Archive | September 2012

Et Kavurma (Stir Fried Red Meat)

Now this is a family favourite and so easy

One large onion sliced

Hottish green pepper – cut into small pieces

1 kg of lean red meat (diced into small pieces)

Fresh Garlic – I use 3 cloves I cut them in half-length ways and then slice

Salt & black pepper to taste

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large flat bottom pan.  Add the cubed meat.  Fry and until it is sealed and then add salt and pepper.  Throw in the onion and the peppers and cook for 5 minutes stirring continuously – add the garlic – keep cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes.  Turn heat down to low and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes until the meat is cooked and tender but not over cooked.

A really simple recipe – with tasty results.  I serve mine with plain rice and a small mixed salad.



Stitch & Bitch ………..does Denizli

The textile shopping centre

Last winter I realised I have some anti social hobbies.  Whilst I enjoy staying home in the warm with a a big bag of wool and some needles it can get a bit lonely and if you drop a stitch or make a mistake there’s no one to help you get back on track.  I gave it some thought and decided that there must be other people doing the same so decided to start a Facebook group – Stitch & Bitch Fethiye.    The idea was to connect with other Stitchers and perhaps meet up.

I met a lovely group of ladies from all over the local area.  Their collective knowledge is incredible and I have learned so much from them.  We ended up meeting once a week during the winter and cotinued until it got too hot to stitch.  We are coming the end of our Summer recess and are looking forward to meeting again regularly.

I decided that we should explore Turkey – there are cities famous for the things they can offer a stitcher.   The two that sprung to mind immediately are Denizli and Bursa.  I’m sure there are others and if readers have any suggestions I would love to hear them.   Anyway Denizli is famous for it’s textiles and rumour had it that there was a massive wool centre.  If you are not a stitcher you will be reading this and thinking “so what?” but to an avid stitcher just the mention of a new source of wool will get us very over excited.

So last Thursday I left the house at 6.45am – and headed off to collect the Bitches from their arranged collection points.  We were all aboard and on the road by 7.45am – we decided as our last pick up was in Uzumlu that we would take the mountain road – scenic is a good description – we could have done without the road works and if you are afraid of heights this is not the route I would recommend.

We stopped after a couple of hours for a lovely Turkish Breakfast and then continued to Denizli.  Out first stop once we arrived was the big Textile market – Babadaglilar Carsi – several floors of textiles and much cheaper than we can get in Fethiye – my shopping trolley was soon brimming with purchases.  We then headed a few 100 metres to the Wool Centre – I can honestly say I have never seen so much wool in one place – their selection was incredible and the prices of needles and trims again a fraction of what we pay in Fethiye.   Once I got over the initial shock I was able to choose a sackful in assorted colours.

After we had visited for what I consider to be the two main attractions we stopped for a quick bite to eat  – a rather nice lamb tandor with lovely fresh bread and salad……fortified we headed off to find our bus driver ready for our next adventure.  First stop Sumer Park Mall where we had heard there was a C & A and a Deichmann shoes and second stop the Forum Shopping Centre – where they had a Boyner, Mudo, a Watsons (Superdrug) and some great coffee shops.   I don’t think anyone left C & A empty handed and the same for Watsons.  Well worth the stops to pick up those little bits that you just can’t get where we live.

We headed on home with a stop for something to eat at a motel on the road – great soup. I think they were a bit surprised to get a group of 11 turning up for a late dinner on a Thursday night.  The service was a bit slow but the toilets were lovely and clean and it was reasonably priced.  Most people slept for some of the 4 hour journey home – our last drop off was 2am so a very long day but all agreed it was well worth it.


Husbands, Broken Bones and Old Wives Tales

Some of you may know that my much loved husband fell off a roof about 10 weeks ago and broke his heel.  luckily it was a clean break and he didn’t shatter it.  He got off quite lightly really and apart from quite a lot of cuts and bruises he was relatively unscathed.

