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This is an extremely simple village dish and just about any vegetable can be replaced with another of your choice.

It is all mainly about the method and the basic sauce which falls under the Turkish category of Sulu Yemek meaning literally Watery Food. What it really is trying to tell you, is that it is cooked with water rather than olive oil and therefore it is served hot.

Sulu Yemek is very popular for lunch in little local lokantas (cafes). It is tasty and affordable for just about everybody. Normally one would also be served a bowl of rice or bulgur with it and possibly a cacik – a garlicky, cold yogurt soup with grated cucumber which is slurped up in between mouthfuls of the other dishes.

Hatice my landlady knew we were packing ready to move to our boat and so turned up at our front door with this, the night before we were leaving. It was heartily accepted and wolfed down in no time. It is such an easy dish to prepare and is very tasty.

As I mentioned before, the vegetables can be substituted with any you desire and you can use as few or as many types of vegies as you wish. This mixture below is what Hatice served us. It was delicious and sometimes just what the body my body is asking for!


Hatice's Celeriac
 
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
45 mins
 
Author: Lulu Witt
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 celeriac peeled and cubed
  • ½ med sized cauliflower broken into small florets
  • 1 leek washed and sliced
  • 2 potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1 cup Tomato puree or juice or 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Chilli Flakes or paprika as desired
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Fry onion in oil for 5 minutes
  2. If using tomato paste, add this to the onion at this point and stir around for 2 minutes
  3. Add all the prepared vegetables and stir for another 2 minutes
  4. If using tomato puree or juice add it now
  5. Add the paprika or chilli flakes now to your desired taste
  6. Add the water and cook slowly for 20 minutes
  7. Test the doneness of the vegetables and cook a whilst longer if necessary
3.5.3229

 

The post Simple Village Dish appeared first on Seasonal Cook In Turkey.

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Stuffed Celeriac is a dish my lovely friend Semra whips up quite often and I know exactly why. It is absolutely delicious and I am thrilled to have her recipe now.

Semra was making it last week when I visited her so it’s all documented here. Really a very quick dish to prepare. She can chop up the bits and pieces required in 15 minutes and it takes just 30 minutes to cook.

It is considered to be a ‘zeytinyağlı’ – olive oil dish. This means that it is cooked using good olive oil and it’s served at room temperature.

Turkish Dinner Party Etiquette

I asked Semra what she likes to serve when guests come for dinner. Her answer to that was that there would be mezes placed on the table, such as hummus, or haydari (a minty yogurt dip) and perhaps some crispy fried cheese pastries known as sigara boreğı. Naturally, bread will be on the table too. These starters may be served with drinks beforehand or at the very beginning of the meal.

A zeytinyağlı dish would also be placed in the middle of the table and it could be picked at, any time up to dessert.  Semra was very proud to tell me that her Olive Oil dish – Stuffed Celeriac was often the star of the meal.

Each guest would be given a bowl of soup and then the main meal that may or may not have meat in it would be served, along with a pilav (rice) dish and a salad. Followed of course by some kind of sweet and later a platter of sliced fruit, possibly sprinkled with nuts and honey.

She also mentioned that when her husband was alive and they had guests, that often a few bottles of the national alcoholic drink ‘raki’ would be consumed during the evening. In this case, the soup would be served a few hours after the meal rather than before. This is used to sober people up and take away the little hunger edge that alcohol can create. We are probably talking no earlier than 2am as the Turks sure know how to party.

NIGHT CLUB CULTURE

As many who live in Turkey know, a soup kitchen can do its best trade around 3am when people start streaming out of the nightclubs. Nothing like a good işkembe – tripe soup or a ‘kelle paca’ -sheep’s head soup to get you on the road! işkembe soup is well known for being a wonderful hangover remedy.

I haven’t ventured forth and tried either of those. The smell of the Tripe Soup is not to be taken lightly and the look of the lamb’s head just does something to me. One day perhaps I will be brave enough.

THE PROVENANCE OF THE STUFFED CELERIAC DISH

Now back to the Stuffed Celeriac.  This recipe actually stems from the original version of Stuffed Artichoke an extremely popular dish in Spring time in Turkey, using just the heart of the artichoke. Celeriac however, being a root vegetable has a long season and can be found for at least a good 8 months of the year in the markets in Turkey.

Of course it is also are a lot more difficult to get the artichoke heart out of the plant unless you are lucky enough to find a market where the vendor is happy to do that for you.

Semra is slicing out a small amount to create a small dip in which to drop the vegetable mix. At this point, the celeriac bowl rather resembles an artichoke heart.

I do see more and more sellers cutting the hearts out and dropping them in acidic water where they exhibit their handiwork. It is becoming more popular all the time to offer this, so perhaps the problem of doing it yourself no longer exists at all.

Artichoke hearts all prepared and ready to go                                      Photo courtesy of Claudia Turgut

Celeriac sitting in acidic water – in this case Semra has squeezed lemon juice from half a lemon into the water then dropped the empty skins in too.

Artichokes will always remain a little of a luxury and the celeriac being very economical are a viable choice. The cost of one artichoke heart can set you back the equivalent of more than a kilo of celeriac. On top of that, it’s hard not to prefer this stunning combination with the exquisite flavour that celeriac brings to the dish.

Celeriac is not well known but slowly it is making it’s presence heard. The flavour of the stalks do resemble celery but the root has a more creamy, delicious flavour and a wonderful texture. It cooks quicker than carrots although it looks quite solid. If you have the opportunity to try one, it is very worthwhile.

All the extra bits of celeriac are later chopped up finely and added to the carrot, pea and potato mix.

The stuffing includes peas, carrots, potato, chopped celeriac inners and some of the green stalks and leaves as well.

The celeriac hearts are completely covered by the other vegetables but once cooked down, they are obvious in the dish. The washed rice is sprinkled on at this point.

Lastly it should be dressed with a sprinkling of dill or possibly fennel which the Turks in this area call Arapsaçı literally translated as Arabian Hair but the understanding of the word is actually a tangle, dogs’ dinner, knot, loop, confusion, mess, cock-up, woolly hair or a fuss!!

Semra's Celeriac
 
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
45 mins
 
Author: Lulu Witt
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium small celeriac, peeled and sliced into 2 thick wedges similar to an artichoke heart
  • 200g peas fresh, frozen or in Turkey they often use conserved peas, drained from a tin or jar
  • 1 large potato peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 2 Tbsp parsley (optional)
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 Tbsp washed rice
  • I cup water
  • 2 Tbsp dill (optional)
Instructions
  1. Dig out the centres of the celeriac slightly to form a concave shape in which to hold the other vegetables
  2. Use half a lemon to rub all over the cut celeriac or place the celeriac in a shallow bowl of water with lemon squeezed in to prevent them turning brown. You can drop the squeezed lemon skin in too.
  3. In another bowl add the onion, potato, peas and carrot and parsley
  4. Chop the removed celeriac centres finely and also some stalks and leaves if desired
  5. Add the celeriac to the other vegetables and mix well
  6. Add sugar, juice of ½ lemon and mix through the vegetables
  7. Spoon the mixture into the celeriac circles
  8. Drizzle the olive oil over all
  9. Sprinkle the rice on top of each circle
  10. Add a cup of water around the celeriac
  11. Bring to boil gently then simmer very slowly for half an hour
  12. There should still be some water left in the pot when cooked
  13. Sprinkle dill on top to serve
3.5.3229

 

 

The post Stuffed Celeriac appeared first on Seasonal Cook In Turkey.

