My mother’s oil

In the early 90’s, when margarine was not yet equated with plastic waste, and was considered a trademark of modern kitchens and a natural modern woman, the slogan of a margarine brand ad was “Are you still using your mother’s margarine?” There was Gulrez Sururi, who was able to keep her star bright and keep her body alive forever, performing conversational cooking with celebrities as the face of the brand. The commercial jingle we heard in Sururi’s voice at the beginning of the show was intriguing to many of us who were obsessed with the traditional food of our mothers, grandmothers and aunts, based mainly on carbohydrates, sugars and fats:

“Fish, pastries, sauces, a la carte, a new flavor with each guest, simple food, sweet conversation, modern life in the kitchen, gullier kitchen flavor, conversation together, everyone is invited to enjoy this joy, a la luna, love Here, enjoy here, a la luna, young luna-style dining table. Or are you still … “

Sauce, he was saying, he was saying ala carte. Will it be the youngest on the table? In those years, when we got out of the grip of 9/11 and began to move towards the illusion of independence and abundance of the ANAP government, the Horse d’Over plates came to us only at the wedding of officers at the Army House. Or at cocktails made by wealthy relatives / friends at the hotel (called “Army Plates” because they were called that way) we would stick toothpicks and dip canapes, carrots and cucumbers in lemon juice. Glasses, hot starters and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, each served in a separate glass, contained plenty of cutlery, which put us in a difficult situation due to their various functions.

Gulrez Sururi himself was different from the residents of the family kitchen. Although she was a woman who constantly talked about eating, cooking and tasting different kinds of food, she was slim, elegant and restrained. Her kitchen was a modern living space with its patterns, utensils, linen, decorative items, colors and flowers. Design kitchen practice, which will later become commonplace, starts to decorate our dreams from that time. Sururi’s distinctive hairstyle, manicured, nail-polished nails looked like mold though steam rising from pots and pans, oil splashes, water dripping from the faucet, all mixing and shaking, and her lipstick never tasted bad while tasting food. Unlike our mothers, cooking for her was not the most necessary of the thousands of jobs. He guides it elegantly with a fork and knife and tastes the food on the plate, turning salad mixing into a craft with his special salad blender. For him, preparing a meal was a show that was pathetic to perform, to taste, to give due credit, to be inspired, to wait for praise, as if on stage.

Photo: Fusun Urkun

There was no sign of the practicality of the motto “cook in the pot, eat in the lid” and “you know the handle, here is my skirt”. In the years of loneliness after they got married and for some reason, adopted the motto of my mother, who used the same technique in La Luna in a family of four in your kitchen. In our kitchen there are two or three shapeless pots and one or two pans, waiting in the cupboard under the sink to digest the damp smell and which are polished by the tinsmith who comes at regular intervals, In the kitchen there is a separate pan for each meal, a separate pan for each frying pan. In addition to the various tools for cutting, chopping and grinding, there were food pots of different colors and designs that would make. The food in it is interesting. Spices such as nutmeg, bacammel sauce, minced meat, cubed meat, and chicken with cutlets that are rarely used at home, cut and marinate pieces of meat, fillets, asparagus, redica, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, of which we have no knowledge. Fruits and vegetables such as pineapple, kiwi and mango were present in this kitchen, from large and small part of cattle which we do not even know. The small parts neatly placed in the middle of the elegant plate belong to another class, a culture. But they can penetrate and seduce their dreams through the color television available now that they were not in the class.

