Rhubarb & ginger praline Pavlova

IMG_2077.JPGWimbledon starts tomorrow and rain is forecast – what could be more British?

We are in the UK for the rest of this summer, hoping to move in to our new home in Cornwall at some point before we head back to Turkey in September. Six months after selling our house in Warwick, we have still to exchange contracts on the new house and the process is beginning to resemble pulling teeth without anaesthetic. Continue reading “Rhubarb & ginger praline Pavlova”

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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”

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”

A very lemony lemon meringue pie

IMG_1422.jpgOur friends have sold their apartment and the deal concludes this coming week, so they are having a farewell dinner for a few of us this evening. My task is to bring the pudding. I had planned to make Heidi’s Tongan coconut tart, which we came across on our recent holiday there (a kind of lovely gooey coconut custard in a crunchy case). Unfortunately, one of the other guests hates coconut, so I’ve had to have a re-think. I WILL do the coconut tart, but you will have to wait a bit longer for that one. Continue reading “A very lemony lemon meringue pie”

Having a whale of a time (and spiced apple cake recipe)

IMG_1297.jpgIt’s official – I am in love with humpback whales, and I think I am hooked for life.

Sorry about the prolonged absence, but we have just returned from the most fantastic holiday, the main focus of which was swimming with humpback whales in the Ha’apai group of islands in Tonga. Continue reading “Having a whale of a time (and spiced apple cake recipe)”

Home sweet home (and summer plum cake recipe)

IMG_1129We finally arrived back in Turkey at the weekend after what seemed a mammoth journey. As our less-than-favourite airline, Thomas Cook, once again cancelled our flight back from the UK, we decided to go off-piste and treat ourselves to a few days in France on the way back. This may sound simple, but it involves a convoluted route back here, as the French don’t come to Turkey for their holidays – they have other places to go (no doubt all with better wine), so the only flights are with the big carriers into Istanbul. And that’s very expensive indeed, plus it is a place I don’t feel comfortable hanging around in at the moment. Continue reading “Home sweet home (and summer plum cake recipe)”

Summer fruit crumble

IMG_1113 (Medium).JPGWe are in blackberry heaven at the moment. There are wild brambles growing along the canal towpath and at the sides of all of the footpaths around here. A neighbour also has the most prolifically-fruiting blackberry bramble, which handily hangs over the fence behind our house, at perfect picking height.

Robin has been out picking blackberries today while I went across to what we used to call the ‘bottle bank’ but now seems to be known by the euphemism ‘mixed recycling’. I’m confused about this new term. There’s never anything very mixed about our recycling apart from the fact that the beer bottles are mixed up with the wine bottles and occasionally there’s the excitement of a stray mini Prosecco bottle – does that count or do we have to have cardboard and stuff as well? I keep expecting some kind of recycling official to come over and tut about the lack of variety in my offerings. Continue reading “Summer fruit crumble”

Welcome to Kaş, have a nice stay!

Ece K at the lunch stopYesterday was the final, chaotic, day of the 9-day Şeker Bayramı holiday. Over the last week, Kaş has been practically under siege.

Essential grocery shopping trips were restricted to a small hour-long window, post 8am opening, before the hordes of holidaymakers from the big cities were awake and taking over the town. It wasn’t just parking that was an impossibility, getting into town at all was simply a non-starter. On arrivals weekend, queues of traffic backed up for over a kilometre either side of the main roundabout. As the town was physically unable to absorb any more cars, they simply ended up crawling along the main road before eventually passing the people queuing up in the other direction. If it hadn’t been so frustrating, it would have been quite comical. Continue reading “Welcome to Kaş, have a nice stay!”

Bread and butter pudding: back to basics

B&B pudding finished.jpgWhen I opened the editor to add this new post, I noticed it is 18 days since I last wrote something. Appalling behaviour – I WILL do better.

We’ve been on holiday for a week to the very south-west tip of Turkey, hoping to find some cooling west coast breezes. What actually happened was that it was a good deal hotter there than here – over 40 degrees for several consecutive days. That wouldn’t be unusual later in July or during August, but it’s very worrying to have those temperatures as early as June. Thankfully it has now dropped back to the mid 30s, which is a little more manageable. Continue reading “Bread and butter pudding: back to basics”