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Semra whom I spoke about last week taught me a new way to cook ‘Karniyarik’ which I have called Baked Aubergine with Meat to differentiate from the original recipe published on this site. This stuffed aubergine dish is different as it uses very little oil and yet certainly does not lose any flavour. I love Claudia’s recipe which is on this website but I felt I had to share this non-fried version as it is definitely a very handy alternative if you want to reduce your calorie intake.

Karniyarik or Stuffed Aubergine with Meat is an extremely famous Turkish dish which was created for a Sultan back in the Ottoman Empire days. It is still highly revered and finding a very flavoursome yet  low-fat, easy-to-prepare version for me was just perfect.

This way of preparing the aubergines prior to stuffing them is not only super simple and completely painless but really rather ingenious and you could apply this method to many such eggplant dishes.

So without further ado, I will explain her method.

Firstly, for aesthetic purposes only, Semra likes to dress them in pyjamas. That is her description. By this she means to peel them alternately, leaving some skin on. She explained that if you do not peel them at all, the outer skins will remain tougher which is not so enjoyable to eat. Peeling them is necessary, however it is not essential to completely peel them, and pyjamas in her opinion is the most attractive way to present this dish.

Aubergines come in many sizes. For this recipe we found that short to medium sized, fairly straight aubergine work best. It is quite a filling meal. If the aubergine are too fat then the serving will end up rather large by the time they have been stuffed with the meat mixture.

Using a peeler to do this is very quick. She also very neatly cut off the stem ends. This was mainly so that it could fit easily into her small baking tray for her mini oven which we had to use today. However, when it came to eating them with the stems already cut off, I found it handy and will continue cutting them off ahead of baking.

Once that is done, we placed them on an oven tray and turned the oven on to 170C. As this was a little mini oven, it heats up extremely easily. You might like to preheat your oven first. Bake them for around 15 minutes before turning them. They may need to be turned up to 3 times, doing 4 sides if possible before they seem to have turned pale golden.

During this period the meat mixture can be prepared.

Once the baked aubergines have shrivelled slightly and the skin has turned wrinkly they can be removed from the oven. At this point they should be cooked enough.

They were left to cool and then Semra split the baked auberines in half lengthways, not going through to the bottom and leaving a centimetre at each end uncut.

Then her tool of choice was a Turkish soup spoon, what we would call a dessert spoon or a table spoon would do. With the back of the spoon you gently flatten out the middle of the aubergine creating what looks like a little boat. Perfect for filling up with the mixture we have created whilst the aubergines were in the oven.

Now spoon out the meat mixture evenly between the aubergines. And dress with pieces of tomato and green pepper.

Once all the aubergines are dressed with their meat filling, raw tomatoes and peppers, pour 3/4 of a cup of water around the aubergines and place the baking tray in a preheated oven of 180C for 40 minutes.

35 to 45 minutes later your baked aubergines should look like this.

Photo courtesy of Claudia Turgut

Baked Aubergine
 
Prep time
1 hour
Cook time
40 mins
Total time
1 hour 40 mins
 
Author: Lulu Witt
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 6 - 8
Ingredients
  • 2 kg small to med sized straight aubergines
  • 1½ large onions chopped finely
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ kg minced beef, lamb or mixed meat
  • 1½ Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1½ Tbsp pepper paste (spicy or not, your choice)
  • 1½ tsp of each of the following: black pepper, cumin, chilli flakes. salt
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 long green peppers (can be sweet or spicy)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170C
  2. Peel the aubergine in stripes using a peeler
  3. Gently cut off the stem
  4. Place the aubergine on a baking tray and bake in oven for around 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning every 10 to 15 minutes or so until pale golden and wrinkled all over
  5. Fry onion in oil for 4 minutes
  6. Add mince and mix around, adding 2 Tbsp water after a minute
  7. Add the tomato and pepper pastes and mix well
  8. Add all the spices and salt
  9. Cook slowly until nearly all the water has evaporated, taking around 15 minutes
  10. Remove aubergines from oven when cooked and allow to cool
  11. Cut down the middle of the cooled aubergines, taking care not to go through the whole aubergine and leaving a centimetre at each end
  12. Gently widen the aubergine split using a dessert or table spoon, working the vegie open like a little boat
  13. Place the aubergines back on the baking tray and fill them with the meat mixture
  14. Place wedges of tomato and green pepper on them
  15. Pour ¾ cup water around the aubergines
  16. Bake 180C for 40 minutes until the peppers on top look well cooked and just a little water remains
  17. Sprinkle parsley on top of the baked aubergines and serve
3.5.3229

 

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I have a delightful friend called Semra who is an artist whom I met on my very first visit to a little artists’ club when we first moved back to Turkey from Cyprus in 2014.

She is 73 years old and so full of life. She is the most wonderful cook and would never ever consider using a recipe book. Her recipe for Sultan’s Cauliflower here is truly delicious. It is worthy of the best restaurants serving it and I really hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

Sultan’s Cauliflower is one of those recipes that is extremely easy to put together yet has an impact well over the effort put in. It is truly a knock-out and I urge you to try it.

Sadly, it is not the prettiest dish but I can tell you that when you taste it, all your senses will fire up and you will have visions of eating this over and over! Even sneaking out of bed to take a nibble in the middle of the night! Yep, that good!

You might notice here that my signature white china with the gold trim is missing in the photos. It had to go. We felt the crockery just did not match our new nautical life and had to be retired. In times, the culinary photos will take on a different theme I guess, but for now, it’s a matter of which dish is not packed?

What do we still have in the cupboards? It’s countdown period now and my super organised husband has the packing under control he tells me. I am guessing we will be on paper plates anytime soon!

I can see a sprinkling of parsley here would have definitely helped with presentation but we were totally out of greens and short of grabbing some grass cuttings from the mower, there was no choice but to just hoe in and start eating.

The wonderful culinary odours prevented us from going to extremes when photographing this dish as it was just driving us crazy and we couldn’t wait.

Now I regret it, but I tell you, I didn’t at the time!

