Summer holiday came early for me this year. As you noticed, I was away for a week, visiting these beautiful sites and swimming in the sea of incredible colour, which I have no vocabulary to describe it. Turquoise…people usually call it, but to me it is more than just that. The colours of the sea along the Aegean Sea are just mesmerising. You can lose your jaw, staring into the water.
Another thing I feel is how the ripples of water and the pebbles underneath create patterns that are reminiscent of Devil’s Eye. Incredible, yes? I have a photo framed and hanging on the wall in my living room and people are amazed when I tell them what it is. Despite the tragic thing happening in Istanbul, though I see it as positive from what I witness and sense, this beauty is a reminder and hope that people will get through this difficult situation and the political turmoil shouldn’t spoil the image of Turkey as a blessed land where ordinary people live like any other places on earth.
Travel and holiday is good but whenever I am on the road for extended period time, I grow impatient to get my kitchen back and cook. I get tired of restaurant food easily. I feel puzzled when I hear some women saying they hate cooking, they hardly cook and enjoy eating out, etc. Unluckily, I don’t seem to have the quailities to be a queen; I am rather a maid because I like serving people. I feel uncomfortable when I am sitting at the table waiting for food.
During my time on the lovely beaches, all I could think of was the French cheeses, Irish Dubliner cheddar cheese, which was REALLY good, ham and other yummy things in the fridge that needed to be eaten and wines. As soon as I got back home, I celebrated with the duck meat Mr.O found in Carrefour and serrano jambon. You see how happy I am, cooking my favourite meat in my little kitchen. It is great news that I can get magret de canard here.
I put the tips for cooking magret de canard to practice. Prior to cooking, I marinated the meat with spices such as chilli flakes, paprika, cracked mixed pepper, and olive oil and lemon zest. While cooking, I added 4 whole garlic cloves and parsley into the pan and cooked in duck fat. Mr.O, who had never eaten duck before, asked questions about duck meat and why it is better than other meat. It has always been my belief from the childhood and never questioned it but this time I searched for evidence and found the figures that could explain the benefit of duck fat. According to the chart, duck fat has relatively high mon0-unsaturated fat, close to olive oil, and fas less saturated fat than butter. But I don’t like this kind of comparison. Who eats 100g of butter in one serving? I love butter equally and won’t give it up. The comparison should be made with beef and pork to be valid in my opinion.
Anyway, the duck served with my favourite potato celeriac carrot mash competely melted my heart. I thought it was the right occasion to open the bottle that had been saved for a few months. The anticipated Kayra Vintage Shiraz 2009 was surely of superior quality compared to most Turkish wines I’d drunk up to that point, but considering the price, I wonder if I will buy it again. Sadly, Turkish wines are unfairly over-priced. That is why I stopped reviewing Turkish wines some time ago as I was going broke trying Turkish wines. I need to have a get-together with some people soon to share food, wine and talk. I miss it dearly.
However, the law passed recently, causing a lot of debate and social unrest, makes the future of my wine and conversation sessions rather grim, which is sad for the moment, but like most Turks, I won’t give up the hope. It might fuel me to make my own wine in my garage!
- how to: duck breast (thespicystiletto.com)
- Seared Duck Breast à la Patricia Wells (open-window.typepad.com)
- Turkey’s Wine Sector Under Threat (reignofterroir.com)