Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sunshine and warm hearts

After the winter that wouldn't end, I was in a hurry to get back to Turkey to be cheered up by kind relatives and friends as well as by large doses of sunshine and warm hospitality. Nothing is too much trouble when they have a visitor, even in such uncertain times as they are living now and they are weighed down by the apprehension of what could happen.

Meals are always an opportunity to crowd everyone round a table groaning with goodies. I love the differences between a Turkish breakfast and our own.

The central tray contains different white cheeses, made from goats', cows' or  sheeps' milk and the firmer, yellow kashar cheese. Then there is butter, kaymak [cream from the top of yogurt], green and black olives, dried apricots and their kernels, walnuts, honey and rose-hip jam. Oh, and fresh chopped tomatoes, peppers and cucumber. All washed down with copious amounts of black tea.

And then there are the invitations to afternoon tea, which is more what we would consider a high tea.

Here we have a selection of salads and savoury patties, made with bulgur wheat and red lentils.There are lemons to squeeze over the salads and fresh mint for extra taste. Then there are poacha, boat shaped pastries filled with white cheese and herbs, various small buns and a ring cake full of chopped almonds and walnuts.
 As at  breakfast, the preferred drink is tea.
Later, there will be  a huge plate of fruit, nicely chilled in the fridge and very welcome in the torrid heat and finally Turkish coffee, followed by fortune telling for those who want it.