Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Saving the World With a Sweet Soup - עשוראא

It is believed that Noah, on his cruise to save the living, cooked Ashura with the left ingredients in the ship: wheat, sugar, rice, chick peas, beans, nuts, dried fruits.. A mixture that could be brought together after any disaster on my beautiful fruitful land of Anatolia.
For the rememberance, every year, there is a fixed Ashura day where the pudding like dessert is cooked and shared with neighbours, friends and family  around here. The date is the 26,27th of December according to the Greagorian calendar and according to the lunar muslim calendar, on the 10th day of Muharrem, hence the name Ashura which means 10th in arabic. I like the armenian meaning of the name which is the "sweet soup".
This is my Jo's favorite sweet in Turkey and thus I have put the hebrew name in the title as a personalized gift.
And am sharing the recipe as promised to Jo !

Last year I cooked Ashura for the first time when I first moved in to my flat for the sweet traditional thought that "Ashura brings wealth to home" with its big variety of ingredients, every basic ingredient in your home. Do not worry if you dont have nuts or dreid fruits, try substitutes.

The recipe I am sharing is a modified version from my favorite traditional cook Umit Usta's Agiz Tadiyla book that I strongly recommend. You will need:
wheat, 2 cups
rice, 1 cup
chickpeas, 1 cup if dried, if cooked almost 3 cups
beans, 1 cup if dried, 3 if cooked
sugar, 5 cups
wheat starch, 1/3rd cup
milk(to whiten), 3 cups
hazelnuts, 1 cup
walnuts, 2 cups
dried figs, 10 of them
dried apricots, 10 of them(could be related to the date 10th of muharrem :)
dried raisins, 1/3 cup
almonds, 1/2 cup ( I put more)
cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
cloves, 5 of them
butter, 1 Tablespoon
rosewater (optional) , 1/3 cup ..or any aroma like vanilla with its own amount

I love the making, with sweet memories of my first cooking times guide Umit Usta's serials on tv.

Messages: to Jo- come to pick yours up which is the one in the white bowl, I will keep it for 3 more days for you in the fridge. to Ali- Yours is the pink one behind Jo's, thank you for sharing your home with crazy&drunk strangers. To Serkan&Inci: the biggest one on the first row thanks for this lovely presence in my home this year. to Oguz- for being so tolerant and giving to me.

The Making:
DON'T GIVE UP STIRRING the soup all the time..
1-Soak nuts and almonda from the night before toIf the beans and chickpeas are dried ones, soak them from the night before(for about 8 hours or so), then change the water and cook them separately.
2- If you will use cooked beans and chickpeas, soak the wheat from the night before, cook it well without changing the soaking water(it contains a natural starch that you will need).
3- When the wheat is cooked , add the cooked beans and chickpeas and bring to a simmer. then add gradually the sugar. If the sugar is added all in once this will thoughen your beans.
4- Miix the starch with the amount of milk and add it to the soup.The soup must be a dense one but feel free to add some extra water or milk if the cooking water of the wheat has not been enough for all.
5- Add the rose water or your aroma of pğreference. 5- Add all the nuts and dried fruits and spices giving them enough time to the taste wthin the boiling mixture.
6- Last ingredient: add butter.
7- Put them in your designated containers for your very precious neighbours and friends..Share!

And save the world.. Once more..

Monday, 21 December 2009

The Longest Night

Yesterday night was very cold and rainy. After the concert we had a small chat with our winter tea with friends, then we went to sleep, one on the sofa, the other in my bed with the cats, sis on the other bed.
H fell asleep with Cikolata while we were watching Pink Martini's new DVD. As Thomas was very loud on asking everyone to play with him, I had to hug and caress him to calm him down and let him go to sleep.
But then.. I could not sleep, I was squeezed in the bed between two cats and H, so moved down.

Then.. I realised.. the sounds.. the sounds of my precious ones sleeping in the darkness of the night. Hayreddin  snoaring on the sofa downstairs, H's breathing and sleeping like a baby, Cikolata's warmth in bed and Thomas big space, 1/3rd of mine.
I fell asleep contemplating them in the darkness of the night and hearing them all.
In my home. In the longest night.
So has been the winter solstice of 2009. So peaceful and happy.
And I felt just like the star in the song of Pink Martini

I wish a falling star could fall forever
And sparkle through the clouds and stormy weather
And in the darkness of the night
The star would shine a glimmering light
And hover above our love

My biggest lesson in 2009, when you have a home, you'll do whatever you can to keep it. And it will surely be worth..

