the book loaded on to my Kindle to re-read on the plane on the way there!)
Those are just a few of the things I’ve been thinking about related to this trip, but if any of you have been to one of those cities and have recommendations for must-see places or foods to try, please chime in with a comment! (I do have a few posts scheduled for the time I’ll be gone, but things will be a bit quieter than usual around here.)
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    14 Comments on “Going to Istanbul and Nairobi, Turkish Food, and Other Things I’m Thinking About”

  1. Hello,
    I was born and raised in İstanbul, (28 years)
    I am not in İstanbul at the moment but would be glad if there's anything I can help you with.
    Enjoy !

  2. Kalyn, I'm so excited too! I can't wait to meet you! Be ready to taste as many Turkish foods as we can!

  3. How exciting for you! Have a great time, Kalyn!

  4. Second try — let's see if it works! So happy that you're going and cannot wait for the photos considering we'll probably never make it to either place. I absolutely love Turkish food and will credit Almost Turkish Recipes' blog for introducing me to it years ago. Bon Voyage! Take a zillion photos to share! (also — my comment issue has been figured out. when I'm on mobile the only option I have for commenting is with Google. I'm at my Mac now and the drop down box gives me many options)

    • Kelly, it's not about mobile, after I heard from both you and my sister that you had trouble leaving a comment, I changed the settings! So glad it worked now. I'm only taking the iPhone 6+ for photos, don't want to carry a camera around. But plan to share a lot of them!

      We should go somewhere on a trip together. Just name the spot and I'm in!

  5. Hi Kalyn- I'm in Kenya right now and loving it!! I'm not in Nairobi though, but in the small town of Kisumu on the banks of Lake Victoria. And I am here for work and not on vacation. But it has been an amazing trip, I love my Kenyan colleagues and the weather has been beautiful here.

    I bought some baskets and soapstone carvings to bring back. And some batik fabric and an African dress for myself 🙂 Have a wonderful trip!!

  6. I am DOUBLY excited to see these places and to have an adventure with a friend and favorite blogger! Can't WAIT.

  7. How could anyone forget, "I had a farm in Africa," or the story of this remarkable woman? I just know you are going to have a fantastic trip once wheels are up. I can't speak to Kenya, but I know you will love Istanbul. Be sure to eat dockside at the fish market and take Cipro with you so you can enjoy the stuffed mussels hawked curbside by vendors. They are beyond delicious.