She supported me even today where I passed my day on the same sofa very depressed and hopeless. Amazing was to see how excited Dunya my neighbour's 6 months year old baby was in her arms today.
And when she left.. our favorite chocolate, her handwriting and newspapers as always were left i the quiet flat..
When father decided to marry my mother, my grandparents had this picture taken and sent to my mother as a first step in their relationship. My mother who knew almost nothing about this town in the south got married and moved down to the frontier of Syria.
So this is my paternal family. Here is my grandmother Hasibe, always that straight and disciplined, always a great cook and always with a spotless clean home that you would liike to stay in as long as your parents would tell you "time to go".
So I decided to cook Hasibe's dry dolma and this time give the recipe here for all my friends that were asking for it lately:
Onion 1 large, minced
Garlic 3-4 cloves
Rice-1 cup of uncooked rice
Sumac juice -3 table spoons if not found in local specific shops you can boil some sumac to obtain this very dense sauce shown in number 4 in the picture
Tomatoes - Optional- 3 0r 4
Peppers-and not chillies! Optional- 3
Tomato paste -2 tablespoons
Chilli paste- bought from a local shop, if you can not find it not a big deal than alternate for a fresh sweet chilli sauce- 2 tablespoons
Minced Meat -500 gr minced by a cleaver(you can ask your local butcher and he would kindly prepare it for you, if he doesn't never mind you can survive with his cruelty and use the usual modern minced meatinstead)
Sun Dried Peppers and Eggplants - 15 pieces in total - If you can not find dried ones in specific local shops you can use the fresh ones and carve them as shown on the latest picture.
Margarine - 1,5 tablespoons (Hasibe's little secret)
Vegetable oil - 3 to 5 tablespoons
Lamb chops - 4 to 6 pieces - around 400 gr
Parsley - a small bunch
Lemon juice of a small lemon
1- So, these are our folks, sun dried eggplants and peppers. Put them in a boiling water and cook them for 15 minutes. 2- If it is a good season for tomatoes and peppers use them generously and have them minced in the food processor. Ah..my laborious grandmother had to chop everything with a good old knife in the old days..
3- Chop the onions and parsley leaves as well. I prefer these two ingredients chopped with a knife rather than the food processor.
4- Now the filling ingredients come together. Do your best to process with your beautiful hands or a good old spoon, your uncooked rice, minced meat, chopped parsley, tomato and chilli paste, chopped tomatoes and peppers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, the chilli of your choice, vegetable oil, margarine,
5- Never forget : the big elixir is the sumac juice ! But add only 2 spoons for the staffing. The 1 spoon left will be for the sauce.
6- Oil your casseroole and lay your lamb chops at the base to give your stuffed vegetables the goodness of the bones and the meat during the cooking time. The lambchops will taste great after being cooked with vegetables. They all will be happy together trust me
7- Fill your boiled vegetables gently in a way to fill them not completely but leaving 1/3 of the space for the cooked rice in the stuffing. So fill only 2/3rd of them and gently squeeze and place them on top of lamb chops siide by side not to leave any space to open up during cooking
8- Make a sauce with 1 cup of water, half of a table spoon of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of sumac juice and 2 table spoon of vegetable oil.
9- Cook them covered for 30 minutes. Check the rice before turning down the heat.
10- If you will be patient enough to wait them cool down for some 20 minutes, you may think of Hasibe and her treasures like I most of the time do and share it with your friends, family and neighbours(I never forget them! Especially Filiz, Poyraz, Dunya and Funda)
HAVE A GOOD TIME SHARING!..
And now, for those of you who can never have the hope of having sun dried vegetables and never heard of a dolma in their lives, without really understanding why, mum was so kind to take one more picture of me showing you how to carve an eggplant
I hugged mother.. She was chatting there with her friends. I hugged her many times, endlessly. She wasnt surprised although she didnt know what were they for. She must have waited so long for me to go to her. I should have risn my head and look in her eyes, long before.
I took at least 20 photos of her in an hour to keep all her moves. Just as you warned me. To keep them with me.
Thank you for the vision you gave me M(and for emptying the defrost water :)
As for your mother, I've known that she was the luckiest mother. Ok, here you go.. a secret: from the neighbourhood, she was always envied, even been jealous of, having the kids around all the time.
Dear Amy Tan;
Thank you for your Kitchen God's wife book. For triggering my awakening. You are a good writer to me.
Waking up ..ly thinking that ..