 

Sultan's Cauliflower
 
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
45 mins
 
Author: Lulu Witt
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
  • 1 medium sized chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 250g minced meat beef, lamb or a mixture
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Dsp currants
  • Chilli flakes / pul biber
  • 2 cups water
Instructions
  1. Lay the florets in a shallow sided casserole dish or deep frying pan that has a lid
  2. In another pan fry chopped onion with the pine nuts for a few minutes
  3. Add mince and continue frying for several minutes until it goes grey
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir well
  5. Add the salt, pepper and cinnamon
  6. Stir well
  7. Lay the meat mixture over the cauliflower florets
  8. Sprinkle the currants on top and take note of their colour
  9. Sprinkle with chilli flakes to your liking
  10. Pour 2 cups water gently round the side of the pan
  11. Cover with the lid
  12. Turn heat onto med-high and as soon as you can hear it boiling turn it down to low
  13. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes maximum as you want the cauli to keep a bit of crunch to it
  14. When the currants change colour and become a creamier colour (this is the Turkish reference) then the dish is ready.
3.5.3229

Now I would like to tell you about Semra whose life I find quite fascinating. You might need to go make yourself a cuppa before we start.

When she was 11 years old she graduated from primary school and actually from this age, many Turkish girls finished school at this age and were expected to help their mothers full time in the house, look after their younger siblings or had to take up apprenticeships in beauty salons or as hairdressers, dressmakers or work as shop assistants or in a factory.

Whilst Semra could read and write with the Latin script her mother could only read and write in Arabic. (Semra also reads coffee cups!)

Semra was fortunate enough to be accepted into a special institute called The First Selcuk Career High School for Girls. It was established by a very famous person back in the early 1900s by a man named Milhtat Pasa. He ran the school on the ‘eski tarihhi okulu’ system meaning the school was based upon the lines of the Selcuk times during the Ottoman period.

Semra was referred to in many instances as Student 634 which was her registration number and she said she will never forget this number. She adored her school and has kept many of her school friends even though the school was in Istanbul and she now lives in Fethiye.

All girls were expected to participate in every class with no exception. These included culture, history, geography, foreign languages – in her case, she chose French which was the  international language at the time. German and English were also offered. Other subjects included sewing, lacework, crochet, flower arrangement as well as learning the names of all the local flowers and their seasons.

Most importantly she had many classes under the heading of Evi Diaresi. This subject included cleaning, washing, how to wash up and rinse correctly, She told me that they learnt what soaps were best for what jobs. There was only green and white soap available then, the green soap was called Arap Sabunu (Arab soap) and was soft and mushy and contained petrol in it so it destroyed your hands.

They learnt how to remove all kinds of stains, how to clean towels effectively. Also which was the most economical forms of cleaning that worked best, for instance, when to use bi-carb soda. How to use çöven – a tree stem to soften the washing, long before fabric conditioner was heard of.

How to clean carpets? The most effective way of doing this she told me was to use snow. Of course, it’s not possible in all climates to do this but it sounds interesting and I would like to see how it was done.

Such a shame that so many of these wondrous things she has been taught will be lost. As there is no snow where we live, I can’t see myself documenting that one!

Classes also included how to make babies, how to have babies, how to wrap babies up in swaddling, how to feed them. Cooking classes included the basics and beyond beginning with dolmas, boreks and hot and cold salads, olive oil dishes and water based meals.

Then they moved along to cover cakes and pastries, more complicated casseroles and learning what foods could become dangerous. ie she was taught that stale fish cooked with yogurt was highly poisonous. I had not heard of this one but I’ll take her word for it.

Semra also learnt how to iron and fold correctly.

How to invite and receive guests and how to serve them correctly and in what order it must follow. Nothing was left to guess.

Then there were the physical activities. There was a Scouts group as she called it (Izci) She also participated in quite high level gymnastics that all were expected to take part in. They also had rhythmic gym using ribbons and music and sounding quite advanced and then there was volleyball.

There were over 1000 girls in the school and each class had up to 30 students and the school ran for 5 years from 8.30 in the morning through to 3 in the afternoon, five days a week. She attended from the age of 12 to 17 where upon she received a diploma.

After gaining her diploma she took herself off to typing school and learnt how to type doing a 3 month course. Once completed she got a good job in a dressmaking factory and then later moved to UK. There she got another job in a clothing factory and worked for a Turkish businessman who was very successful. She was whipping up over 100 pairs of trousers a day which was no mean feat back in the days where you didn’t have the highly technical methods for cutting fabrics etc.

In not time at all, she was promoted and became the head designer and cutter with no formal training but an eye for detail and a very creative mind. She worked for 9 years in UK and then returned to marry a successful man back in Turkey.

It was a luxurious lifestyle until he took up gambling and although he was a successful gambler, he was overly generous and gave everything away to the point of desperation. He turned to drinking and finally Semra had to say ‘enough’.  Some time later she moved down to Fethiye where one of her brothers lived.

Nadir her brother was a very sweet and gentle man speaking a few languages and also very clever with his hands. Building his own house, doing his own electrics as well as making his own clothes on his industrial sewing machine.

One day Nadir went to the First Aid bus that was in town waiting for blood donors. The nurse popped an IV into his arm and left the room to go and have a cigarette. After some time a fellow patient screamed for a doctor and they came running. Nadir’s IV had not been inserted correctly and had sent oxygen through the veins and blood was squirting all over the place. Nadir remembers nothing of this incident but it sadly left him completely paralysed on one side and unable to speak at all.

Semra took up the role of caring for him although he insists on being independent. She lives about 3km away from him and brings him food every day. He manages to clean most of the house himself and has taught himself to still hem his own pants etc using just one hand and a foot.

He is unable to form any words at all but can make noises which only she can understand. It is incredibly sad because he is a lovely person and so desperately would love to communicate. He has a battery powered wheelchair and can drive it down to the local market if he needs something basic.

The social security system has not helped him at all. He has never been compensated for the negligence and was fined last year for having not paid tax, insurance or registration on his motorbike for the past 8 years.

The system is so totally and utterly frustrating. How could a disabled man be blamed for this? No one gave another thought to the deteriorating bike under his house and poor Semra has had to come up with all the goods as he naturally has not been able to earn anything since the accident and was not up for a pension when it happened.

His wife fled within weeks of the disaster taking all she could at the time, leaving Semra in a really hard place. And yet still, Semra manages to create beautiful art, wonderful meals, always has a gorgeous smile on her face and is ready to laugh at anything.

Sometimes we just don’t know how lucky we are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wild greens known as ‘Ot’ are often referred to as weeds by foreigners. They can be turned into extremely tasty dishes and certainly many are very healthy for us.

I had a lovely experience this week with my neighbours taking me out on an Ot Forage! With the spoils, I had many choices of dishes suggested to me by Hatice and Gulay.  We picked so many that I made several dishes including a Bulghur Greens dish, a Weed Pastry or Ot Böreğı and also an Egg Dish which was delicious. The recipes are down below.