Monday, 14 December 2009

My WishList 2010

So this is sincerely my wishlist that may make you laugh.
Why don't you make one? I have just realized that I need less things than I thought. Which made me so thankful for all that I live with.
So my next list will be for the things that I am thankful to have.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Something I learned from Jo

I remember the first day I met Jo, it was a very serious icy IT meeting that I was late for. She was no-rection face and giving short cold answers. Then I went my way during the meeting and she smiled at me. Thast was it.. She has been another kiner surprise friendship in my life and I love her presence in my life.And her blog on her own japanese garden of course. I am so proud of what she does now. She is changing her carrier. She decided to study gardening and give a less space to our IT world.

Jo is very practical and my inspiration for reading, sewing and knitting. I like the way she is. A tomboy that has such delicate feminine tastes. A kinder surprise as I mentioned and a resourceful person.

So this is what I do for the books I can not afford to buy the hardcover version.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Dunya is One..!

I met my next door neighbour F on a very hot August afternoon, where after work, I hurried home to catch up with the moving guys. So that was the day where I was officially moving. A very hot busy day where I heard a young pregnant woman screaming on the phone to the plumber(a dodgy guy that left the job undone and was asking for more money). That was F, pregnant of Dunya.
So I invited her in and offered her a glass of water and tried to calm her down while the moving guys were carrying my wardrobe upstairs and my exboyfriend was watching them over.
A very hot busy day.. A special day to me.
Today, 1st of December 2009 is the day where Dunya is one year old. His first birthday.
That means a lot to me so I publish here my favorite photo of him taken a few weeks ago when they popped in for a morning coffee.
You can see why he is my mother's favorite.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

A Place I Always Like to Be: Colmar

Colmar is a beautiful city and a christmas wonderland with its 4 large christmas markets.

It is halfway between Basel and Strasbourg, approx. 1 hour by train which costs 20 Euros with return.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Strasbourg is Sad When You Are Sad

Strasbourg is confused when you are confused

Strasbourg is humanless when you are alone

Strasbourg is weary when you are weary

P had a phone call from Turkey aand tears rolled down her rosy cheeks after the crispy morning's shower : grandma passed away and P couldn't attend to the funeral since her papers were not ready.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Keylimiz - Our Kehl

I can not deny it I am in love with this bakery in Kehl and so fond of those cookies especially those star cookies (étoiles glacées). Look at that holy light coming from the doughnuts..

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Strasburgumuz - Our Strasbourg

In one of my flights to P, in the plane, I met this very interesting Turkish lady from the South who had to escape to France as a political refugee with her husband where she started from scratch a new life. She was back to Turkey too attend a funeral after almost 20 years. She told me about the story of her brother-in-law who was killed in a political manifestation and after visiting the country at the end of thosse 20 years, she sadly looked at me and told me with her deeply watered eyes that all those political battle was in vain, all that they have lost, all that has been deyed was so in vain, that war of those times, brother killing brother was such an absurd act.
And as we landed at Basel-Mullhouse airport, she had a joy unpredicted by me and inhaled and said "here we arrived at our Switzerland !"
Well, she was exiled and had "their" Switzerland.
After this unusual flight friendship, P whose husband and both herself lawyers for human rights, P and I, named each of our places "our"s: our France, our Strasbourg, our Monoprix, our Tarabya, our Bakifkoy, our Alsace, our Kiziltoprak, our Migros, our Kookai..
So here we are in our Strasbourg chatting and laughing likeanytime we are lucky to come together, anywhere on "our" Earth.

in our streets and in our cafes..

as long as we are free and have each other.

anywhere on "our" earth

On the Road Again

After coming back from Greece I slept for 12 hours than was awake for 2 hours and slept back for another 10.
And had to prepare my luggage in a couple of days to head for my P and lovely husband's new apartment, 5 mn from the EU building.

Well, need to make a correction. I had to prepare my luggage in the curious company of Thomas of course.

