Archive | October 2012

Spicy Chilli & Honey Chicken

This is definitely not for people that don’t like spicy.

Chicken breasts – I usually allow 125 g per person – cut the into cubes

Onion – cut in half and slice thinly

1 large hot green chilli – chopped into very small pieces

1 large red chilli – chopped into very small pieces

If you wear contact lenses can I suggest you wear disposable gloves when chopping chillies there is nothing more painful than rubbing your eyes when you have chilli on your hands and you wear lenses

Salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes

Tomatoe puree

6 cloves of garlic – finely chopped but not pureed

2 tablespoons of clear honey

squirt of pomegranate syrup if you like it and can get it

Put some olive oil in a deep frying pan – add the onions and the chillis to cook until the onions go slightly clear.

Add the chicken and keep stirring until the chicken is looking almost cooked – add the salt & pepper and pepper flakes (cayenne will do if you don’t have the flakes) a squirt of pomegrante syrup if you want it and the garlic. Add 2 teaspoons of tomatoe puree and some hot water to the pan – just enough to cover the contents. Move onto a low heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

I usually use this time to cook some rice and prepare a salad to go with it – garlic bread goes well too.

After 15 minutes increase the heat and keep stirring it whilst it boils and starts to reduce the liquid down -once you have as much sauce left as you want add the 2 tablespoons of honey and give it a good stir……………… cook it for another couple of minutes and serve.

i love this – the combination of the chilli, honey and garlic is deliscious but not for people who don’t do spicy.

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My new bag…………………………….

I am shoes girl – I love them – I can’t get enough of them – I have shoes for every occasion, all colours, all styles you name it I probably have it.  At one time I used to buy handbags to match, especially with evening shoes…………..and then I decided to emigrate to Turkey.  I gave myself a very serious talking to, sold half my shoes and gave some away to charity and a large number of bags too.   A new life awaited and I needed to de-clutter before I could get started.

It was hard but I finally settled on just 125 pairs of my favourite shoes that would make the journey with me and probably about 20 handbags.  Now there are people out there who are thinking that if I sold over half my shoes I must have had a serious problem and there are others who will be thinking – 300 pairs is about right.

In the 3 years I have been here I have bought probably 5 pairs of shoes and 2 pairs of boots.  I used to buy more pairs than that in a month in the UK.  Now I only buy them if they are practical, I know I will wear them more than once and I really, really love them.  The weather is so nice here I tend to wear flip flops most days so there is really no need for 100s of pairs of shoes.  Also in the 3 years I have purchase 2 handbags and thrown one away, and I have been given a rather nice Prada bag by my mother and a Radley bag by my best friend.

Winter is coming – the Prada is a handbag and difficult to carry on my scooter, the Radley is beautiful but not quite big enough for my Ipad as well as everything else I like to carry.  The search has been on……………..I’ve looked on line, I’ve trawled the shops, I’ve looked in magazines all in pursuit of the perfect bag.  Leather, a neutral wear with anything colour, big but not huge, a zip and a flap to keep it secure and make sure the water can’t get in.  I saw some nice Cambridge satchels on some UK websites for about £90………….very tempted and then I saw it……………in an expensive handbag shop in Fethiye but the 1/2 price sale sign lured me through the door. There it was the most beautiful, soft tan leather Mulberry messenger bag……………….. it was love at first sight.  Then I found out  it was 590 lira – about £200.00……….. I tried not to look shocked and  resigned myself to leaving it there and went and looked in other shops.  Nothing………….there were some possibles but they all fell short when compared to the Mulberry one.

I went back to look lovingly at it a week later………  bravely I asked how much it was……………. only to find it was included in the half price sale…….now only 295 lira.  Still expensive but not as bad as it had been.  I went home to think about it.  I made a pros and cons list………….the pros won……………I thought about it really hard…. it wasn’t much more than the Cambridge bags I liked in the UK.  Eureka…..a lightbulb came on……..Cambridge bag @ £90 plus return flight £250, £100 for car hire and £20 to get to the airport and back here……… Mmmmm I’d actually save money if I got the Mulberry.

I went back this Thursday……..had a lovely chat with the lady in the shop, haggled a bit and ended up paying about £85.00 for it………………………  we are very happy together……..we have been for some scooter rides – wind in my hair and ruffling the flap gently as we zipped along the cost road,  a trip to the market, and the beach……….. I know we have a long and happy future together.   I am so lucky a new handbag and a new husband in less than 3 weeks.  Life is good folks…….life is very good.

Old wives tales or……should that be new husbands tales?

I’ve had a bit of a rough week – have had a streaming cold and have really had to dose myself up to keep going, add to that a mosquito has bitten my eyelid so my eye is swollen, red and itchy too I am not at my best.  I was chatting to my husband the other night and he kept turning away from me – his English in not always that good and he understands more if he is looking at me – in the end getting really cross I suggested that he look at me whilst I was talking and that it might help him understand better.  His reply “I can’t Canim (Dear in Turkish) if I look you in the eye I will get sick”.  I’m assured it is true – if you look a sick person in the eye you will get whatever they have.  The poor love was trying to make sure he didn’t get ill.