As we pack our house to move onto our new boat (for us) and our life changes forever, I start looking around and truly taking in what I have become so accustomed to and perhaps at times taken for granted.

Our little area within a small village is called Aydinlik. This means Light and that is what it truly has been to us. Strangely a few years before, it was called Karanlik meaning Darkness but the name was changed before we ever knew this little hideaway existed.

Our days have been quite routine in one respect. Without fail we have always walked our dog morning and night and from this we have got to know our neighbours so much better. We know which fields they will graze their cows when, and we also have got to know some fishermen, goat herders and our local horse ranch owners quite well too.

Our little beach road that is being widened as I type this. Never to be the same.

There are no nearby markets or shops and everyone stocks up in huge quantities. We have trucks arriving once every 6 weeks or so with 50kg sacks of flour, sugar, rice, semolina and all the usual staples for rural Turkish cuisine. They like this routine and are happy to buy these amounts but we enjoy our weekly trip into town and buy smaller packs of whatever is needed.

None of our neighbours attend the markets although we are spoilt and have one nearly every day of the week within the Fethiye region. Our neighbours are just about all related, one way or another and share everything they have.

Some have hot houses and grow an assortment of vegetables whilst others have cows and make yogurt, ayran and cheese. All of them have chickens and there is an abundance of different varieties of orange and lemon trees and these are strangely available nearly every month of the year.

It is the end of winter now, although I can say all of February has felt like Spring. We have had wonderfully sunny days and mild temperatures. My kitchen even managed to reach 30C inside a few days ago which was extraordinary. In full summer you are probably thinking that it must be impossible to cook in there, but the difference is that we do not have our sun awning up yet and so the full sun is beaming straight in at the moment.

There has been little rain this past year and it has become a major worry.  The published figures for the dams and reservoirs  are at 26% full at the moment and we can expect a hike in prices soon if the skies don’t open up big time.

Meanwhile, our wild greens known as ‘ot’ in Turkish are in abundance in the fields after a lovely deluge a few days ago and I was chuffed to be invited to join two of my favourite village ladies. I am a true amateur when it comes to this and they kindly shared their spoils with me.

We picked our weeds – Turp Otu and Gelincik (Poppy plants) from a field where olive trees had been planted the previous summer and no sprays or fertilizer had yet been used. They told me that in April it will have its first spraying and so we had to get as much as we could up till then. It was hard to believe we could deplete this crop in that time but we sure were going to give it our best shot.

The Poppy Plant before it has seeded. Gelincik in Turkish

Turp Otu is also known as Hardal meaning mustard and can be a little bit spicy. It is always boiled for quite a while until it loses its chewiness. Gelincik is the Poppy plant and this can be eaten raw in salads or cooked.

This is called Turp Otu or Hardal and is eaten sometimes too however we were looking for a different kind of Hardal. There are apparently 3 species of Hardal.

A slight variation of the one above. Also can be cooked but is not prized in the kitchen.

This was the Hardal that we were looking for. The tastiest and best one for cooking. We cut the plant from underneath, cleaned off the dirty root and then sliced off the big end leaves in our hands in a machete movement with a large sharp knife.

As for all wild greens (Ot) which we also quite often call weeds … but nicely edible ones, we can only pick and eat them providing there are no seeds yet. Once the plant begins to seed or have flowers it must not be consumed. I am not sure of the consequences but I have been firmly told to avoid picking them in that state.

This Ot is seeding and cannot be cooked.

Hatice organised my evening meal and told me that I should eat the Gelincik with Bulghur (Poppy) dish for dinner. She quickly prepared it for me, taking all of 5 minutes.

Meanwhile Gulay prepared Poppy Pancakes (Gelincik Gözleme) and dropped a few down to us. Marvellous!

As you can see, with this amazing kindness and pure sweetness it is more than hard to leave this little paradise, however the sea beckons and I do hope to come back often and see these wonderful people who opened their hearts to us and call us family.

As we picked so many weeds, we had many dishes to try out. Whilst Gulay whipped up Gözleme, Hatice gave me the following suggestions:

Turp Otu and Eggs

Fry an onion. Once soft add the chopped, boiled and tightly squeezed out Turp Otu to the onion. Add some chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Stir and then add 2 broken eggs. Stir around until cooked and serve. Check for salt as this weed often needs a fair bit.

Turp Otu / Hardal Salata   This dish is also good for Spinach.

Cut and clean the greens, boil with water and salt for 20 to 30 minutes until no longer tough. You may need to test this in your teeth rather than just pricking it with a fork.

Drain the ot then make a salad. Mix a dressing of 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 3 to 4 Tbsp olive oil, Juice of a half a lemon or more, chilli flakes to taste and 1 tsp of water. Mix well and toss through the cut greens. Add 1/2 a chopped raw onion if desired.

Gelincik Bulgur Dish

Fry an onion in a little oil, add the cut and cleaned greens. Sprinkle over 1 Tbsp of bulgur, add 1/2 to 1 tsp salt, chilli flakes. Cover with a lid and heat slowly for 10 minutes. Do not cook it too long as it will spoil. Drop in 2 cloves of crushed garlic at the end and stir. Serve.

We enjoyed this village dish very much and hope you will too. Some substitute suggestions would include nettles (young and not seeded), spinach, pazi – beet and similar types of greens, however, Turp Otu or Hardal is not really suitable for this dish as it is a tougher weed and needs too long to cook. The bulghur would be ruined.

Gelincik Salata

Cut the greens very finely, mix salt through it with your hands. Add 1/2 chopped raw onion, olive oil and pomegranate syrup.

CLEAN PASTURES

Here’s hoping that you find a field to frollick in and have lots of luck in finding some nice edible wild greens. It is very important to make sure that the fields have not been recently sprayed otherwise any goodness you thought you might absorb might end up being quite the opposite!

Happy Pickings!

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Seasonal Cook In Turkey by Lulu Witt - 3M ago

This is an absolute classic dish for Turks and can be found all over the country in varying degrees of spiciness.

There is no fancy name for this dish, it is simply known as Beans and Rice.

AN ALL TIME FAVOURITE

As mentioned in the Chickpeas and Rice recipe, this was my girls’ all time favourite as they were growing up here.

White beans known as ‘kuru fasulye’ in Turkish, cannelloni beans in Italian, haricot beans in UK are the ones what we use for this dish known simply as Beans and Rice. Served with a salad it makes a very delicious, easy and affordable meal.

There are many ways to cook ‘Beans and Rice’ and often little chunks of beef or lamb are dotted throughout the beans. However the vegetarian option is also extremely popular and very tasty. Just omit the meat and use a vegetarian stock.

TO GAS OR NOT TO GAS

There is a reason too why there is a spoon of sugar in the recipe. Many Turks believe that the sugar helps to release the gas in the beans and prevents flatulence.