Advertisements for this margarine, including Gulrez Sururi’s screen face, Grandmothers Generation where the kitchen is dominated by cable cabinets, wells, pans, breadcrumbs and water cubes, and a cake pan, transom, counter top stove, drum oven and a single-door for these items. The refrigerator was added to the mother’s generation, and an oven with a stove was created for the “sweet” competition of a confident generation of young women, whose kitchens are closed in Western table culture, including hoods, steel cookers, mixers, who both take charge of their nuclear families and the public. Increases their visibility in the courtyard. “I can’t tell my mother that things have changed,” said the young, sporty-looking woman who was busy making practical food in her modern kitchen. According to the scenario, after seeing him on screen and calling his mother, who did not find his hooded shirt suitable for a television shoot, he chased his mother away with an understanding but sarcastic attitude, adding: “Everything is different for us. Our speed, our tastes. Everything is practical in our home. ” We were at a time when we believed that with our parents, and especially with our mother, as daughters, everything was and should be different. It was impossible not to be identified with advertising slogans and modern family interiors. -As a mocking young woman, whom I thought was colorless, I made onion soup, the recipe of which I found in a fashion magazine and presented to my parents for dinner. The next day, in order not to spoil the rest of the soup, my mother added lentils and brought them to the table. The next day, I told my friends about this “bad behavior” with frustration and contempt. Trying to be, “running away from home” in the process of being away from family and finding myself then our mother was our founder with her margarine, morality and home-based life. . The story of my generation’s growth coincides with Turkey’s courage to open up to the world.


It seems to be an ideal advertising strategy to show the tensions between generations, the conflict between traditional and modern, how the interior of the home, material culture, daily life, consumption and eating habits will transform into a society that tries to adapt. Globalization to the world, and the role of citizens in this transformation through the power struggle in the kitchen. There is a saying in our culture that “house is not above house”. The conflict of women, who represent different lifestyles and their reflection in the discipline of the home, can be most clearly noticed in the kitchen. The aforementioned Margarine and Surrey dinner talk shows have used it skillfully.

In the 90’s, our culinary culture, where bread and lemon were cheap and basic food source and pot food predominated, became obsolete in the 90’s with the promotion of healthy living, the illusion of abundance and the argument that we have entered an age where The kitchen door was also open. Healthy living, fitness, healthy nutrition, regular sports techniques and cooking techniques that appeal to aerobic, young populations and form an element of enjoyment culture were imposed by the authoritarian regime after 12 September with the intention of reviving physical training. , Similar to the curriculum of the Institute of Girls of the Early Republic. He was again bound by measurements, weights and scientific methods. Just as midwifery and healing were slandered for finding unscientific and “primitive” cron work, so too was the knowledge, behavior, and actions of previous generations about our mother’s fat, that is, the continuity of life, considered obsolete. In those years, we ridiculed the food ladder served with the principle that life comes by the throat, and on the other hand, the experience of war and the worries of the poor generation, to add everything to the bread. Homemade noodles were distributed in pasta, tea grains, poached-omelette and casserole dishes, first cooked vegetables and then fast food.

Until when? The campaign to turn past aspirations into profits, until our mother’s oil, the seeds of our ancestors, and our grandparents’ cooking methods become commonplace again. With this new type of use, common oils and butter, which were avoided because it clogs the arteries, began to be respected. Industrially produced pasta, tomato paste, all kinds of sauces, pickles, jams are now handmade from ingredients that are believed to be organic in most kitchens, from the poor to the rich. The slogan “as if holding mother’s hand” began to guarantee sales. Tarhana soup was considered the most natural food for children and colorful noodles of naturally produced vegetables were sold in fancy gift packages. The celebrities posted tomato sauce recipes in jars they made during the season on their YouTube account.

As I was writing this article, I overheard an advertisement on the kitchen radio, in which a cheese brand was temptingly announcing that they were launching organic cheese as well as artificial cheese, and wanted to introduce it to its distinctive, face. – Feeding customers. Organics obviously no longer bite the consumer. Or gone for the organic old charm producer. Expensive products have been introduced in both packaging and brand, giving the impression of being unique, personal and convincing people that they are healthy, nutritious and attractive to happy owners. Even in these days when the economic crisis is in our throats, the effort to make people feel special by spending more money on food, especially their packaging and image does not end. Margarine yarn has come on the market, that’s for sure, it doesn’t fit either.

I ask the small producer, who struggles to return to nature in agriculture and does not cross the boundaries of nature, without exposure, but I ask: Is organic cooking the story of a society that runs away from home and finds itself? Or is this the last game in the market that confuses the exploited consumer with the illusion of returning home until they reach saturation?

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