The good cooks/housewives/chefs/food enthusiasts… you name, all have one thing in common, they/we have our pumpkin/artichoke sellers in our neighbourhoods. We trust them, we wait for them while they are on vacation, do not betray them with other sellers. We know their locations, their schedules, where they are from, what they sell. And they know us, they become part of our family, our kitchen, our lives, our routine.
As I have been living around the same neighbourhood for more than 10 years, I have my greatest Recai Usta! He has a corner that he has been keeping for longer than my neighbourhood days, and a well structured set of customers. He delivers the best pumpkin during winter time where as it changes to artichoke as spring starts to blossom.
Recai Usta and I have many different habits, or ways of communication. Our phone calls yet fall to mysterious side, if anyone is listening, I am sure they do not understand a bit. He say “stop by Tuesday, I will bring them all, we have been preparing them for you…” The bags of pumpkin seeds you see on the photo, usually are mine, or a big sack in the car waiting for me. If I am craving for artichokes, fed up of winter vegetables, I buy a jar of okra or artichokes which was preserved by him during their most flavorsome season.
He has his way to persuade me buying pumpkin, so I make soup and chips with them, sometimes poach them with spices, or use them instead of tates. Who am I to say no to Recai Usta and the dark orange overwhelming big slices…