Blueberry cornbread muffins

IMG_3344I’m sure there’s been a mistake. On Saturday, I was at Mumi’s Beachclub, enjoying some late winter Turkish sunshine; today I appear to be looking out of the window at what could only be described as a Cornish rain scene.

In between times, we spent what seemed like most of Sunday night languishing in the departure lounge at Dalaman Airport when our plane to Gatwick developed a technical fault as we were about to take off, and we were forced to return to the terminal. I won’t go into details – let’s just say it wasn’t the best-organised delay I have experienced. On the plus side, Thomas Cook managed to drag some poor engineer out of his warm bed in the early hours of Monday morning and he made our plane work again. Even better, it magically stayed in the air for the four hours back to London. Phew. I did even more braking (with my imaginary brake pedal) than usual, especially during the turbulent bits. In fact, despite it having been designated a 5:2 day, I was forced to eat my James Martin treacle sponge pudding just in case it turned out to be my last, AND I had to have a bolstering glass of red wine. Continue reading “Blueberry cornbread muffins”

Advertisements

Six things I love about Kaş

kas-turkey-1.jpgLiving in a total backwater and being two days drive away from the border that Turkey shares with Syria, Iraq and Iran, not to mention a very long way from Istanbul and Ankara, we’ve always felt somewhat insulated from the ‘real world’. That all changed with the failed coup of July 2016 and the many terror attacks that followed.

Two of the attacks were launched this side of our nearest city, Antalya, making it uncomfortably close to home. We wondered if we should leave. On the night of the coup we stayed up into the early hours, glued to the BBC and occasionally hanging nervously over the terrace to see if we could see or hear anything amiss. Our Turkish neighbours were doing the same – unlike us, they didn’t have the option to leave. It all happened just two days before we departed for our summer holiday in Britain, and we began to wonder if we were going to be crossing the bay to Kastellorizo in a kayak or sailing dinghy to pick up a ferry to Athens instead of catching a Thomas Cook flight from Dalaman to Birmingham.
Continue reading “Six things I love about Kaş”

The Sacrifice (and raspberry ripple muffins)

donkey bee.jpg
Photo: whatsthatbug.com

I’ve just spent a fascinating five minutes watching another giant hornet (or it might be the same one – brown head, brown wings, yellow striped jumper, six engines…) trying to take off with a cat biscuit that one of our mob left in their dish outside on the terrace. Our cat biscuits are about the size of a British penny, so that gives you an idea just how big these pesky beasts are. The locals call them donkey bees – not sure why that is – maybe because of their penchant for carrying things around. Anyway, he was having trouble getting enough lift, so he solved this by nibbling all around the edges of the biscuit to make it a bit smaller – hey presto, we have lift off. He’s probably got a very fully tummy though, so I’m not sure whether he’ll make it safely to his destination with his prize. Continue reading “The Sacrifice (and raspberry ripple muffins)”

Poulet au vinaigre

IMG_1989 (600 x 450)Yes, well spotted, that’s ‘chicken with vinegar’ to you and me. I know it doesn’t sound particularly appetising, but it’s not vinegar as we know it in the UK, and of course the dish involves wine, posh vinegar, garlic and tarragon, so things are getting better already.

We’ve been in France a couple of times this summer – I lived there for some time during the 1980s, but have hardly visited since, so it’s been fun re-encountering some of the absolutely delicious food I remember from my youth. I lived in quite a rural area, so the restaurants served good, tasty, country food to a clientèle mostly made up from farmers and shopkeepers (and the odd British cook from a neighbouring restaurant, of course…) Continue reading “Poulet au vinaigre”

Sticky fig & orange muffins

IMG_1184 (600 x 450).jpgWe are off to New Zealand to visit Robin’s son and daughter-in-law in two weeks time. It will be just coming in to spring there and I can’t wait for cooler weather, so that I don’t have to have crazy hair all the time. We had some chores to do in town this morning (involving two trips to the local municipality and one to the tax office – opposite ends of town and it’s market day, so no possibility of driving between the two and finding a parking space). When I left home, I looked like a relatively normal person (as normal as you can be when you step out into a swamp that is over 40 centigrade and 70% humidity, that is). When we arrived at the municipality offices for the second time, having crossed town on foot twice now, I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror window and wondered how I’d managed to get past security without being detained for my own safety. Continue reading “Sticky fig & orange muffins”

What to do with that Swiss Chard in your veggie box

IMG_1162 (600 x 450).jpgToday is probably the hottest since we arrived back – ironic, since we’ve just moved into September. This morning it was 44 degrees, but has now cooled to a more manageable 34, so I might yet venture out – according to our little weather station, the temperature has been as low as 27 at some point since midnight – not sure when that was, I must have missed it while I was asleep. When I had my morning swim, I complained that the pool was starting to get cold – a quick temperature check assured me it was still 32 degrees in the water – it must have been the super-hot air temperature confusing me. Either that or I really have turned into a total wimp. Continue reading “What to do with that Swiss Chard in your veggie box”

The easiest muffins in the world

IMG_0964 (600 x 450)We’re back in Turkey after a very swift visit to France, with a night in Amsterdam thrown in on the way home.

We managed to miss the floods and the strikes, and were treated to even better weather than they were having back here – hah!

I thought I’d better leave France while my bottom would still fit inside an aeroplane seat – those croissants and pains aux raisins are just TOO dangerous for comfort. It is so hard to believe that something so deliciously light is so calorie-laden. At least our pool is now warm enough for swimming, so 2km for me today – half already done, half to do when I’ve finished writing this. Continue reading “The easiest muffins in the world”

Slow roasted tomato and red pepper soup (5:2 recipe)

IMG_0954 (600 x 408).jpgI am very excited because tomorrow we are off on an unexpected jaunt to the Jurançon wine district in France and then travelling back here next week via Amsterdam – a city I have always wanted to visit. Getting to places from here is never simple, so we are going by a very convoluted route, which involves four different airlines. (*Sighs dramatically*) The route was originally going to involve the TGV, but in view of the strikes, we’ve decided to avoid that option. Continue reading “Slow roasted tomato and red pepper soup (5:2 recipe)”

Slow-roasted chicken with lemon & garlic

Roast chicken (480 x 600)Whenever I’m stumped for ideas for what to make for dinner, there’s quite a good bet that we end up with roast chicken in one form or another. There are so many variations – sometimes we have classic French-style poulet aux herbes, others we go a bit more exotic with Thai or Chinese flavours, and then there’s the good old British roast with stuffing and roasties. Continue reading “Slow-roasted chicken with lemon & garlic”

Moroccan spiced carrot & lentil soup (5:2 recipe)

IMG_0871 (600 x 450)It’s Tuesday so it must be diet day. Hey ho, that also means Don Draper Day, though we’ve just reached the end of Season 6, so not long to go now. I am not sure where we will spend our evenings when we are no longer gadding about in 1970s Madison Avenue, though it will soon be too warm for sitting inside after dinner, so perhaps the timing is excellent. Continue reading “Moroccan spiced carrot & lentil soup (5:2 recipe)”