Coming up roses

lime tree.jpgYou would definitely have to be British to spot the link between that heading and today’s recipe – so apologies to everyone else for the dreadful pun.

We have a glut of limes. This is not something you see often in this country. When we arrived in Turkey what seems like a hundred years ago, the only place I could buy a lime was at one particular stall in the fish market next to the Çiçek Pasajı in Istanbul (luckily, we lived around the corner, so were never more than 20 paces from the nearest lime). Continue reading “Coming up roses”

Not so sunny times

IMG_6879Right outside our kitchen window is the Greek island of Kastellorizo – known as Meis to the Turks. It is less than 2km off the coast at its nearest point and sometimes it appears so close that I feel I could touch it. When we have bad weather, it disappears altogether, only to reappear magically as soon as the storm has passed. (The photo left was taken from behind the harbour on Meis – you can see the hills of Kas in the background).

Luckily, the locals here rub along pretty much with the locals over there – as long as our two national football teams aren’t actually playing each other, we root for the Greek team and they cheer for ours in every major tournament. Our harbour in Kas is full of Greek boats on a Friday – our market day – and regular ferries ply between the two harbours. A day on Meis is one of our favourite excursions – it may only be a couple of kilometres away, but the food is entirely different, both in the tavernas and in the little supermarket. Obviously we would never consider using the trip to stock up on bacon and ham. Or Parmesan. Or decent coffee. Or Mr Muscle oven cleaner (banned here, ahem). Of course not. Never. Banish that thought. Continue reading “Not so sunny times”

Spicy soup for a cold day

Pumpkin soup.jpgFirst of all, a confession – I got so carried away with the need to eat this that I completely forgot to photograph what I was doing as I went along. But it is all pretty simple – I am sure you can visualise chopped veggies – so I’m going to give you the recipe anyway, as it is pretty yummy, particularly served with hot garlic bread.

Today has not only been extremely cold, but it is a diet day, so that’s a double whammy. Robin and I have been following the 5:2 diet, quite successfully, for about three years. We no longer count every calorie, as we’re really just concerned with maintaining our new weights rather than losing any more kilos, but we try to eat very lightly on 5:2 days and sneaky glasses of wine are strictly forbidden. Continue reading “Spicy soup for a cold day”

Missing cat, missing sun

Harry1The Turquoise Coast of Turkey basks in sunshine for more than 300 days every year. But not today. Today, we could be renamed The Grey Coast. Or the Perfect-for-Ducks Coast. Or the Ooo-Err-Here-Come-a-Couple-of-Water-Spouts-Heading-Straight-For-Us Coast. You get the idea.

Yesterday was sunny – a rare event this last week – so we were up sharp and early, walking boots at the ready. Unfortunately Harry was missing.

Harry is the Pooh Bear of the feline world – a cat of little brain. We checked his usual hideouts and did a reluctant search of the ditch that runs along the side of the road for the length of our village, hoping NOT to find a fluffy tail poking out. Nothing.

Abandoning the search, we opened the tailgate of the car to throw in the backpacks and there was a loud and indignant meow from the front seat. Cat of Little Brain must have sneaked into the car when Robin had been unloading coal the previous evening. Little tyke had made a nest with the window dusters and settled in for a very long nap. Lives remaining: not very many.

Today, we could have been in a different country. No sign of the sun, not much sign of Meis either, come to think of it – the Greeks have rather disappeared behind a big cloud. So, shutters closed, hatches battened, fire chuntering away – a perfect day for baking bread. Continue reading “Missing cat, missing sun”

Pesto in January?

IMG_0408Picking basil on the third day of January seems a crazy thing to be doing, but the weather has indeed been crazy this year. We finally had our first frost last night, so I was out there brandishing my scissors pretty smartly this morning, before any more of the leaves succumbed to the cold.

A few burned leaves, but enough of a bunch to make a final batch of pesto, to be stashed in the freezer for a hint of summer on miserable January and February days. I am not a great fan of the freezer (at the minute, mine boasts a stock of breadcrumbs, pesto, frozen peas, 18 vats of turkey stock and some precious English bacon and sausages, and that’s about your lot), but pesto is one of those things that still tastes just as good when it emerges from its frosty quarters. Continue reading “Pesto in January?”