As for the beans, it has taken me years to glean this little bit of information. There are two types of beans. In Turkish they are known as Kuru Fasulye (dried beans) and the other are Şeker Fasulye (sugar beans). They look extremely similar and the only way to tell them apart it seems is the price. Sugar beans are nearly double the cost of dried beans. They are sweeter as the name suggests and not as common. Both can be used in this recipe.

Also, I have always tried to find the largest beans possible, thinking they are the best. I have no idea where I got this idea from or perhaps it just felt better as I chewed them. However, recently I learnt from a Turkish friend that I should buy the dried beans loose from the villagers at the market and choose the smallest ones possible as they are far tastier. So yesterday I did exactly that. They were really delicious. No looking back!

This dish is a staple in many workers’ cafes and can also be found at every bus station and most local cafes (lokantas). Every Turkish child will be served this regularly and it is on nearly every kindergarten and school menu in the country. It is extremely popular with good reason.

Sometimes simple is just the best.


Beans and Rice
 
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
45 mins
Total time
55 mins
 
Here is one method for cooking this infamous dish. Chickpeas can be substituted for the beans.
Author: Lulu Witt
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried beans soaked overnight
  • 150g cubed lean meat
  • 50g oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper (sivri biber) seeded and diced
  • 1 heaped Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp hot pepper paste (optional)
  • 1 litre stock or 2 stock cubes with 1 litre water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pul biber, red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • dried oregano, dried thyme or dried mint
Instructions
  1. Strain soaked beans and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Sear the meat in a little oil in a large pan or pressure cooker till browned
  3. Add the onion and pepper
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes
  5. Add the tomato paste and pepper paste and stir for one minute.
  6. Pour on the stock, mix well
  7. Add sugar
  8. Add the rinsed beans and cook for 20 to 30 minutes under pressure until the beans are tender.
  9. If boiling in a normal pan this could take up to an hour depending on the freshness of the beans
  10. If the beans are still hard and the liquid is absorbed, add more water
  11. Once tender the salt can be added to taste along with some red pepper and a sprinkling of oregano, thyme or mint as desired
  12. Serve hot with rice and a glass of ayran
  13. Please note : This is meant to be a sloppy dish, eaten with a spoon
3.5.3229

 
Turkish Rice
 
Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
1 hour 30 mins
Total time
1 hour 35 mins
 
The cooking time includes soaking the rice for 1 hour.
Author: Lulu Witt
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Turkish rice ( I use Baldo or Osmancik types)
  • ¼ cup orzo or şehriye (pasta grains or angel strands)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 heaped tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil
Instructions
  1. Put rice in a pot and cover with boiling water
  2. Leave for one hour to soak with lid on
  3. Drain and rinse thoroughly, massaging the starch out of the rice
  4. Heat oil in medium sized saucepan and when hot add the şehriye
  5. Fry until it takes on a golden colour
  6. Add the drained rice and continue frying for 2 minutes continually stirring
  7. Add 4 cups water and salt
  8. Stir, place on the lid and let it come to a boil
  9. Once boiling turn it down to a simmer, leaving it gently bubbling for 10 minutes
  10. Turn off the heat without taking off the lid at all and let it rest another 15 minutes
  11. Remove lid and fluff up the rice with a fork.
3.5.3229

 

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Clearing out the house has been my main goal for the past few weeks and slowly, slowly I am getting somewhere. Emptying the house of every possible thing to get us down to close-to-bare-minimum, ready to live comfortably but not cramped on a yacht is our goal.

However, presently, food and cooking have shifted to the back burner. So I was very relieved when my dear neighbour Hatice drew my attention to a household favourite of theirs, called Creamy Spinach Roots which she said was super simple.

Her Creamy Spinach Roots took all of  7 minutes to prepare and another 13 to cook and then it was on the table. It couldn’t be beaten for speed or flavour.

I will certainly be cooking this number again and highly recommend using this recipe as a basis for other produce too, if you feel up to a bit of experimenting. The simplicity and deliciousness of this quick meal is a winner. We ate ours with a few slices of Sourdough Bread but of course, a side dish of rice would go awfully well.

Creamed Spinach Roots
 
If cooking for 4, just the stems alone can be doubled and possibly a little more water.
Author: Lulu Witt
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Oil
  • 1 dsp flour
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • washed spinach roots from ½ kg spinach, chopped up into small pieces
  • chili flakes or powder/pul biber to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • yogurt
  • salt
  • optional extra garlic
Instructions
  1. Fry onion in a little oil till soft.
  2. Add 1 spoon of flour and stir occasionally. Wait until it changes colour.
  3. Add sliced spinach roots and stir around for a minute or two.
  4. Add red pepper to taste and cook for max 2 mins then add up to a cup of water.
  5. Stir then cook gently for 10 mins.
  6. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and a ¾ tsp of salt, stir well.
  7. Turn off the heat
  8. As an option, it can be served with garlicky yogurt.
  9. Made by mixing ½ tsp salt into 2 cups yogurt and add 2 crushed cloves garlic, whip with a fork.
3.5.3229

Each market day I still go to the market, dragging my trolley behind me and filling it up like a good girl. But actually, I have found it difficult to find the time or inspiration to use all that I buy properly when a sandwich would quickly fill us up and keep us going momentarily.

The time factor is our concern, as every minute becomes so precious and there seems so much to organise. As for the inspiration, the oven is now missing.

Believe it or not, my wall oven used to sit here. It was actually quite a feature!

Now we are down to handwashing as my darling husband thought offloading the dishwasher straight away to the first buyers who came along was a wonderful trick as well!

How ugly it looks too. Not only has the dishwasher been removed but I am continually reminded of the candy pink colour of the house before I painted it from top to toe. (I missed this bit, thinking no one was ever going to see down here again!)

We now have only a large garden table, no chairs. Inside we have 2 couches and no table! We still have our breakfast stools but they too will be gone shortly. Thank God we kept the camping chairs… but I am yet to find them. See my clearing and offloading is possibly not going as well as I thought.

I have desperately tried to stall collection or delivery of certain essentials but Henrik is of the opinion that we will be far more organised to empty the house right now, no matter what it is!

Thank goodness the new tenant wanted to buy the kitchen island with the stove top and gas bottle!  They stay… yeah!

The kitchen island gets to stay. Yeah!

So back to food. On the weekend, I pulled the kilo of spinach out of the fridge that I had bought on Friday and proceeded to rip off the roots.  I always pull out two large basins for my spinach washing. The biggest basin holds the leaves whilst the smaller one will contain just the roots which need longer soaking.

This was the number of spinach roots (in the pink colander) that I used for two of us.

Tip: Do not wash spinach until you intend to use it. It stores better in the fridge unwashed until needed.

I have found that by separating the roots from the leaves before washing spinach, that the amount of time I spend with my hands in cold water is greatly reduced. (This is very necessary in winter.) Whilst roots benefit from soaking for 10 minutes or so before getting the grime out, the leaves need to be rinsed over and over without being left in the water to go transparent.

