4/28/23: From Kalamazoo to Istanbul

Friday, April 28, 2023

High 57°/Low 45° Rain

Research into a historical cuisine takes our food writer to Istanbul where she uncovers the myth of a secret ingredient. Also: KPS has whittled its list of superintendent candidates down to three. And WMU will offer alcohol sales at Waldo Stadium.

NowKalamazoo Feature Story

Chef’s notebook: eating the myth of a secret baklava ingredient

A large, round pan is filled with baklava, cut into diamond shapes that makes a larger star pattern in the pan.

The spread of savory and sweet Turkish pastry dishes was a lunch both 15 and 500 years in the making.

In a well-appointed, marble-floored condominium tower in Üsküdar, a neighborhood on Istanbul’s Asian side, acclaimed chefs and food historians Nilgun Tatli and Mary Işın talked family and the recipes passed down over generations.

The main reason for our gathering, however, was a particularly ancient version of the ubiquitous Ottoman-era dish: baklava.

Commonly made with nuts, there was a reference of the use of lentils in Turkish baklava in a 600-year-old poem of Sufi dervish Kaygusuz Abdal from the Karaman region of Anatolia. The lyrics were thought to be an elevated joke about the high cost of ingredients at the time. Then, in the early 2000s, a chef’s manuscripts from the 16th century were discovered and translated from Persian to English, in which contained multiple recipes for lentil baklava – the hidden ingredient was no longer mere myth.

Mary, a British expat who has lived in Turkey since 1973, referenced it in her 2013 book “Sherbet and Spice: The Complete Story of Turkish Sweets and Desserts.” My own research – pouring over these ancient recipes and then recreating them in my kitchen for classes, lectures, presentations, and feasts – led me back to Turkey, to reconnect with Mary, and to bake with the secrets hidden in plain sight.

Step into the kitchen with me to recreate a recipe handed down from mother to daughter for at least 500 years.

NowKalamazoo Partner Event
Group of people laughing and chatting underneath the text "Eat. Drink. Give. Craft beer. Wine. Great food."

A fundraising gala supporting

logo for Gryphon Place

Friday, April 28, 2023 | 7-10PM
Girl Scouts Program & Training Center

It’s back! Eat Drink Give returns to bring hundreds of guests together to enjoy a memorable evening filled with food, drinks, music, and fun. This gala features tasty creations, an impressive selection of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages for sampling, an awesome venue, fabulous raffle and auction prizes, and best of all — people who want to make a difference!

The funds raised at Eat Drink Give will support Gryphon Place’s local programs and services, including 2-1-1, suicide prevention, youth services, Restorative Practices and more. We know the last few years have been difficult for everyone, so the joy of celebrating and supporting our community is needed now more than ever. We hope to see you there!

For tickets and more information: www.gryphon.org/edg

NowKalamazoo badge

KPS picks three finalists for superintendent job

After interviewing their top six candidates for superintendent this week, Kalamazoo Public Schools trustees whittled the list down to three. They are:

  • Dr. Stephanie Jones, chief officer for the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services with Chicago Public Schools
  • Dr. Darrin Slade, deputy superintendent of the Hazelwood Public School District, Missouri
  • Dr. Ty Weeks, the superintendent of schools for Dearborn Heights School District No. 7

All three candidates will be in Kalamazoo on May 8 for a second round of interviews, as well as a tour of the district and a public question and answer session. If the board can come to a consensus, a final decision could be made on May 11. They hope to have the winner on the job on July 1.

WMU to allow alcohol sales at Waldo Stadium

Beginning this fall, attendees at Bronco football games will be able to buy alcohol at Waldo Stadium. The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a request from Athletic Director Dan Bartholomae to allow the sales on game days. “We would be the last [Mid-American Conference] school to offer beer and wine sales in general seating areas,” he said. Alcohol has already been available in the press and sky boxes for some time.

The addition of alcohol sales is expected to boost attendance at football games and generate extra revenue for the university. Only beer, wine, and alcoholic seltzers will be available for purchase and there will be a two drink limit. Bartholomae said they will make extra efforts to ensure the sales are conducted safely and in accordance with the law. Trustees asked for a status report after the season is over in order to determine if having alcohol sales at the games should continue.