And then thinking of M's words last night..
While waiting for the result of the interiew, I thought so much about the neagative and and the positive answer cases. And bought this little Rumour frangrance from Lanvin as a gift and waited with it. If I would loose the job, in order to not to loose everything I would win the fragrance. If I would get the job then the fragrance would be O's, for being my precious friend of this hard time period.
You can prepare yourself by imagining the worse case. But you can't never be ready for the really bad news.
The really bad news come in the most unpredicted moment.
Just like mines came today.
I had the spring cleaning in the flat today. With the only exception of the defrost water tray in the fridge. A manly job.. (i.e. done by the ex once)
And as I was trying to get ready for a "long time no see friend" who would pop in for dinner, I realised.. I wasn't ready for a visit without te sofa covers dried out properly, neither with my only 2 boneless cicken breasts...
And then I realised I wasn't ready nor for the bad news. A phone call from Switzerland saying they decided to go with the other candidate. 2 months of process, one face to face inteview and 3 phone interviews, loads of hours waiting, I thanked and hung up. Held the top of my head with both hands. And I cried. Icried loud. In the mot miserable after spring cleaning look of my flat, I cried. The cats stared at me.
What will I do now? My home?
Then, not taking the option of cancelling the dinner, I called the grocery shop for a delivery. And when the guy answered the phone, I realised I couldn't talk. I was chocking. The voice said "hello" again. So I made a big gulp and pushed my voice to speak "can I have 2 chicken tighs please?". The voice said "We have packages of three I'm sorry". So I said "Oh, ok then thank you". A meanigless point with a weirdest voice.
How did I cook the boneless breasts with the blur vision of that much fluid running? Here is the recipe:
2 breasts(the chicken's and boneless)
2 table spoon of soy sauce
Fry them in the pan for God's sake!
When he arrived the dinner was ready beautifully so was I bravely.
I didnt talk about the happening. I was so proud inside I didn't.
Welcomed and tossed. "So..since we last met?" I said.
Bad news come in the most unpredicted moments. He said "I lost my mother at the end of this year. I had a phone call from my father on their vacation". A heart attack. Oh, no! She was younger then my mother and too earthly to die.
"Since then, I wake up badly every morning, knowing that.."
I knew that feeling. My tired and dehydrated eyes was filled up again.
This "since then", this "every morning", this "knowing that..", this after loss terrible mornings . This "knowing that.." one doesn't exist anymore. This big hole left after it, living and pushing your self to keep breathing in it.
He tried to change his voice with a new topic: "And I got engaged, then broke up the engagement then was back to her again". I replied "And I was with an alcoholic and lost my job and he disappeared the day I lost my job, never mind" and I smiled.
This is how I was back on Earth and my blur vision was gone. We had a nice chat and laugh.
He was so kind to:despite the burning icy cold defrost water, pull the fidge take the tray out, and even acceped my weird request and waited for me to find my camera and put it in the right mode and in the right position:
I know this is more than a favor.. I must have looked really miserable tonight.
Towards the end of te evening, dad called and invited me over to talk and take a decision together.
One more weird request ..of Randy Crawford's One Day I'll Fly Away in the cd player and I asked him "what will I do now?". The answer was simple: "Go, do what I do recurrently in my dreams lately, go, open your arms and hug your parents". "I hug her but I am not able to feel her mass anymore"
After he left, some more unfruitful Randy time on the sofa, staring at the ceiling. Chiko came and left its mass on my ribs. I felt its warmth, its mass, its breathing and.. the moment. Moving forward.
Came to my bedroom and wrote this post. The cats wake up with a sudden noise. Dunya(means the Earth), the baby next door woke up with a loud sudden cry. The mother woke up and entered the room but the baby went on crying
The business district sparkling behind the woods, seen from my room.
D and I.. We used to work together. She used to be my inner client. Too demanding... A very spoiled tone...
I could kill her. Her "I don't give a damn sht" look..
Her arrogant glance melted at the end of a challenging IT meeting where I talked about love.
That very momement our fond relationship started to my surprise.
I realised I liked her way, and that I may have been jelaous of her wisdom despite her very young age.
That is how our chats started with a "b?" popping out in my office screen or a "b", hers never had exclamation. She was like a cool teenage girl.
I learned a lot about her.
And I love her.
You could tell from this empty space remained of her when she just went to the ladies. On our table of wine and cheese, her eyes, her skin was sparkling of joy. The joy of Love.