When I go to the market these days, my criteria for buying spinach is mainly, how clean it is. I don’t enjoy washing it at all and the fewer rinses, the better. Secondly, many vendors neatly line up their spinach with the roots all pointing the same way. When they bag them, same applies. This means that ripping the roots off when you get home is super easy as you don’t have to turn them around and find the root. That’s Criteria No 2.

I also like spinach that hasn’t been drowned in the water spray. The leaves can suffer sitting wet for too long and of course, they are heavier, so you won’t get as much for your money, but that is hardly an issue. At the moment we are paying 3 lira (about 95 cents) a kilo for spinach which is extremely cheap and we tend to go through 2 kilos a week between the two of us.

Generally, we will have 2 spinach dishes in a week. I will also make a large spinach and cheese borek using a half kilo of washed raw spinach leaves.

I also make a green drink every morning with spinach, carrot, apple or pear, ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a slug of flax seeds and sometimes a soaked apricot. I used to put turmeric in the drink too but it was ruining my clear blender container so that had to stop!

So back to my greens on the weekend. My colanders were overflowing with washed spinach and roots and draining nicely on my garden wall. Hatice my neighbour was surprised to see that I was using the roots as she knows most people tend to throw them out. She enquired what I did with them.

I reeled off a couple of my favourite ways which are already written up on this site Spinach Roots and Zucchini Stew along with Dinner Last Night: Autumn Mushrooms and Spinach Roots which is a yummy dish that Claudia whips up. Lastly, I told her about my Root Salad as well as a Root Stir Fry that is explained in Spinach Stems Recipes.

Then Hatice told me that her husband’s favourite was when she used flour and garlic. So I immediately decided that as it sounded easy, it could be on tonight’s menu and it was. It is not a way I have ever cooked vegetables before but I will definitely be using this tasty method again.

We found it delicious and we are very happy to know another way to eat these very healthy greens. Spinach Stems and Roots are known to give an extra boost to your digestive system, address anaemia and give aid to constipation.

 

The post Creamy Spinach Roots appeared first on Seasonal Cook In Turkey.

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Clearing out the house has been my main goal for the past few weeks and slowly, slowly I am getting somewhere. Emptying the house of every possible thing to get us down to close-to-the-bare minimum, ready to live comfortably but not cramped on a yacht is our goal.

However, presently, food and cooking have been moved to the back burner. So I was very relieved when my dear neighbour Hatice drew my attention to a household favourite of theirs, called Creamy Spinach Roots.

Creamed Spinach Roots
 
If cooking for 4, just the stems alone can be doubled and possibly a little more water.
Author: Lulu Witt
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Oil
  • 1 dsp flour
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • washed spinach roots from ½ kg spinach, chopped up into small pieces
  • chili flakes or powder/pul biber to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • yogurt
  • salt
  • optional extra garlic
Instructions
  1. Fry onion in a little oil till soft.
  2. Add 1 spoon of flour and stir occasionally. Wait until it changes colour.
  3. Add sliced spinach roots and stir around for a minute or two.
  4. Add red pepper to taste and cook for max 2 mins then add up to a cup of water.
  5. Stir then cook gently for 10 mins.
  6. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and a ¾ tsp of salt, stir well.
  7. Turn off the heat
  8. As an option, it can be served with garlicky yogurt.
  9. Made by mixing ½ tsp salt into 2 cups yogurt and add 2 crushed cloves garlic, whip with a fork.
3.5.3229

Each market day I still go to the market, dragging my trolley behind me and filling it up like a good girl. But actually, I have found it difficult to find the time or inspiration to use all that I buy properly when a sandwich would quickly fill us up and keep us going momentarily.

The time factor is our concern, as every minute becomes so precious and there seems so much to organise. As for the inspiration, the oven is now missing.

Believe it or not, my wall oven used to sit here. It was actually quite a feature!

Now we are down to handwashing as my darling husband thought offloading the dishwasher straight away to the first buyers who came along was a wonderful trick as well!

How ugly it looks too. Not only has the dishwasher been removed but I am continually reminded of the candy pink colour of the house before I painted it from top to toe. (I missed this bit, thinking no one was ever going to see down here again!)

We now have only a large garden table, no chairs. Inside we have 2 couches and no table! We still have our breakfast stools but they too will be gone shortly. Thank God we kept the camping chairs… but I am yet to find them. See my clearing and offloading is possibly not going as well as I thought.

I have desperately tried to stall collection or delivery of certain essentials but Henrik is of the opinion that we will be far more organised to empty the house right now, no matter what it is!

Thank goodness the new tenant wanted to buy the kitchen island with the stove top and gas bottle!  They stay… yeah!

The kitchen island gets to stay. Yeah!

So back to food. On the weekend, I pulled the kilo of spinach out of the fridge that I had bought on Friday and proceeded to rip off the roots.  I always pull out two large basins for my spinach washing. The biggest basin holds the leaves whilst the smaller one will contain just the roots which need longer soaking.

This was the number of spinach roots (in the pink colander) that I used for two of us.

Tip: Do not wash spinach until you intend to use it. It stores better in the fridge unwashed until needed.

I have found that by separating the roots from the leaves before washing spinach, that the amount of time I spend with my hands in cold water is greatly reduced. (This is very necessary in winter.) Whilst roots benefit from soaking for 10 minutes or so before getting the grime out, the leaves need to be rinsed over and over without being left in the water to go transparent.

When I go to the market these days, my criteria for buying spinach is mainly, how clean it is. I don’t enjoy washing it at all and the fewer rinses, the better. Secondly, many vendors neatly line up their spinach with the roots all pointing the same way. When they bag them, same applies. This means that ripping the roots off when you get home is super easy as you don’t have to turn them around and find the root. That’s Criteria No 2.

I also like spinach that hasn’t been drowned in the water spray. The leaves can suffer sitting wet for too long and of course, they are heavier, so you won’t get as much for your money, but that is hardly an issue. At the moment we are paying 3 lira (about 95 cents) a kilo for spinach which is extremely cheap and we tend to go through 2 kilos a week between the two of us.

Generally, we will have 2 spinach dishes in a week. I will also make a large spinach and cheese borek using a half kilo of washed raw spinach leaves.

I also make a green drink every morning with spinach, carrot, apple or pear, ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a slug of flax seeds and sometimes a soaked apricot. I used to put turmeric in the drink too but it was ruining my clear blender container so that had to stop!

So back to my greens on the weekend. My colanders were overflowing with washed spinach and roots and draining nicely on my garden wall. Hatice my neighbour was surprised to see that I was using the roots as she knows most people tend to throw them out. She enquired what I did with them.

I reeled off a couple of my favourite ways which are already written up on this site Spinach Roots and Zucchini Stew along with Dinner Last Night: Autumn Mushrooms and Spinach Roots which is a yummy dish that Claudia whips up. Lastly, I told her about my Root Salad as well as a Root Stir Fry that is explained in Spinach Stems Recipes.

