Using All Parts of the Buffalo

Now, I don’t boast enough Native American blood to have earned me tuition money for college, but I think I would make my very distant Native American relatives proud by some of the ways I’ve managed to use all parts of the buffalo, figuratively speaking, of course.

Trader Joe’s coffee

My husband and I are both huge coffee fans. When anyone offers to send us anything I always request coffee, and if possible Trader Joe’s. Coffee is pretty pricey here, unless, of course, you prefer Turkish coffee. Additionally, coffee is usually crazy full of pesticides, and Trader Joes offers a cheap, organic version. Hooray!

So, when that sad day comes and the coffee is all gone, what does one do? Why, make a toy, of course. Here you have a drum, an item to roll, and a  Montesorri friendly activity that helps your child develop hand-eye coordination by dropping items through the hole that you make in the lid. We’ve used this for months, and Ellie still enjoys playing with it.

Here Ellie is in action dropping a scooper I purchased for 50 kuruş from the pazar.


Where, oh where, did my scooper go?











Toothpicks and spice jar

Ever have random hand-me-downs that you don’t know what to do with? For example, an extra spice jar and some unused toothpicks? I’ve never been in such a pickle, but I love using regular household items to make toys for Ellie. I spotted a 50 kuruş table at our local pazar and poked around to see what could be useful. For a grand total of 1 lira, I brought home some toothpicks and a spice jar with small holes on top. These two gadgets have brought hours of entertainment and a fun, learning-centered challenge for my daughter.

I simply show her how to insert the toothpicks through the holes one at a time. She then proceeded to do as I showed her. I made sure she was careful with the toothpicks, and will always keep a close eye on her when she’s doing this activity. But, as Maria Montesorri encourages, generally I try not to distract her by profuse  congratulations and such. An activity like this takes a good deal of concentration as the child is developing their fine motor skills. I get a lot of my ideas from the books Slow and Steady Get me Ready and Montesorri from the Start.

Here is a video of her having fun today. She’s 13 months and has enjoyed this activity for the past few weeks.

On the bottom of the page you can see the spice jar with toothpicks.


Fun, fun, fun- and a little mid drift issue- I’ll have a talk with her, don’t worry.











Chicken bones

I used to cook exclusively with boneless, skinless chicken breast when I cooked chicken. Why wouldn’t you? After all, it’s a lot less work, the meat is great, and, on a personal note, it was my husband’s favorite.

Well, I decided to expand my repertoire and have been roasting chicken as of late. Here is the recipe I enjoy the most. For a busy mom like me, and my dislike of handling raw chicken and such, this is a great alternative. I simply rinse the chicken, dry it, put it on the roasting pan, shower it with sea salt and bake away. I roast it for forty minutes then turn off the oven and let it sit for another twenty. Perfect. Every. Time. I use the meat for about three meals. Some of my favorites are Italian Chicken Soup and Wild Rice Salad.

But, what to do with the bones? That, my friends, is the point of this blog. You must use the bones! They are so nutritionally dense. It would be a waste to throw them out! My favorite recipe is homemade chicken bone broth. It’s really not to hard, and this tutorial takes the intimidation factor out of homemade bone broth. Please give it a try and then enjoy the broth in your yummy winter soups.

Mmmmhmmm… bone broth is simmering as I write this and making the house smell oh so good.


About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama and fan of all things Turkey. Among other adventures, Melissa loves living life in Turkey while raising her daughters. On IstanbulMoms you can hear about her adventures and escapades, tips for success, strategies for untangling the culture, and ideas for enjoying life in Istanbul to the fullest.

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