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”

Heidi’s Tongan ham & cheese pancake rolls

heidis-pancake-roll-600-x-450I’m having a little cleaning flurry. Where I sit at the breakfast bar to write this blog, I get a birdseye view of the wall behind my worktop/stove, where all the action takes place. When we redesigned our kitchen, we got one thing wrong: we allowed the nice man at Vitra to convince us that matte tiles were OK to use as a splashback. Not true, never be tempted to try this at home. It is practically impossible to remove grease spots from the little darlings – the grease just soaks into the tiles. Continue reading “Heidi’s Tongan ham & cheese pancake rolls”

Leek & onion tarts

IMG_1024 (600 x 425).jpgNo posts for 18 days, now two come along at once.

To be truthful, posting on the blog allows me to sit in air-conditioned bliss at the kitchen counter, feeling as though I am doing something slightly useful (while attempting to ignore the fact that there is a pile of ironing in the spare bedroom so big that it’s starting to block out the daylight).

Today is a half-day holiday before Eid Al-Fitr, the feast that follows the month of fasting during Ramadan, or Ramazan as it is called here. Known in Turkey as Şeker Bayramı, literally ‘sugar festival’, the local children will be out early tomorrow morning, knocking on their neighbours’ doors, looking for sweets and pennies. Watch out for tomorrow’s easy chocolate muffin recipe, which I’ll be cooking up for any children passing this way. Continue reading “Leek & onion tarts”