Then Hatice told me that her husband’s favourite was when she used flour and garlic. So I immediately decided that as it sounded easy, it could be on tonight’s menu and it was. It is not a way I have ever cooked vegetables before but I will definitely be using this tasty method again.

We found it delicious and we are very happy to know another way to eat these very healthy greens. Spinach Stems and Roots are known to give an extra boost to your digestive system, address anaemia and give aid to constipation.

Our Creamy Spinach Roots took all of  7 minutes to prepare and another 13 to cook and then it was on the table. It couldn’t be beaten for speed or flavour.

I will certainly be cooking this number again and highly recommend using this recipe as a basis for other produce too, if you feel up to a bit of experimenting. The simplicity and deliciousness of this quick meal is a winner. We ate ours with a few slices of Sourdough Bread but of course, a side dish of rice would go awfully well.

The post Creamy Spinach Roots appeared first on Seasonal Cook In Turkey.

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Sea Change as defined by Oxford Dictionaries
Noun

British – a seemingly magical change, as brought about by the action of the sea
Australian – a significant change in lifestyle, especially a move from the city to a rural or seaside location    “people are looking at sea changes for a better work-life balance”

And so I profess – we are entering a period of Sea Change.

Life has been spun upside down with a decision that my husband Henrik and I made just two weeks ago. It completely took us by surprise but we feel it’s absolutely right at this point of our lives.

We have bought a boat and will give up life on land completely. We have allowed  ourselves 6 weeks to totally downscale, clear out our entire house and somehow get rid of nearly everything that we ever collected in the last 20 years or so that won’t fit or belong on a boat. In total, we can keep about one tenth of all that we own.

This means of course that I have to tear myself away from stuff I have proudly collected for a large part of my life. I have been on this side of the world away from my hometown Melbourne, Australia for the best part of my adulthood.

All the  wonderful things one collects along the way of life… have you ever inspected them closely? How many do you use or even look at every day? How many do you just feel so attached to but actually add no value to your life? I’m clearly looking at these life questions deeply at the moment!

Have you had a hobby that you have taken very seriously and collected madly to be the master, only to later give it up but just can’t give up the goods? That’s me. I took up painting with a vengeance. For the past 5 years I have not been able to sleep past 3am. That’s when I wake up. That’s why I took up painting. I decided that this was something I could do in the middle of the night and not disturb anyone. Every painting I ever created was a mid-night wonder.

I have boxes and boxes and boxes of the most beautiful art tools and paints. They add up to a small fortune and I am having the hardest time imaginable tearing myself from them. I have managed to give away 4 easels but the paints, the stunning collection of brushes worthy as museum pieces are proving hard to part with. And the sick part is that I haven’t touched paint for over a year now.  Some kind of block – not sure why.

But when I do let go, and I know this is very, very soon, I know I will feel freer than I have for a very long time. So with stealth, I go forward. Packing them into little boxes, writing down the contents and slowly, slowly getting ready to say good bye.

We have a local Facebook Group of Buy, Sell, Swap in Fethiye and quite rapidly I have become contender for ‘fastest swamper of the market’. I have had surprisingly wonderful messages coming in from so many people praising the goods I am selling and wanting to know in advance what is coming next! I tell you, when you sell up your house and are only able to keep a few boxes of goods in total, including your clothes, you end up with some really nice stuff on the market!! I wish I could be a buyer with this lot, I tell you!!

This afternoon I had to make a delivery of goods. A lot of electronic gear along with a large camping table, a dog guard for the car, a crockpot and a large house clock and fan. The car was full. On the way back I called in to tell my news to a Turkish friend and she had a ‘falci’ there. A lady who reads coffee cups.

So I sat down to hear what my future held. I sort of felt I knew, but what the heck, maybe there are some surprises? Well, what did she see, loud and clear. “Oh, here is a camel train (upside down) or a caravan as they would call it. It is a string of camels carrying goods after goods after goods. ‘Mal muk’ she said in Turkish. Many goods and lots of property. But because they are reversed, the goods are leaving and not coming! Well, how could she know? It was an eternal flood of goods leaving the property in the last week with at least another 3 weeks to go and probably at least another dozen delivery trips to our favourite meeting spot in town. The entrance doors to Kipa.

Every seller on Buy Sell Swap uses Kipa. It has a handy car park, it has a change room to try on clothes people are selling. It’s a big supermarket so you can do some shopping whilst you are waiting. The advantages are numerous. There’s so many people working there and no one knows what is going on. That’s a bonus as a small market might make you choose another venue!

Not everyone will find a camel train in their coffee cup.

So slowly, slowly all the hobby materials, hundreds of books, beach specimens, local artifacts, travel momentos along with a lot of my totally beloved kitchen equipment and exotic produce from all corners of the globe is having to go. Hence it has been just too chaotic to sit down and write a blog for which I do apologise.

I have always had a penchant for nice things especially of the culinary variety. I have a beautiful breadmaker, an amazing Thermomix, I have a Nutri-Bullet for our healthy morning drinks. I have a slow cooker, a round electric borek oven for those Turkish savoury pastries made with the most wonderful Turkish ingredient – yufka.

Naturally I have a normal blender and a hand blender but then I also have a coffee grinder, a collection of Italian coffee pots as well as an electric Turkish coffee pot and the obligatory Turkish teapot along with the tea glasses and every other possible accessory you can think of that goes with serving these drinks in the most social event setting possible!

Then there is the Siemens egg boiler – who would have thought they ever needed that? Well, I can tell you, I am crying that I have sold it but it just had to go. I loved it like a son!

The orange juicer for those refreshing OJ’s. The Paella pan that I lugged all the way from Australia but is too large for any galley cupboard. The sausage maker along with frozen sausage skins. Three Le Creuset casserole dishes that I could hardly lift. You name it, I seemed to have it.

Oh my heart breaks, but what to do?

I advertised my Beko oven. A full sized absolutely gorgeous piece of equipment. It was to be sold with a deposit and then handed over in our last week. What did my husband do? It was whipped up on the first day I posted it and he pulled it out of the wall and loaded it in their car right there and then.

The very first item I put up for sale. I thought it might take a while to sell. I could have cried. The microwave went the day after and I am left with my hob! My roasting and cake baking days are gone! I just can’t believe he did it to me!!

So of course the most obvious things to sell next were all my imported essences – vanilla, rum, coconut, almond, mint, cardamom, licorice along with English baking powder and all those hard-to-get ingredients that I slowly built up for good reason. The list goes on and on and I quickly created a baking box with kilos of valuable items all brought in from abroad.

Then, what did Henrik do? My darling husband said, well, since you don’t have room to store all these beautiful ingredients on the boat, perhaps you should whip up us some wonderful last land-based cakes. Are you kidding me? HOW? Have you forgotten something? Boy, he knows how to rub it in!!