More News You Need To Know

Report: Most Kzoo households ‘financially insecure’

More than half of the households in the city of Kalamazoo were “financially insecure” mid-pandemic, according to a new report by the Michigan Association of United Ways. The data comes from 2021 and gives a snapshot of how families were faring in the midst of the pandemic. The ALICE report describes financially insecure as “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed” – that is, people who have jobs but are still barely scraping by. “It’s a very specific group of households: folks that are living above the federal poverty line but are still struggling to make ends meet,” Alyssa Stewart, the chief impact officer of United Way South Central Michigan, told Fox 17.

Statewide, nearly 40% of households qualified as ALICE, but the rates were not evenly distributed. In the city of Kalamazoo, 56% of households were ALICE, while in Portage the rate was 34%. The rates are also not distributed evenly across demographics. Black households were much more likely to be ALICE than white households. Stewart said the rising cost of living combined with stagnant wages contributed to the problem. “Folks are working hard. They’re working one, two, three jobs in some cases and they still can’t keep up with that increasing cost of living,” she said. [Fox 17]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Sponsored by

Lake Effect logo

Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
6:00PM 4/28

Artists Meeting Artists – Portage Parks & Recreation Building
6:00PM 4/28

Grace Theisen – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
6:00PM 4/28

Barrelhouse acoustic blues – ThunderBird
6:00PM 4/28

Nate Bargatze: The Be Funny Tour – Kalamazoo State Theatre
7pm & 9:30pm 4/28

Eat Drink Give 2023 – Gryphon Place
7:00PM 4/28

Chicken & Biscuits – Farmers Alley Theatre
7:30pm 4/28-29, 5/4-6; 2pm 4/30, 5/7

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical JV – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30pm 4/28; 1pm 4/29; 4pm 4/29; 2pm 4/30; 10am 4/26-27

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center – Fontana
7:30PM 4/28

Minor Element w/ Cam The Cryptid – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/28

Sketch Show: Miss Communication – Dormouse Theatre
8:00PM 4/28

Old Hank’s Son – Nob Hill Bar and Grill
8pm 4/28-29

The Incantations & The Mickeys – The Clover Room
8:00PM 4/28

Good Stand Up Comedy with Dan Alten & friends – Presidential Brewing Co.
8:00PM 4/28

Oxtrot Trail Run – Tillers International
8:00AM 4/29

Kids Fix It! Bike Workshop – Celery Flats
9:00AM 4/29

The Spring Craft Show – Kalamazoo Expo Center
9:00AM 4/29

Garlic Mustard Contest – Portage Parks & Recreation Building
10:00AM 4/29

Plow Day 2023 – Tillers International
11:00AM 4/29

Healthy, Wealthy, Wise – Edison Neighborhood Association
12:00PM 4/29

Bring Your Own Game Saturdays – Valhalla Kalamazoo
1:00PM 4/29

Statewide Astronomy Night – Kalamazoo Valley Museum
5:00PM 4/29

Comedy Night at the Pub – Main St Pub Vicksburg
7:00PM 4/29

Sage Castleberry’s EP Release – The Clover Room
7:00PM 4/29

Travelin’ Music – Kalamazoo Concert Band
7:30PM 4/29

Texas Hill – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/29

Public Observing Session – Kalamazoo Astronomical Society
8:00PM 4/29

Sketch Show: Miss Communication – Dormouse Theatre
8:00PM 4/29

Totally 80’s Prom for Adults with The 1985 – The Dock At Bayview
9:00PM 4/29

1st Anniversary Black Tie Gala! – The Xperience by LuXury Escapes
9:00PM 4/29

Afternoon on Broadway – Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
3:00PM 4/30

International Jazz Day – The Clover Room
4:00PM 4/30

The History of Rock and Roll – Kalamazoo Male Chorus
4:00PM 4/30

International Jazz Day – The Crawlspace
7:00PM 4/30

See more upcoming events here.

Suggest something to do: [email protected]

Thank you to the community institutions that support our work:

How much is locally owned and independent journalism for Kalamazoo worth to you? Contribute today.


Support NowKalamazoo for free: Forward this email to others who value community news coverage. Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up online.

Newsletter Signup

Sign up to get our daily news and events roundup in your email every weekday morning.