Author: Namie

baked fig

Baked Fresh Fig, Cheese, Lavender Filo Pie

Morning air is getting crisper and I watch the vine leaves changing their colour everyday. I have no idea how fast summer has slipped away without having a proper swim! Despite the hectic daily routines at the winery, I thought I’d be respectful of those who are wondering about my whereabouts and waiting for delicious stories. I’m far from my kitchen and real life, and am living a dream life. I’ve lived through the full ripening seasons here and the harvest has started and the daily work leaves me little time to go online. I’ve learned and am still learning a lot and I’ll share my experiences here once the most important part of the harvest ends. Are the figs still around? Before coming back to the winery for harvest, I had a short break at home. Whenever I’m back, I just dive into the kitchen and get cooking, though there’s no one else to eat with. Farmers markets and streets were full of figs and other forest fruits that show up for a short …

parmesan okra

Two Delicious Okra Recipes You should try

Okra aka. lady’s finger. Do you like it or hate it? Hubby wouldn’t even look at it. My encounter with the strange vegetable was in Turkey and I’d had some dishes with it but had never been so keen till I listened to the podcast, Leah Chase: The cook who changed America. Though I’ve never had the Gumbo stew, I can imagine what it’s like and it sounds delicious. Okra, originated in Ethiopia, is found in many dishes in south east countries and many with seafood as in this. There’s a plenty of Indian okra dishes, too, including this one, which looks yummy and healthy. Here in Turkey, it’s called ‘bamya‘, and usually cooked with tomato based stew with or without meat and is, as usual, overcooked. So unless you trick yourself to like it, many people get put off by the slimy texture. The longer it’s cooked, the slimier it gets. So it’s useful in stews and soups as a thickener and I sneaked some chopped okro(plural) into baked beans for English breakfast one morning. And …

Life in the Vineyard – Part 1

As I mentioned in the last post, I was at Chateau Kalpak Vineyards to help out during the Art Festival, and I’m back home for a little break. The festival was wrapped up successfully with the public exhibition on the last day. A group of journalists visited during the festival so there should be an article in a Turkish magazine somewhere, but I’ll also share the atmosphere and some art works by the artists when I return to the winery where my camera still is. In the meantime, you can have a peek at some random photos I took. Unfortunately, I couldn’t blog because WiFi wasn’t available in the studio. Even if there had been WiFi, I wouldn’t have been able to. Because I was crazy busy throughout the one-week long workshop, multitasking around the clock; serving, cooking, photographing, interpreting, and drinking, etc. I also led a winery tour for the first time and it was fun! The reward was waking up to this beautiful view every morning and sipping wine on the terrace, watching …

octopus

Living the dream: Wine&Art, Octopus Carpaccio&Romesco

With the solstice and Ramadan behind us, summer is getting into a full swing here. Many people are already on their summer holiday or are busy planning for it. Mr.O and I are also pondering the idea of doing a road trip along the Aegean coast in August to mark our 5 year romance. BUT it all depends on how things will pan out, especially the winery job I’ll be taking from the next month. What? Winery? Yes, you heard me right! I’ll be working in Chateau Kalpak Vineyards from July till the harvest. How about that! I’m so excited! Finally my dream is being realised, and what’s even more exciting is the fact that the winery is very prestigious and my absolute favourite in Turkey. It will be a precious experience and a huge leap before jumping into a WSET Diploma. I won’t give away so much at this point so keep following my journey as I live my dream. To start off, I’ll be assisting with their International Art Festival and Workshop, which will …

Greek Wine Review: Why you should drink Greek wines

Hope you had a lovely weekend with nice food and wine. I spent the weekend without hubby so with extra time on my hands, I put together the information and write about wine. Of course, I’ll write about Turkish wines but let me start with Greek wines. I’m a wine lover so obviously I love wine, not only reading and talking about it but actually drinking it.  So I drink a glass every day, which is my secret to good health but also entails…. money. I’m not rich but unfortunately my palate is. I used to spend on average $150 by-monthly or even weekly at The Wine Society in Sydney, but here, even if I drink less, my monthly wine bill isn’t any smaller. To reduce my wine expenditure, I was buying many Spanish wines for a good value but then I discovered Greek wines after the trip to Lesvos a few years ago, and they have become my No.1 choice for every day wine ever since. Not only do they offer value for money …

Chasing the Season: Sardines Wrapped in Grape Leaves

These days a lot of photos of Ahi Tuna are circulating on social media, teasing me who can’t even get any fish. Commercial fishing is banned from May to September in Turkey to protect fish population. You can still get farmed fish, though. However, I won’t resort to Norwegian farmed salmon, so I’m hanging in there waiting for the healthiest little fish to appear. And they have! But my stubborn FIL keeps saying firmly, “Not tasty yet. Wait till July!”  Ahhh~~~ I know if I’ll be rewarded with big fat sardines if I wait a bit longer. I’m usually great at delayed gratification but not with fish. So one day I decided to risk upsetting him, – he’s very serious about fish – and bought some without telling him. They were not as big as FIL would have liked but still pretty fat. The farmers market is full of goodness. Look at the 5 different kinds of cherries! And here you go, the fresh green chickpeas. This is one of those vegetables that you buy …