Ain’t no party like a Çukurcuma party.

30 Jan

It has been a dream of mine for a while. I don’t know where it stemmed from; My love for gozleme? My love for cushions? My love for belly dancing (I’ve been told I’m pretty good at belly dancing-Ok, fine…. admittedly, a year ago, my 70 year old neighbor called my house suggesting I “close [your] curtains the whole neighbourhood can you’re you dancing”. Yes, I was practicing my body-rolls. Yes, I was half naked. Yes, I am still mortified. But no, I have not stopped my post-shower, half naked belly dancing practice.

Apologies for the diversion . Forget travelling. Forget meeting the parents. The ultimate ‘make or break’ relationship tester = hosting a Çukurcuma party. What is Çukurcuma? I still have no idea. Admittedly, we did a sneaky ‘GCCP job’ (Google, cut, copy and paste) from a Turkish blog. The details of the party were not disclosed. Guests only had 2 directions; 1. Arrive by 8:00pm. 2. Do not drive. In a desperate attempt to conceal our ignorance, yet maintain an air of ambiguity, we were forced to quickly quell questions regarding the meaning of this obscure word; Çukurcuma . Jai hinted that it involved a Turkish interpretive drumming circle, I suggested it referred to a Turkish circumcision ceremony (in my defence this suggestion was made after a couple of ‘ciders’). Either way no one knew what Çukurcuma actually was. Including us. (Note: I have no intention of offending anyone – if you are Turkish, please hit me back with the meaning?!) The dream, the vision, the reverie which remained a figment of my imagination for so many years, began to evolve and transform into reality.

Preparation: Listology.

– Bunnings: Mission – to create a low table. – Note; to the ‘helper’ at Bunnings, who pretended that I could only buy bricks by the pallet. Not funny. The fact that I was actually contemplating doing so = dedication to the Çukurcuma (although, I did contemplate how I could use the rest of the 500 bricks to build a small granny flat in my back garden) Driving with 2 huge planks of wood and multiple bricks in your car….not safe.

– Mattresses & assortment of Indian blankets (pronounced Ardwanoos) : Mission- to build a Turkish tent Accomplished: Great hammering skills (Jai) & outstanding directional skills (me) = sensational Turkish tent. We used everything from bed mattresses to yoga mats. The ground was as soft as my grandmother’s bosom (my sister inherited her DD’s) Turkish Cuisine: Mission to cook eatible food for 30+ people. – I had all intentions to create hommous & falafels from scratch. To my dismay, time ran short. I would have to outsource.

– Felafels are not Turkish. I repeat falafels are not from Turkey. I thought I was going to get punched in the face by the Kebab-man at Hornsby Kebab shop when I told him that the falafels were for my Turkish dinner. I apologized profusely, extending the party to be ‘Middle Eastern’ in fear that he would not give me my falafels, I invited him and his ‘bros’ to the party. As much as I love making new friends (especially ones that can cook falafel kebabs), I was relieved when he declined.

Menu (Middle Eastern):

– Spinach, Fetta & Ricotta Puff Pastry.

– Spice Lamb Mince Turkish Pide Pizza’s

– Spiced Chicken Skewers

– Cheese & Sweet Chilli Scrolls – Felafel Rolls (tabouli, hummus and felafels)

– Turkish Delight Rocky Road


– Jai Jai juice (a repeat…it is not a sexual innuendo – Although excessive consumption by a few members of the party, did lead to a few sneaky pashes) – Ultimate Curk-Curk shots (still have no clue what was in these- the taste immediately took me on a n imaginative journey to Turkey) The Party: Release you inner Çukurcuma. – Filling up the water cooler with a punch – brought a whole new meaning to ‘on tap’. – The shot tray accompanied by a sign ‘please take one’ was strategically positioned outside the bathroom. Most guests, interpreted this as a rule, not a suggestion and many overlooked the ‘one’ by downing multiple shots at a time. Two words – Social lubricant.

– Sheeshas – Completed the Turkish tent. Highlight- watching my sisters friend ‘smoking’ the sheesha for 10 minutes, claiming how ‘high’ he was. No one had the guts to tell him it was not alight.

– Turkish/Middle Eastern Feast: All that was left were a few falafel crumbs & food-comatised guests. Shout out to the Turkish Delight Rocky Road. I have had recurring food dreams about this all week.

– Dancing: We bounced on mattresses and off the walls until early morning. 10 minute power naps on mattress- followed by 20 minute dance sessions. And Repeat. Aftermath: Headaches, Heat and Hysteria.

– Deconstruction of the Turkish tent in 40 degree heat and with a thumping headache was not enjoyable. – Sanitising the water cooler, to eradicate all signs of alcohol in 40 degree heat was not enjoyable (sorry mum & dad – no, it didn’t get ‘mossy’, it just seemed like a good idea at the time)

– Hosing down Jai Jai juice from the pavement (and off my dogs fur) in 40 degree heat not enjoyable.

My own definition of Çukurcuma: A Turkish-themed party (by a non-turk) executed with much exuberance and merriment.

Mission Accomplished.


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