Well, one may be surprised on how much a woman would need for a holiday of 5 days only.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Back to my Greece For A Day

I had to go to Greece for one day only :(
Well, everything was just as I left it only with a cooler weather, the cafes, the ouzerias, my favorite bus drivers, all elenis, all thakis, my lovely home store owners, just my favorite restaurant was in renovation and closed but our lady in the kiosk never deceives me, she was there too.And she waved his hand and laughed to invite me closer after taking this photo and offered me 4 happydent chewing gum as an good old friend gift although we couldn't understand each other's language and none of our words. She knows.. that I am so much into her and so many things about this lovely little town.

A new discovery has been Kratas though in the bakery where I was waiting for my bus. Oh, I was delighted by the softness of the outer shell and the aroma of the inner side and tried to understand what it was inside. The ladies in the shop who happened to be very serious in the beginning laughed at my interest and surprise in Kratas. Although language was not a way to communicate, they were able to explain me that they were rose "lokoumis"(delights) that they wrap in the delicious soft dough prepared probably with butter and nuts. Oh, my!

I bought some rose delights from the shop and will try to find the recipe in the internet somehow.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

A Home Was Her Dream

Everything began I guess the night we were out for a party and I didin't realise how much she could be drunk. Well that night she was... really drunk.. I mean she was there, she fell to the next door roof to the bar we were in, there was the traffic police on our way home and she was even funny to the policeman although she was not the driver.
Anyway, the next mourning she was- we were- feeling miserable. So much that she must have resulted to change her life and to transform it to what she really would like to have : a home.
Yes, she rented her own place. A brand new studio that she turned to a beatiful colorful bird nest.
So, these are the photos of the first days..

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Stanno Tutti Bene*

Stanno Tutti Bene - Everybody's Fine was the title of the beautiful movie by the italian director Tornatore where the old Marcello Mastroianni visits all his children in their homes all around the country and worries for their lives in modern Italy but results at the end of the movie that everybody's fine.

So we are all fine.. At the end..

After long hours of pain, worries, waiting..

...of good wishes(the bouquet was a gift by my favorite gardener on earth which is our building's gardener)

reading, resting..
and reading, resting again..
..we are all fine and back to normal now(almost- chiko still has some abnormal allure).
The thing is, after the chico disaster, there has been this scary virus in my computer(even between system files) and I lost the connection cable to my camera which caused the lateness of the post that will follow this one will be entered now but dated with the original dates of the photos.
Good to be back onthis screen!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

How to Prepare an "Open Tummy"

Karni Yarik (Open Tummy) is one of Mom's favorite dishes and I decided to share the way I prepare it with you on a saturday morning where Ayshe woke us early up to start cleaning the home.
Karniyarik is a meaty aubergine dish which I think tastes typical mediterranean cuisine. So the tummy we are talking about here is belongs to the aubergines :)

Well these pictures were taken in the vacuuming noise of Ayse which was happy at the end with the good lunch she had after then and enjoyed the talk with my sister and Pelin who would come over for lunch. They were all delighted with the delicious smell of the karniyarik and borek(pastry) in the oven.
As you can see, I first peeled the aaubergines in pyjamas and ripped all along the long axis.
then fried them in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

and then I filled them with the cooked mixture of minced meat, salt, black pepper, oignons, garlic, finely chopped ripe tomatoes, and peppers

garnished hem with sliced green peppers, addd some diluated tomato sauce and put them in the 175 degrees Celcius oven.
Waited until the green peppers looked roasted and delicious (about 45 minutes).
Which tasted great..!
So you will need for 6 large aubergines;
vegetable oil -2 tablespoons
minced meat - 300 gr
green peppers - 2 to garnish, 2 for the cooked filling
2 large ripe tomatoes or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
oignons -1 and a half if medium/large, 2 and a half if small
garlic - 4 cloves
tomato paste - 2 tablespoon for thje sauce diluated with 3/4 cup of water
salt, pepper
To prepare the filling first sautee the chopped green peppers oignons and garlic then add the meat. When the meat looses its pink color add chopped tomatoes, salt, black pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes.
Afiyet Olsun!(bon apetit)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Her Home, Our Breakfast, Saturday and Others

We've been lucky.. to share a rainy saturday's beautiful breakfast..

and laughters..
.. having been given the days to hold each other's babies hands, diseases, husbands, sorrow, worries, bliss, crisis, ..sundays, saturdays, mondays, wednesdays, tuesdays, thursdays, fridays.

We were lucky having days like this and having each other.
It was a beatiful saturday at her home,
like many days,
Related Posts with Thumbnails