I’ve been thinking about ‘honesty‘ lately. You’ve probably heard enough of the cliché that living in Turkey will change your beliefs in what is right and wrong and what is logical and illogical. I’m still trying to absorb and digest all the confusions. I had so many ups and downs last week that I didn’t have any motivations to write or cook. Thanks to that, I discovered some hidden gem restaurants. The death of my lovely canary who used to wake us me at 7am with beautiful songs to start with, then came the news of my new nephew on the way, which isn’t entirely happy news as it should be…. and then, my good intentions and hopes got quashed by
an unexpected tyranny, my naivety, and came the news of moving house. So I rummaged through my tiny bookshelf – nomads don’t have such a thing – and picked up Rumi’s poems to make sense of the things that had happened. I believe that life is fair no matter how badly it treats you from time to time, but it does that to give me something precious as in ‘You fall, and falling, wings are given….‘ Perhaps, it’s not the intentions and thoughts that are important any more after a certain point in life. How you deliver your good intentions are more important in reality. Now we’ve rolled into February so let’s hope things will get better.
“I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them”
~ from The Curious Incident of the Dogs in the Night-Time
I try to be honest at all costs, sometimes too honest, perhaps, I’m not honest at all, not brave enough to be honest, seeing so many drafts to be published, – but it’s still nice to write down my thoughts and rants as they come, and I even talked back to a guy in my local shop who asked me “Do you like Turkey? Turkey is the best country, isn’t it?”, the question asked by every single person I come across, by saying ‘NO’ for the first time. I’d normally nod in agreement but it was bad timing and I asked him, “Where have you been outside of Turkey?” It was very bad of me to say it but the frustration I get when asked the question by people who don’t understand that people live in another country, not because they love it, but because of job, family, and other personal reasons. Luckily, another guy, who has more sense, chipped in and said to the guy who was talking to me, “Shut up!”, and gave me a sheepish grin. They’ll probably understand that I had a bad hair day and welcome me again with usual friendliness for sure. I’m so glad that I don’t have a mean face. Now I’ve learned a hard lesson that being honest isn’t the best, especially in this part of the world. I don’t know why it is how it is but I’ll stick to my NY resolutions and the whys for much later.
The only time I lie – being silent isn’t the same as lying, I suppose – is when I make people try kazandibi (literally meaning the bottom of the pan), among my favourite Turkish desserts. I don’t know what to make of when I come across articles citing poorly researched sources as facts, like in this one I just found, mentioning this significant Ottoman palace dessert as Turkish rice pudding, and I’m glad someone pointed out the mistake the writer made and I think we should write more comments instead of just clicking ‘like‘. But what surprises me is that such a reputed journal can’t even bother to correct the article. I guess nowadays many just write articles and don’t care about updating them. Please bear with me for being cranky here.I’m still not going to tell you what is in kazandidbi until you try it so let your curiosity and imagination flow, though many readers will know this dessert. Or should I stop teasing you? Ok, let’s say it’s a type of Medieval blancmange using meat as a thickening agent, and kazandibi is the burnt part at the bottom, which I prefer because I like what people don’t want to eat. :p Sadly, there aren’t many places left, which make this dessert faithful to the original recipe, but the one in Yanyalı in Kadıköy is, in my opinion, the most authentic, and you can still find the original taste in Saray Muhallebicisi and Sütis.
Perhaps, another time I won’t be honest with you is when I serve this cake, the Best Chocolate Cake ever!
What about my chocolate cake? I didn’t tell you what was in my chocolate until Mr.O almost finished the cake. Would you call it deception? Please forgive me, honey, if you felt cheated, but I know you enjoyed it and still are, even after finding out what was in it.This chocolate cake, looking as colourful and luscious as ever, tasted sinfully rich, moist and delicious. It is so good that I’m reluctant to share the recipe with you. Am I selfish? Maybe….a little bit….
I’m not so keen on icing or frosting unless it’s absolutely necessary to complete or support the taste of the cake like fresh cream-based frosting or chocolate ganache, but I’ve never been a fan of using colourings for icing, no matter how good the look is and I know people don’t usually eat the icing as it’s full of sugar. But they might make an appearance in my homes as well such as on birthdays and Valentine’s Day. Speaking of Valentine’s Day, this cake might solve your problem. I didn’t do a very good job with the frosting but I’m sure you can do it better, following the recipe on Heart Beet Kitchen.
I’m sure you’ve found out by now that it contains beetroot, in the cake as well as the frosting, which isn’t as thick as it should be. Yes, I can be honest and say that my distracted mind completely forgot to put butter when mixing the frosting and ended up pouring lots of powdered sugar into the cream cheese to thicken. Yes, it was cream cheese frosting adapted from Joy the Baker. Since I didn’t want to eat so much cream, I decided on chocolate ganache for the centre – haha, chocolate doesn’t count as sugar or fat; chocolate is chocolate, and I’m a hypocrite – just to realise that it didn’t really stand out like white cream or pink frosting. Well, never mind….the taste was still good, which is all that matters. I made this cake because I had cooked beetroot to spare and remembered having made cake with it but it was my first time making frosting with it.
The differentiators in my recipe besides the cream cheese are the kinds of sweetness such as grape molasses in place of white sugar. I also added pomegranate molasses to the chocolate ganache, which gave a bit of tanginess to contrast the richness from the chocolate. Plus, I replaced 1 cup of white flour with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup almond flour.I might have to leave you at this for now without the recipe, which you can work out by combining the two linked recipes, however, I can write it up on request.
“Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people.”
The universe works by a certain energy that you can’t be described but can only be felt….. I just read a post, which gave me an answer to my questions. I feel sometimes that someone is taping my brain or there is a secret camera somewhere here.
“….The road to hell is paved with good intentions. A phrase that took me some mulling over to comprehend and not just because English is my second language but because I just could not wrap my mind around how good intentions could ever possibly lead to hell. But now that I’m older and wiser, I get it. It’s not just the intentions, it’s the action. Like when Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) tells Bruce Wayne (aka Batman): “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.” The gall of that gal!….” ~extracted from Happy Jars on Fig&Quince