Archive | March 2014

Yogurtlu HavuƧ or Yoghurt & Carrot Meze

This is so simple and so tasty and bound to be a bit with family and friends. It can be served with raw vegetables as dippers or with some really nice fresh bread.

You will need some carrots. Some fresh plain yoghurt. Fresh. Garlic. Olive Oil. Salt & Pepper and some optional cummin and some optional lemon juice. Some people add chopped flat leaf parsley to the top which is again optional.

Peel your carrots. Grate them.
Peel a couple of cloves of garlic and and chop very finely or crush if you prefer. I like a few small lumps as I like to know I am eating garlic.

Now this is the really hard part…… Fry your carrots in 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry them until they are just about softening. Turn the heat off and leave them to cool. PS I was joking about it been hard.

Mix the garlic with your yoghurt. When the carrots are cool add them complete with oil to the yoghurt mix, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of cummin if you like it. I like to add a splash of lemon juice. Mix it all together.

And ….serve with it without chopped parsley on top.

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No You Tube

Well there seemed like there was some good news yesterday. A court ruled that we should have Twitter back. Not sure how long it will take but suspect it won’t be before the local elections at the weekend.

Our elections fall on Saturday so we get an extra day of winter time as the clocks won’t change until the early hours of Monday morning. For a whole 24 hours there will be a 3 hour time difference with the UK instead of the usual 2.

Anyway…..the news just breaking is that You Tube has again been banned. It was banned for the first 2 years I lived here and you either find a way around it or get used to living without it. I had got used to just logging on and watching what I wanted but today I am faced with a blue screen. Government notice telling me that it is an illegal site in Turkey.

Our Prime Minister has said he would like to ban Facebook too. I’m on level 382 in Candy Crush Saga and will be a very perplexed little Pixie if I am unable to get my daily game.

A few weeks a new law came in relating to blogs. It is now illegal to post pictures with alcohol in them and we can be fined for illegal advertising.

All in all it is getting more difficult to communicate with the outside world. For expats like myself we rely on Facebook and Skype to keep in touch with family back home.

I love Turkey it is my chosen home but have to admit to feeling a bit apprehensive as to what might be banned next.

Keep reading and I’ll keep blogging for as long as WordPress doesn’t get banned.

A Twitter Ban

We are living through some interesting times in Turkey. Local Elections are just about a week away and everywhere there are poster and banners
advertising various candidates.

Several times an hour we are treated to vans with loud speakers and often very loud music driving around the residential areas extolling the virtues of the candidates.

Our Prime Minister has been in the press for weeks. Everyday there seems to be some new accusation against him…whether it be theft, fraud, dictatorial behaviour the papers are full of it.

A few weeks ago he threatened to close down Facebook. Social media has been used in the planning of demonstrations around Turkey and also spreading more stories about him personally. Our President was quick to respond and assure us that there would be no Facebook ban.

It was quite a surprise last night to watch the Prime Minister’s speech on television. He announced that he was going to ban Twitter and that he didn’t care what other countries thought about the ban …the quote was something along the lines of “they will see how mighty the Republic of Turkey is”.

I went to bed thinking….well that won’t happen the President must have a say. I woke up this morning to find that there is already a Court Order in place and the whole country is without Twitter. There are a reported 10 million users in Turkey so this affect quite a few people.

He hasn’t banned VPNs (virtual private networks) so most people if they can be bothered have just logged onto Twitter using a VPN to mask their location. It’s just after 5pm now and according to the news programs there has been no reduction in the number of tweets tweeted on twitter today.

People are speculating that other Social Media sites may be banned and they have been showing people on TV how to set up your Internet setting so that you can still access anything you want to.

I am hoping that people will not see this as another reason to take to the streets and demonstrate. There have been too many people hurt in the last 12 months. In a weeks time people will have the chance to vote if they are not happy with the Government they have the chance to make it known on Election Day.

SutlaƧ (Turkish Rice Pudding)

I found several recipes for this delicious dish but none of them were quite exactly what I was looking for. In the end I used a couple as a base and adapted it to my own tastes and quantities.

2 cups of short grain rice. I asked a few friends and they suggested Baldo and as I had some in the cupboard it was easier to use it.
1.5 pints of milk ( see PS at the bottom).
200 ml of single cream
1 cup of sugar
.5 teaspoon of salt
Vanilla essence (I used a sachet of vanilla sugar)

wash the rice and drain
Place in a pan with the salt and cover with cold water…about and inch over the rice
Boil and then lower to simmer and cook until the water disappears
Add 1.5 pints of milk and heat until bubbles appear then lower to simmer until rice is fully cooked.
Add sugar and creamer. Give it a good stir bring to bubbling point again stirring continuously.
Turn the heat off and cover. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Ladle into individual bowls or a large oven proof dish.
Sprinkle with cinnamon powder.
Chill in the fridge.

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I’m adding a PS….when it was hot from the pan it was excellent but once it had chilled it was a little bit too dense. If I was going to chill it again I would add an extra 1/4 pint of milk. It tasted wonderful and was eaten in one sitting.