I once created a cooking class, called 'Zen in the Kitchen'. Then wrote a book called the same. Then started the group with that name and the blog came after. All this happened in Turkish. Now is the time for the English version of it. Let's see what will cook here!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


It's summer time. Working people are planning for their holidays. Ayvalik is in so many people's list, because of it's waters, food, history... Ayvalik market is a must to see. The weekly farmers' market.

This is one of my favorite sweets, special to Ayvalik. It's called 'lor tatlisi', sweets made with ricotta style Turkish 'lor' cheese. Güler Pastanesi is the place to have them, especially with their mastic icecream.

Ayvalik has so many specialties. The seafood, olives, oliveoil, cheeses, special toasted bread filled with cheese, tomatoes and cold cuts if you prefer, called 'Ayvalik tostu'. If you'll ever visit Ayvalik, I'm sure you'll taste them all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

a little gift for a new life

I celebrate
the new life,
the new age
of a dear one
with this blossom
opening to a new life
yet has been longed for.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Salad with apricots and cashews

I love simple meals. I love using seasonal ingredients. Moreover, I love using ingredients from my own garden. The garden is small. Very small. And I can only take care of it in summer but it still is a world in itself with two trees, tomato and peppers, greens and some flowers, including few roses. Not a well planned garden since it was there, with a big apricot tree in the middle, when we bought this little summer house. But still, I love it since it's my garden. Picking rockets and parsley from the garden today, I had part of the ingredients for my simple salad. There were green apricots, fell of the tree. I wanted to use them and as I did last year, I add them to my salads. In this salad, there is also lettuce and cucumbers. I added cashews I bought from Syria last time I went there. The olive oil is from the region, from Laleli, which is among my favorite brands, lemons are from Antalya, the ones we brought with us, and the seasalt is from Ayvalık, which is about 40 km far. So this salad is pretty local, if you take the cashews out and yes, I also don't know where the cucumbers are from. And these are the apricots, I adore.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Linden flowers

Especially in winters and if someone at home is coughing, linden tea is the cure. The usual Turkish way is to (now I know it is not right to boil the flowers. Adding hot water on the flowers or herbs and letting them wait for few minutes is better) boil the linden flowers in water. What we do is to reheat it several times, which again, is not good for the healing properties of this wonderful flower. The usual additions to it are cinnamon sticks and apple skins. You can add other spices too but it is always good to keep it simple, to be nourished by this early summer medicine of the earth. The reason why I'm adding this post is that it's just the season of linden flowers in the Northern Hemisphere. At least in our area of the world. I'll pick the flowers and lay them on a clean towel in a well lentilated room when they're dry enough, I'll put them in a jar and use in winter, thinking about this season. That simple. Do you have linden trees around where you live? Do you make linden tea? Are there other uses for it that you would like to share?