Turkish hospitals………. some are good some are bad………………he was taken to the State Hospital when he fell – and rang me from there to tell me he’d fallen off a roof, thought he had broken both his legs and could I come.   Let’s just say my little scooter was shaking all the way there………. I can’t remember the last time I was that scared.  So arrived in casualty……no porters you are expected to wheel your injured love one on a trolley wherever the Dr asks you too.  The room there they put a temporary dressing on his foot was full of people writhing and moaning……..not a closed curtain in the place.   My husband is under very strict instructions to take me to the Private Hospital if ever i have an accident.

They don’t give you crutches you have to go and buy them…luckily my husbands cousin and a friend were willing to come to the hospital they helped my husband to the toilet and carried him to the car when it was time to go home.   Luckily or unluckily our neighbour had just recovered from a broken leg and was prepared to donate her crutches to the cause.

The hospital gave pain killers…useful and antibiotics…..because they do for everything!    We were at the hospital for 8 hours……we finally got home and the visitors started coming – each with their own idea about what would be the best thing to help bones heal.     I wanted to get some comfrey (aka bone knit) but couldn’t find any.  Lots of websites saying that it was widely used to help healing in the Anatolia region but no idea where to get it – a friend was in the UK so I got her to bring me some in tablet form.

So there we were – home.   Me and a one legged husband who within 24 hours was in plaster and told not to put any weight on it at all.  He doesn’t do much around the house but he now had a great excuse not to do anything.   Cue the assisted showers…………..and my desire after a couple of weeks to change my name.

Apparently bones are good for bones – so we had some donations of frozen marrow bones – now I would have cooked them and given them to the local dogs but I had to make these into a nourishing bone broth to aid healing…. lets just say he ate it I didn’t.   Also sheep’s head soup is very good for bones – one of our local cafes on hearing of his mishap promptly made some on the Saturday night (I don’t think I thanked them properly) ………….. again he ate it I didn’t just the sight of it is enough to put you off food for life.

Now what you won’t know folks is that my husbands Grandfather was a legend in his town – he was a very good bone man….not qualified but if anyone broke a bone they would go to him to have it realigned and for treatment.   The hospital removed the plaster after 4 weeks….crazy but it was very hot and itched and my husband was glad to see the back of it.   My mother in law recommended a bread poultice……….  so imagine fresh dough wrapped around a foot like a foot pie, then add a layer of newspaper and a bandage and head for bed.     Yes really!

He’s improving daily he’s down to one crutch – I made him buy some decent trainers to wear that won’t be too tight if his foot swells and he is starting to limp on it a bit.     He has now decided that a daily foot massage will help – and of course he can’t manage it himself…………….we are now 10 weeks down the line…I love him I really do but it is getting a bit wearing……. and I feel mean for getting impatient but this is man who will decide he wants something from the other room, I fetch it, sit down and he decides he wants something else from the same place……why can’t he tell me all at the same time?

My one small act of rebellion is to use a very aromatic rose body lotion when I massage his foot……….  I’m counting the days until he is fully recovered.

Golden Syrup

A friend was complaining today about  how hard it is to get Golden Syrup here and how expensive it is when you can get it.   Thought I’d pass on this simple recipe for making your own – works well and is great for cooking with.

200g sugar
50g water

1 kg sugar
600g boiling water
1 or 2 sliced lemons to taste – experiment a bit until you get it how you like it.

1. Pour 200g sugar and 50g water into a large saucepan. On medium heat, twirl the pot around and caramelise the sugar until a dark golden colour.  Don’t let it go black.

2. Add the boiling water, the kilo sugar and lemon slices.

3. On a very low heat boil for 45 minutes until thick – stir it ocassionally if you want to but there is no need (I am always convinced it will stick if I don’t)  Do not be tempted to boil it for longer – when I say 45 minutes that’s what I mean – if you leave it for an hour it will look ok when you but it in jars but tomorrow it will be like concrete.   You want syrup not lumps.

4. Cool and pour into sterilised jars.    Store in a cool place.  You can use it straight away.    It keeps for ages but if this is too much you can always experiment with a half batch.  Just halve all the ingredients and follow the recipe.