I’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)”
The 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”
You 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)”
I 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”
I’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”
I think you could describe the weather around here this week as ‘mixed’, though that would be rather an understatement.
Earlier in the week, we awoke to beautiful sunshine and temperatures nearing the mid 20s in the middle of the day. The almond blossom and wild anemones are in full bloom at the minute, so we headed off for one of our favourite walks near the ancient Lycian city of Hoyran. Continue reading “Hummingbird muffins”
Sunshine, 21 degrees, my kind of spring day. Just a shame that we are both sporting ear/nose/throat/chest infections and are feeling way too feeble to do anything outdoors. This is what happens when you have a trip back to the UK – the place is clearly to be avoided on health grounds.
Anyway, this afternoon Linda and I are going to see our lovely hairdresser friend John, and we all know what that involves: yes, that would be cake. Continue reading “Mojito muffins”
We have declared Veganuary over for the year. I know we have two more days of January to go, but we decided that today would be a good opportunity to celebrate the approach of February with a roast dinner. It’s Sunday, it’s raining, it’s cold and miserable – what could be more appropriate? We’re breaking ourselves in gently and going for slow-roast chicken, rather than the more traditional beef, which we hardly ever eat, mainly because the quality here is so unreliable. Continue reading “Chocolate banana marble cake”
This is certainly a year of unpredictable weather. Last week, most of Turkey’s airports were snowed to a standstill, we were hardly visible under our many layers of clothing and competing with the cats for space by the stove. This week we’ve felt more like ducks – paddling around in huge puddles and acres of mud, dodging the storms and trying to park our car under cover, where it won’t be hit by the golf-ball-sized hailstones. Eeek. Continue reading “Wickedly sticky pumpkin ginger cake (vegan)”
We rarely eat bread from our local bakeries – I am sure Turkish bread is a novelty if you are a tourist, but it’s basically quite a lot of very sharp crust filled with quite a lot of air. Oh, and the only bits in the middle that aren’t actually air are horrible chemicals which act as yeast accelerators so that the bakers only have to give the dough one rise (very poor behaviour). Continue reading “Crusty cornmeal bread (vegan)”