There seem to be no end of old wives tales in Turkey.  Some you can if you really stretch your imagination see some logic in but others just defy belief.  So here is a bit of a list to get you started:

You mustn’t drink tea before you have breakfast.

you will get a hole in your stomach and die……… no tea in bed in the mornings he doesn’t want to be responsible for my demise 

You mustn’t eat fish and milk products together

you will get really sick – so all those who think a nice creamy white sauce with your fish is a tasty accompaniament…think of your health! 

Cat fur gives you cancer

yes just one little piece of fur in your mouth can cause the big C…………….. it’s a medical fact and I am assured that if I ask any Dr in Turkey they will confirm this.

Scissors placed under a childs pillow will stop nightmares

and if they wake up they can cut their hair, the sheets and whatever else they want until they feel tired enough to sleep again……….  am I living in a country full of crazy people?

Socks – you must wear them – they stop all types of illness. 

I have quite a collection of hand knitted socks from my Mother in Law.  Bare feet cause all sorts of terrible problems – they can make you infertile, stop you producing milk if you want to breast feed, cause colds and all sorts of terrible illnesses. 

Woe betide anyone who pokes their bare feet out of bed….you’ll be lucky to live until the morning…………..  don’t drink anything too cold – you’ll get sick, food that is too hot – will make you sick……..don’t bath your children everyday – they will get sick, don’t open windows on opposite sides of the house – that breeze coming through will make you sick.  The list is endless but you are getting the picture ……………….

So getting back to my bad cold….the reason I am sick is because I never wear socks, am always walking on cold tiles, frequently poke my feet out of bed and love drinking ice-cold lemonade – I am sat here hoping that I survive long enough to finish this post.

 

A tale of 2 weddings

This is where we had Wedding 1

Well this week I officially became a Mrs.  Something I’ve managed to avoid for 48 years but even the most determined commitment phobe has to give in at some point in her life. I had always joked that if I did it there would be no fuss and I would go back to work afterwards and just change my email signature.   Even thought we had been together awhile whenever anyone asked when we were getting married I would tell them the next time it snowed in Fethiye – I figured that it hadn’t snowed in 20 years I was probably safe. 

Turkey is unusual in as much as they believe that a marriage is a contract between 2 people and nothing to do with God.  Mosque weddings are not recognised and technically an Imam is not supposed to perform a Mosque wedding until after you have had the civil ceremony.  In the area my husband comes from lots of people only have Mosque weddings but in the area where we live a Mosque service is often used as an engagement with the civil ceremony at a later date.

Wedding number 1 was in December 2010 – a Mosque wedding and although we had talked about doing it there was no planning and it was all very spur of the moment.   We were spending a few days in Antalya when we met an Imam convention in our hotel.  We got quite friendly with them and on our last day my husband went for a swim and came back with an Imam – literally…… our Imam friends had asked if they could perform our ceremony – so with 30 minutes notice – no dressing up and no planning we had our Mosque wedding – an Imam performed the ceremony and we had 2 other Imams as witnesses.   We were on the bus home when my daughter text to say that people were posting messages on Facebook to say it was snowing in Fethiye and to ask when I was getting married – I had to text her back and tell her we had done it 2 hours earlier.  She was a bit put out that I hadn’t mentioned it to her first.  

We planned to follow up with the legal bit quite soon afterwards…but life got in the way and we were both busy and then it was spring and my best friend from the UK said she was coming in September and we thought it would be nice to have the ceremony when she was here.  She cancelled and then it was October and my husbands home town was hit by a massive earthquake,  Although we were lucky and didn’t lose any family members he lost about 40 close friends and again we decided that it was the wrong time.  So finally in September we went to Antalya to the British Consulate to apply for my Certificate of non impediment and to post the banns – and back again 3 weeks later to collect the piece of paper and get it stamped at the Governors office to allow us to marry. 

Things are never straight forward in Turkey – we had to go to a few Government offices to get bits of paper completed and signed and were both sent for blood tests to make sure we didn’t have any nasty diseases or anything genetic that we could pass on to our children.  They took one look at me and decided that I didn’t need a test – obviously I’m unlikely to be having anymore babies but my poor husband and to have the full range done.  We were told they would be back within 24 hours when in fact it took 4 days.  He was busy at work the witnesses we wanted weren’t available.  Eventually it got to the stage where everyday we were discussing it…would we be able to fit it in? If so what time?  Finally on Monday night this week we decided we would do it on Tuesday – our witnesses were available and we had a couple of hours free – luckily you can just turn up at the Registrars office and you don’t have to pre-book.  Can’t imagine the UK ever coping with that system but it seems to work here.   My Mother in Law sent me some wedding gold – it was totally unexpected but a lovely gesture. 

Finally on Tuesday everything fell into place and at 11.25am with just us and 2 witnesses I officially married my lovely husband.  I even remembered to call my daughter and tell her we were off to get married.   We had a traditional Turkish Breakfast in town and then as per my original plan we both went back to work.  The bride wore a cream shalwar kameeze and the groom wore grey trousers and a black shirt.  It was a lovely warm sunny day and one of our witnesses wore shorts.  It was very casual and just about us – no fuss no stress just a simple ceremony. 

For anyone who has ever attended a Turkish wedding you will know that they are usually a lavish production – the bride wears a meringue dress that wouldn’t look out of place at a gypsy wedding, there are wedding singers and a drummer and about 600 guests – I’m sure many of our neighbours think we are really odd but it was the day we wanted and that’s the most important thing.   Our weddings our way.