Cherry berry scones (and a trip to Greece)

IMG_2049.jpgWe’ve been on holiday AGAIN! Will we never rest, for goodness sake. We had planned a few days in Rhodes, but the Greek port authority has decided, in its wisdom, that our ferry from Kaş should no longer be allowed into the harbour at Kastellorizo until the Rhodes ferry has departed. This has rather scuppered everyone’s trip plans and means an overnight in Kastellorizo before catching the Rhodes ferry the next morning. No problem with that except that we only had a few days and it would have cut our time in Rhodes rather too much.

So, in a lazy way,  we abandoned Rhodes and decided to just have a few days on Kastellorizo – known as Meis around these parts, or sometimes Megisti, depending on whether you are Italian, Ottoman or Greek, all of whom have ruled the island at some point in its history (along with the Brits, of course, during WWII, who were then dislodged by the Germans). You really couldn’t make it up. Continue reading “Cherry berry scones (and a trip to Greece)”

Skink in the bedroom (and Thai peanut, ginger and lime salad)

IMG_2029I’ve been on holiday for the last week or so. My very old friend Sally came to stay, so we had a few days away before heading back here, and managed to cram in shopping, walking, sunbathing, swimming, a day trip to Greece and quite a lot of news ‘downloading’.

Thankfully, the weather was kind to us, but has since taken its usual May direction – showers, storms and high winds, interspersed with patches of hot sunshine. Up here on our high ridge above the sea, we are still having cold evenings and nights, so although we’ve put the log baskets away for another year, we’re well and truly snuggled up under the duvet with at least two cats on the bed, just in case the temperature plummets. Continue reading “Skink in the bedroom (and Thai peanut, ginger and lime salad)”

Spring vegetable soup

IMG_1973.jpgWho remembers spring vegetable soup? It was a mainstay of the 1970s – I remember it being served at practically every wedding we attended, presumably because its delicate nature meant it wouldn’t offend some long-lost great aunt’s fussy palate (or mine – I was a complete nightmare to feed when I was younger – something that many people would find hard to believe now). Unfortunately, most of the time it was straight out of a tin, so tasted of a mixture of metal, dried herbs and fake stock. Continue reading “Spring vegetable soup”

Asparagus tart

IMG_1956.jpgThe Turkish word for asparagus is kuşkonmaz, which literally translates as ‘the bird cannot land’. Most people think this is because a bird couldn’t perch on the wavy fern fronds, but the awful truth is that birds here in Turkey have never been able to afford the rent.

When we first came to Turkey, we lived near the fish market in Galata – one of Istanbul’s oldest quarters. As well as amazing fish, the market also had the best vegetable stand in the city – they sold celery, fennel, fresh coriander and ginger years before they became available more widely. All of those things are still difficult to get, but we are lucky enough to have an enterprising greengrocer in this town, so we have fairly reliable supplies. Continue reading “Asparagus tart”

Salted almond & cranberry granola

IMG_1938 (600 x 450).jpgI’ve just noticed that it’s been nine days since I last posted anything on this blog – really must do better. I have thought about it several times – I’ve even taken photos of things I’m cooking, with the intention of posting them. Unfortunately, things conspire against me – either the dish I had great hopes for turns out to be mediocre or it tastes nice but looks like a dog’s breakfast once it’s on the plate. More often, I get half way through cooking something, the phone rings or someone calls round, then I get distracted and remember about photographing the rest of the process about five minutes after we’ve finished eating the evidence. Continue reading “Salted almond & cranberry granola”

An Easter passion cake

IMG_1911.jpgWe have our friend Mela visiting Kaş from Canada at the moment. She has been brave enough to accompany us on a couple of walks this week – unfortunately, although she wore her hiking boots on the plane so that they couldn’t get lost, they repaid her for this kindness by parting company with their soles on the first trip out. They spent a night being super-glued in the cobbler’s vice in town, so she decided to give them another go yesterday. Half way down the sand dunes at Patara, they gave up the ghost, so we had to tape her into them. This is what we do to our guests – you have been warned. Continue reading “An Easter passion cake”

Sweetcorn fritters (Maryland style)

IMG_1886You can take the girl out of the 70s… Or so says Nigella Lawson, I think when she was expounding on the virtues of prawn cocktail – and what could possibly be wrong with that?

My first ever slightly grown-up date, at the age of 16 and a quarter, involved being picked up in a car borrowed from a parent and being taken to the dizzy heights of The Buttery at the De Vere Hotel in Coventry. In 1979, it was the swankiest place in town. Obviously we will gloss over the other, not-so-swanky, offenders. To be honest, I am not sure how much we’ve actually moved on since then. Continue reading “Sweetcorn fritters (Maryland style)”

Decadent brownies with salted almonds

DSC00126 (2).jpgI am a very cheap date when it comes to chocolate. Thorntons? Meh. Godiva? Double meh. Green & Blacks? Wouldn’t give it house room. And as for that 90% cocoa butter carry-on, what on earth is that all about? As far as chocolate is concerned, there are only two contenders in my book: Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut or Cadbury’s Flake. The rest, you can keep. Continue reading “Decadent brownies with salted almonds”

Smoky Puy lentil and bean soup (vegan)

WisteriaI feel that spring is springing. The wisteria on our south-facing fence is out in full bloom, the bougainvillea is in bud and we had a pair of Cretzschmar’s buntings passing through the garden yesterday. I’ve never seen them before – they were so pretty in their rather eye-catching salmon pink and pale blue liveries – I had to pore for ages over the photos in our Mediterranean bird book to identify them. Any day we should be receiving visits from hoopoes and bee eaters, then we’ll know that summer is truly on its way. We had our first giant wasp in the kitchen this morning – no doubt house hunting, so I hope he eventually decided on a different neighbourhood. Continue reading “Smoky Puy lentil and bean soup (vegan)”

Apricot frangipane tart

IMG_1815.jpgI’ve just spent a week in England, moving our furniture into storage, as the sale of our house completed on Friday. The weather in the UK was absolutely glorious –  miles better than here, where I was welcomed back by one of the very chilly winds that are a speciality of this area – one that had come down straight over the Russian Steppes, then the freezing cold Black Sea, with a quick pass over the snowy mountains that form the entire Turkish interior between here and the north coast. By the time it reaches us, it would freeze the Sahara. Continue reading “Apricot frangipane tart”