Then we come to the Out- of- Kitchen experiences. The Weber barbie that I refuse to sell for a song and well might have to live in the sails locker. The Tavuk Teneke – a Turkish designed chicken smoker and griller. Truly a wonderful contraption but no, it has to go. All our camping gear – our pride and joy, a superior tent, a fabulous blow up mattress, under mats, over mats, tarps and all the trappings. A bygone era I imagine now for us, as we will now be considered camping afloat!

The bird is salted and ready to be covered by the Teneke.

The glass lid is a very snug fit

Looking close to ready but we think another 10 minutes would be good.

The smells are wonderful. Toesen is having a hard time controlling herself!

And of course there can be disasters. Poor Lynn has never enjoyed cooking much but she gave it her best shot!

And then there are all my paintings, our beloved comfy furniture, our wood pile of 4 tons which has been collected and stacked with the most utmost love. Our car, our scooter, our bicycle. Our wood burner and only source of heat – No, Henrik, that is not being given away weeks before our departure date!

Slowly, slowly I am coming to grips with the downscaling. It is therapeutic and I love the idea of having a fabulous clean out. Rather like an enema I am loathe to say! So here’s hoping we are ready by February 25th. Our D Day.

So for now, it’s all simple top of the stove cooking for us.

However I did have this recipe prepared, ready to share which is just a really easy, moreish nibble.

I hope you enjoy it.


Cheesy Cauliflower Bites
 
Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
25 mins
 
These garlicky little numbers will make you wonder what else you can do with cauliflower.
Author: Lulu Witt
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ head of a large cauliflower broken into small florets
  • 1 to 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ - ⅔ cup Parmesan Cheese or tasty broken Tulum Peynir
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne / Aci Biber or more to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 6 large cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180C
  2. Grease baking tray or roasting tin well with olive oil
  3. In a bowl or plastic bag place the parmesan cheese, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper
  4. Dip cauliflower florets into the beaten egg
  5. Drop in a few florets into the cheese mix and swirl around
  6. Place dipped florets on greased baking tray or tin
  7. After 8 minutes turn over florets and continue baking
  8. After 7 minutes of cooking the other side, pull out tray and drop on the crushed garlic and mix
  9. Bake another 5 minutes
  10. Serve on plates or in bowls and sprinkle generously with parsley
3.5.3229

 

Afiyet Olsun!

 

The post A Sea Change and Cauli Bits appeared first on Seasonal Cook In Turkey.

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We had all done eating the wedding feast at the groom’s home (his family hotel) and the wedding band had signalled that we should jump into a vehicle and join the convoy.

The wedding car all dressed in pink

The groom’s mother had never had such joy

The groom’s mother on her proudest day

The cars, vans and backless trucks had taken off in one long procession at high speed and in reckless haste. It was a real case of hanging on to your hats and praying like mad that this was all going to work out alright.

We left Pamukkale behind in a trail of dust and committed ourselves to the long straight motorway between the village and Denizli. The band sat in the back of the open truck and tried to keep a tune going as the convoy bounced over humps and potholes, without losing their teeth on their reed instruments.

The band had a small break as the convey regrouped. Somehow a few cars were lost and we had to wait till all was back in order.

Many overexcited guests thought this was an excellent opportunity to test their cars performances and definitely a fair bit of testosterone was out driving the force.

The best man was a particularly fast driver but he still had time for a chat as he overtook us.

At times, I really did wish that I had stayed behind in the hotel and help pack away the tables but actually, as I survived this, I realise this was a once in a million kind of opportunity to seize. Never had I been so close in participating in this incredibly deeply entrenched drama full of tradition.

Within half an hour we were winding our way through the very tight little village streets in the outskirts of Denizli, towards 2338 Street. No chance of getting lost this time.

The band and lead car which had the groom in it, came to a halt about a block away, around the corner from the bride’s house. The following 20 or 30 cars and vans just pulled up behind one another. There was no suggestion of trying to park them to the side of the road, in case others wanted to pass. It seemed perfectly acceptable that the whole district was completely blocked off and would remain that way until the groom chose to leave.

Everyone poured out of their cars and reconvened behind the groom. The band had climbed down from their backless truck and started playing once again. The groom and the best man (with the red flag attached to the back of his jacket) began to do a slow walking type dance down the street whilst men waved Turkish flags with a pair of pink Turkish village pants (shalvar) strung up with the flag and egged them on.

The men surrounded the groom and acted like guards and henchmen. This whole procedure felt like an orchestrated kidnapping was about to take place.

It took about half an hour to cover the distance of 200 metres to arrive in front of Mine’s house. The plastic chairs were all stacked outside their house from the Henna Party the night before and the older ladies started organising the men to set them up for the oldies. I was told… it’s could be a long wait.

So we sat.

And we sat.

And we sat.

The stack of chairs (back far left) slowly grew smaller as the chairs were distributed to the other side of the road

Hundreds of people had now congregated outside Mine’s house and the band was playing extremely loudly and the groom was still dancing like a peacock out the front with his best man.

Eventually I asked Ismail the groom’s aunt what was going on. She explained that Mine was inside, saying her goodbyes to the family. Shedding the last tears before eventually Ismail could not stand it any longer and would drag her out. She suggested that I go in and see her in her wedding attire.

The house was overflowing with people and squeezing past about 40 people on the stairs leading into the house and lining the hallway, it was very hard to even get a glimpse. But I did, just a quick one. Mine had her red lace veil on. It completely covered her face and prevented us seeing at all what she was really thinking.

Mine the bride wailed and wailed and crocodile tears were produced as she acted as the unwanting bride and pretended she had a desperate need to stay forever in her family home.

Meanwhile the family and close friends remained very stern and sad. There was absolutely no smiles to be shown during this devastating time.

Eventually there was no one else left to say goodbye to. It was time for Ismail to lead her out to the crowd and eventually into the waiting car.

The imam (in brown suit) says a prayer and blesses the union. This is the typical stance with hands cupped upwards whilst praying upright.

With great aplomb he gently dragged her down the stairs out into the open. Someone walked around the car with the flag and another pair of village pants had now joined the original pink pair. They hung together on the end of a bamboo pole. This was paraded around the car and later hung up beside the room where they would spend their first night. I later learnt that the mother of the groom had given the first pair and the mother of the bride had also given a pair. This showed that both families approved of the match.

As soon as Mine was in the car, red veil still in tact, everyone sprinted to their vehicles and the convoy raced off in a cloud of dust. Back we all went to the wedding venue.

The neighbours in the next street had been waiting for the procession and were very excited.

This sweet lady decided to fill in her time usefully whilst waiting. Meanwhile her hubby was down at the tea house with all the other men. In true Turkish tradition, the women do the tough stuff.

The post A Whats App Wedding – Part 3 – Snatching the Bride appeared first on Seasonal Cook In Turkey.

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