All posts filed under: Turkish

cabernet sauvignon

Life in the Vineyard – Part 2 – Harvest

Today marks one month of harvest work at Chateau Kalpak. I came back here with a small suitcase of clothes and a big bag filled with my pantry essentials. After 2 weeks here, the temperature dropped suddenly and most of the clothes I’d brought became unsuitable, not only for the weather but also for the work I do here. Red wine stains everywhere! Luckily, our sweet staff has given me some of her old clothes so I’m managing to survive so fa r. More than surviving really… I’m revitalising my inner soul and body here. I wake up every single morning, thanking to the nature and thanking to everyone who made it happen. Hubby is missing my food so much! And my in-laws are looking after our dog. My in-laws visited me and saw how happy and exuberant I looked and confirmed how happy people are when they do what they love. No matter how old you are and what obstacles you have, you’ve got to live your dream after all. While most wineries have finished the …

cauliflower

Cauliflower Steak with Thracian Wine

Winter is almost over as the temperature is heading for the 20 range and the daylight saving will start in started a couple of days ago. For some reason, WordPress is working again so I’m going to cram blog! I couldn’t because of the unbelievable nation-wide power outage yesterday, but it’s more to do with my personal affairs happening all at once lately, which makes it very difficult to sit down and write. Amid all this, I find it important to continue writing and let things off my chest. Some of you might have detected some sort of change in my voice as if molten lava boiling its way through a tiny crack. Well, I’m dramatising it a bit but I think there will be quite a huge change with my life soon but until it really happens, I’ll keep silent not to stir up the good karma, however, I’ll try my best to keep you informed and inspired just about everything I come across, culture, food, history, and my observations and random thoughts, which …

Slow Food…11 Hour-Cooked Duck and Sweet Potato Sage Gratin Cheat

It’s been quite a while after the last post about after the Korean event, it’s been full-on but mostly because of me cooking Korean food and socialising offline. I had many people requesting for a Korean dinner and ended up cooking Korean food nonstop for two weeks. I’ve never cooked so much Korean food in such a short period, which was a good exercise to review my Korean palate but also meant that I didn’t have interesting recipes to write about. So after serving the last Korean dinner to Mr.O’s parents, sister and her friend, and cousin, I decided to put a full stop to Korean food for a while and get back to exercising my culinary brain. I’ve had enough of making dumplings and rolling kimbap. Having said that, I’m not sure when the full stop will be removed as I see growing enthusiasm for Korean food after the event so I’m thinking of creating some Korean-inspired recipes occasionally. The downside of Korean food is that it’s very difficult to match it with wines …

New Year’s Eve / 2015 Manifesto / Süryani(Syriac) wine

Third day into 2015, I’m still writing my new year’s resolutions, feeling slightly bad that I hadn’t made them before New Year’s Eve. In a way, I’m glad that I didn’t because I’d have felt worse for having broken them in the first days of the new year. Koreans have a great excuse for this, “The real New Year is on Feb 19th!” The year 2015 is Sheep so I’ll be celebrating the lunar New Year then again. I would like to give big thanks to our hosts, Filiz and Onur, for the fantastic NYE feast, which far exceeded my expectations. I was so surprised by how much food Filiz managed to prepare in just a couple of hours after work with some help from her sister-in-law, Ozge, who made the most artistic presentation of potato mash. The roast turkey was great and also the meze Omer, one of rare Turkish men who cook. I brought Cheesy Polenta Sticks and Christmas Fruit mince Pies, and as I’m writing this, I got a recipe request for …

Jerusalem Artichoke and Quail with Saffron Risotto / Plato Kalecik Karasi

The title might have daunted people who don’t know or haven’t had all of the three ingredients, Jerusalem artichoke, quail, and saffron. I enjoy shopping at my tiny local market, where grocers got to know me better now and put all the veggies and fruit in one bag, not like the Turkish way, which is one plastic bag per item. My new neighborhood is much friendlier than the previous, and especially the veggie man, when I buy fresh herbs, sticks each bundle to my nose to smell and puts them into separate bags, saying “It smells nice, doesn’t it? I don’t want to spoil the nice smell so I’ll put them separately. Ok?” Fair enough. Also, he knows by now that I buy only the quantity I need. “How many carrots? Two?” “How many cucumbers? Three, enough?” The grocers at the Kadikoy market would be so annoyed if I did that and charge extra for punishment, maybe. When I went there after the trip to Safranbolu, I saw a big pile of fresh Jerusalem artichokes …

peking duck

Crispy Skin Slow Roast Duck / Saffron Carrot Rice / Büyülübağ Wine

“When a girl tries to treat herself, someone else takes advantage” The reason why this post starts with the phrase is because of what I’ve been wondering about why I cook. Yes, I love eating for sure, but would I cook the way I’ve been doing if it wasn’t for another person who enjoys it more than the person who actually cooks? You wouldn’t definitely go through roasting a whole duck for 4 hours just for yourself, would you? Well, I would have in my early years when I started getting into cooking just for the sake of experiment and excitement. And when you see the person enjoying the food more than you do, that’s the reward for a hard work. Like the slow roasted duck. Mr.O loved it so much that he brought home another whole duck. Sometimes I feel like being an Ottoman chef working for the sultan in Topkapi Palace. That’s why my mum always warned me growing up not to tell a guy I’m a good cook. And the older I …