The Sunday garden BBQ has returned – my favourite time of the week. Every weekend the extended family come to this blessed inner city village for relaxation in the nature and tend fruit and veggie gardens. Together they eat breakfast, make Turkish dolma with walnut leaves and stuffed artichokes together, drink hundreds cups of tea, eat sweets, and have a BBQ in the evening. Sunday is all about eating.
May and June are the best season to visit the village because I can eat lots of wild berries fresh off the garden. Wow, the perfume of wild berries was so good and reminiscent of the Georgian wine I drank and I ate lots of them that day. Onur, one of the family members, took nice shots of me with those delicious wild berries.
On the patio facing the orchard of cherry, plum and apple trees and the vegetable garden, Mr.O‘s dad is cooking the lamb skewers and chops over the Turkish charcoal BBQ, called “Mangal“. He loves cooking and feeding people, just like me, which is the reason we get on so well and even get good laughs despite the language barrier.
A year ago when I first appeared in this house, he must have wondered about my weird habit of taking photos of food, but this time it appeared that they had been infected by my foodie virus. When I take photos of other people’s food, I try to be as discreet as possible, in case they feel uncomfortable about it. I noticed this time that they moved things around for me to have good shots.
The colour of the Turkish wine happened to match beautifully with the flower in the background. Isn’t it lovely? The wine itself is not the style I enjoy, but good enough for chewing the meat with and having a cheerful time.
I was overfed with meat last Sunday and almost turned into a baa baa animal; lamb kebab, lamb liver, lamb chops, and meatballs (kofte). Everything was so delicious except meatballs because they were not home-made, but he gave them a little personal touch by marinating them in milk and olive oil, he said.
As last Sunday was Mother’s Day, I took home-made chocolate cookies with me as a symbol of my appreciation for their ever-lasting generosity. I still had a full jar of sour cherry jam I made with the cherries picked from their garden last year so I wanted to use it, and a sour cherry and chocolate combo came to me. I made sour cherry volcano cake on a couple of occasions at dinner parties and people seemed to love them.
I wasn’t sure whether people would like the combination of the two, so I made a few without the cherry compote. However, it turned out that the ones with compote were tastier. The contrast of sweet and sour tastes was rather nice.
I have a confession to make. In the process, I got the ratio wrong and the dough was wetter than it should be. In the following recipe, extra 1/2 cup flour has been added so I hope you will have thicker and better looking cookies. You might also like my Chocolate Mandarin Coconut Cookies.
Bon Appetite, Afyet Olsun, this weekend!
Chocolate Sour Cherry Cookies
Ingredients (make about 30 cookies)
125g butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate, broken to pieces
2 Tbsp sour cherry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175’C) and line the baking tray with parchment.
- Melt the butter, half the dark chocolate and sugar together. Set aside to cool.
- Melt the rest of the chocolate and sour cherry jam. Set aside to cool.
- When the butter and sugar mixture is cool enough, whisk in the egg.
- Add baking soda, salt, vanilla and cocoa, stirring after each addition. Add the flour and mix well.
- Spoon the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on the baking sheet. Make a deep indentation in the centre with your finger tip. Place the sour cherry chocolate mixture in each indentation.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.