Olive fields by Noreen

Olive fields by Noreen
Mysterious, primordial world

Thursday, 27 October 2016

COOKING - not my favourite activity but we have to eat!

I have to admit I love my food!  I think about breakfast as soon as I wake.  For me breakfast starts with a glass of water and a cod-liver oil capsule,  followed by a bowl of porridge (oatmeal) with a spoon of honey and some milk.  Now I'm ready to give the cats their breakfast and then it's back to the balcony for me with a cup of tea and a slice of wholemeal bread.  This will keep me going until lunchtime when I like to have a mixed salad with tea and one slice of bread.  The Turkish breakfast is much different,  it's more like what I have for my lunch,  lettuce, egg, cheese tomatoes, nuts and fruit! The photo below is a typical breakfast with a chocolate nut and cinnamon spread in the foreground.
You can buy a light dough here which is called yufka made by the Turkish ladies and sold at the markets.  I cut it into rectangles, then put in a filling of cheese, spring onions and herbs. I then fry in olive oil. Very tasty with salad.

Lunch with home-made yufka with cheese and herb filling.

 Ingredients for  lasagne. Cook slowly before putting in tray with lasagne sheets and white sauce.

 Chicken curry. Aubergines added to the flavours.

I only bake about once a month when we have visitors,  then I make cake! It took me a while because the flour here is different.  I've had to add much more baking powder than the recipe calls for.
I use a chocolate sauce for the icing because it is much lighter than baking chocolate and it turns out ok.

Tomatoes are on sale at the markets here and they are full of flavour. I buy a couple of kilos at a time and make pasta sauce or tomato sauce.  It's always handy to have in stock to add to minced beef or chicken.

There is such a variety of fruit in season. I love to make smoothies or just fruit juice.  So handy to have a snack after dinner in the evening to stop me eating chocolate or sweet stuff at the worst time of day!

I'm a lover of chutneys.

I make them from March onward.  They are great with cheese and also great to add to other dishes to add flavour. This one here was made with plum and apricots. 

I tried lots of marmalade recipes and some of them take such a long time to make.  I've adapted a few and found that I can make 2 or 3 jars in a short time.  This works well and Mr. D. says it's delicious!                                                                 

Sunday, 16 October 2016


Finished at last!
Throughout the spring and summer I have been working on and off on a quilt.  It the second one I've made this year and I'm happy to eventually have completed it. It's not made to any particular design. I wanted to make it like a quilt my grandmother made many years ago.  I loved the feel of the silky fabrics and the way there was no order or any specific design.  It was completely hand made. I could see every stitch made by her hand with different colour threads.  I loved that she just put it together with whatever fabrics she had.
  My quilt will always remind me of my dear friends Mary, Maura, Esin, Marie and Anna who kindly donated clothes which they no longer wanted, to my quilt project. There are two blouses in there, two sun dresses and a pair of pants! Nothing went to waste. I added some fabric to compliment the different shades of blue. I added a light filler fabric which I bought when I was back in Ireland and I bought the backing here in Turkey. 

My favourite of all my projects is of course my first love, Art.  I love to paint.  Acrylics are a better medium to work with here because of the intense heat.  Paint tends to dry too quickly.  However now that the temperatures have dropped. 29c outside in the sun this afternoon and a cool 22c indoors, perfect for me to paint.
My latest painting :        SAILING AT SUNSET

Garden seat

 This is definitely a one off!  I've no plans to build another garden seat or anything else made of concrete. I built this seat in my little garden in Ireland a few years ago. Having had two seats which had rotted with the inclement Irish weather, I decided that a stone seat would be a once off permanent seat which I would not have to ever replace! I did not draw out the plan but had it in my head.  I gathered broken blocks from a building site and with great difficulty put them in my car and over the space of two weeks had enough gathered to begin my task.  I built an extra layer of blocks at the back so that it will be strong. It looks a bit uneven at the back but no one can see that unless they go behind to look at it!  Later I got a little table so we could have tea and read a book in the nice summer afternoons. I promised myself that in future I would only work with light materials, like bamboo!  I need to remind myself I have a bad back!

Bamboo arch in my Turkish garden  

I made this arch from bamboo which I gathered on the beach and brought home on my bicycle.  It is a great support for my climbing rose bush which gives a beautiful display in spring.

So it's back to more painting for me for the next few months.  It will keep my mind occupied and hopefully the long dark winter evenings will not bother me. It's been a long hot summer here, not a drop of rain since that one shower in early May!  Everywhere is bone dry.  I can still swim in the sea. I hope to do so until mid November.  Not much autumn here at all,  as soon as December comes we are into winter.  However it's not too bad,  nice sunny days but very cold at night.