It is to her that I confessed that I am so upside down now, becuse for the first time in my life I believed so strongly tht what I lived, what I have endured all my life, I thought they were all to come to him. Which makes it so hard to move on now.
Seing him gave a glow to her skin. Her lips streched on both ears. We realised we became addicted to the loved ones just like the addicteds in our lives. I became in time so addicted to happiness that I couldn't breath in the existing situation now. With the "things we lost in the fire"..
At the end of the day, she woke me up with her words again. She was good, she was there and she was, without knowing, a good healer. What is so unique about her is that the cool arrogant look was genuine and yet she was "nice".
My lovely D... I think I've always liked her
And just realised I love D.
I am a Turkish teapot. I brew tea. Below is the water pot, above is the tea.
I am a Turkish teapot I am her first teapot. She loves me. I feel every morning, every good morning, how she runs to me, how she is proud of me. Although life is hell for her lately, although all she has lately, is her health and good friends and family.
I am.. her first.
This moning I'm in a hurry. We will have guests for the tea.
I am her oven. How she likes to bake wit me.. How glad is she when she cleanses me.. as a knight does to his sword proudly.
I am her first oven... ever to be.
Ths morning I make borek for the special guests she expects t see.
And reflect her new hair cut to thee :)
So the Turkish breakfast is ready ! .. Can you smell the cucumbers, tomato and peppers, feta cheese, olives and the very turkish tea?
Here they came the merry cuple to see. The sweet childhood friend and her delicate partner.
Can you hear Bukra Wba'Do from Pink Martini as she wispers about his proposal and the ring? Does your heart get full with her happiness through the bright brown eyes you can not see?
Pink Martini brings me to the brightest day of love. A summer evening. Two tickets to Pink Martini concert. Our first date. A full moon, the greatest concert time ever, the most romantic evening. Happiness..
Recipe of Happiness
1- Fall in love
2- Trust him, let yourself go, get even drawn
3-See that he opens up for you
Minced Meat 200 gr
4 small Oignons
Allspice 1 teaspoon
Blackpepper 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon
Tiny black currants (kusuzumu) 2 tablepoons
Phyllo pastry 5 large layers
Milk of any kind 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Vegetable Oil 2 tablespoons
1- Dice the oignons and seat them in a saucepan
2- Add the minced meat. Cook until meat is done. Add the tiny black currants in the middle of the process
3- Add the spices and salt. Stir and keep the saucepan aside while you prepare the pastry in the oven tray.
4- Gease our largest oven tray. Make sure your phyllo pastry will fit in it. Layer the phyllo in a wrinkld way. Moist it with the milk+water+vegetable oil mixture in a way to keep the mixture for each layer. Add the other layer ater the below sheet is moisened enough. Repeat the moistening and layering process until the 3rd layer.
5- After moistening the 3rd layer spread the mince meat mixture on top.
6- Add the 4th layer and moisten, then the 5th layer and moisten again.
7- Bake it in the preheated oven of 175 degrees celcius in the middle rack and until the pastry becomes crisp and golden brown.
8- Dont take a picture of it unles you have new sexy haircut
A great tip : Bake it with love and lots of expectation..
She said: "These guys are from our school". I knew Pink Martini's Lauderdale and Forbes were from Harward and so my sweet friend was. I told more on what I knew on their story.
..with all that I could bring from my journey.. Words, new streets, faces learned, a fresh look to my life up here, all that was there could be carried to here, to my home. The arabic yekwo coffee, the Teapot and the coffee cups from my favorite shop (with all the dust of the desert i them)
The store is in the old souq, the second shop from Road 439. The owner is very kind and hospitable. As seen on the picture, one could admire his spotless clean clothes and especially his elegant white hands. For those of you interested in Fabris, Huma is an easy to find and good shop whith great faris on budget. You can find it b entering the first narrow alley to the old souq as you pass by the Bab-ul Bahrain(the door of Bahrain).
Hi, Welcome to my blog ! This is a blog on the concept of home, dreams, on living, leaving and coming back.
The pictures from my eyes, form my world are from my camera unless I am dancing in the picture.
Whenever I visited other blogs I was so curious about the author. Now I became one and I can say that it is hard to tell about yourself. Born in the South East of Turkey, never been there since 9 years old, 38 now, living in Istanbul ever since.
Love putting it to words, gathering people around a table, meeting new ones, my 2 and a half cats, my flat, my books, my family.
Would be nice to hear your words in the context. So please write back to me.