31 Temmuz 2013 Çarşamba


After being away two weeks and not eaten home cooked food, today was a kitchen day at home. First we cooked purslane stew with bulgur which we eat a lot during summer with yogurt. Then made two small jars of peach marmelade to eat with cottage cheese for summer breakfasts.

After the potted shrimp tasting we had in Morecambe two weeks ago, we decided to try it at home and we bought brown shrimps from our local fish shop and prepared our first homemade potted shrimps.

Following a short research in internet, we made TheGuardian’s recipe. With this recipe, we had one ramekin potted shrimps to consume today and one little jar to eat later. Recipe is easy because the brown shrimps are sold cleaned and precooked. And the taste of homemade one is much much better then the shop bought one.

The Guardian’s recipe, was suggesting to serve potted shrimps with hot brown bread, so we baked also a brown bread with fennel which we learned from our friend Ayşegül.  When the bread came out from the owen, our evening treat at the terrace was ready. Homemade brown bread with fennel, homemade potted shrimps, English goat cheese and Stilton cheese, Turkish black olives, Iranian mini dry figs and ice cold Polish oak vodka. Heaven!

Here is The Guardian’s recipe if you want to try:

200g unsalted butter

Juice of ¼ lemon

¼ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish
200g cooked and peeled brown shrimps
Cayenne pepper, to serve

1. Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.

2. Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, mace, pepper, anchovy essence and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set. Divide the shrimps between 4 ramekins, pressing them in tightly.

3. When just warm, but still liquid, divide the spiced butter between the ramekins and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.

4. Serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a lot of hot toast.

30 Temmuz 2013 Salı


Last Friday, our last night in Scotland, we went to Glasgow’s old City Hall, built in 1841, to watch two Buster Keaton silent films  accompanied by BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on its UK Première.

First film was a Buster Keaton short comedy, One Week (1920) and the second one was a Keaton classic, The General (1926) inspired by American Civil War and the railways.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by American Timothy Brock who is also the composer of the musics, was brilliant.  The harmony of the music with films was perfect. Watching two classics of silent cinema with such a great music was a big pleasure.

After the concert, finding a nice place with a working kitchen at 23.00 in Merchant City, Exchange Square and having a relax dinner with couple of glasses of wine was the last nice little touch of the evening.

Oh, sorry, the last little touch of the night was taking these photos in front of an old train photo in our hotel, Grand Central Hotel which is an old train station hotel dating back to 1883 and designed by Scottish architect Robert Rowand Anderson. 

29 Temmuz 2013 Pazartesi


When we headed through the north two weeks ago, we were looking for a town to stop near our way to eat something. Then we saw Morecambe on the coast and remembred Hairy Bikers’ visit to Morecambe to see the production of potted shrimps.

Decision made and we choosed to taste Morecambe’s world wide famous potted shrimps. For being a Saturday, Baxters, the most famous producer’s place was closed. So we tasted Edmonson’s potted shrimps. Because of tasting for the first time in our lifes, we can not compare with others but it was tasty what we ate. It went so fast to our stomacs and we forget to take the photo of potted shrimps.

After the “let’s taste Britain’s flavours” activity, we walked on the promenade from one side to the other side of the town next to a sandy beach.

Conclusion: it was nice to taste the potted shrimps, Morecambe is a small coastal destination to spend maybe few hours but not one of our most preffered towns in UK.  

28 Temmuz 2013 Pazar


Since two weeks we were away and had a little road trip around our little kingdom. We visited nice places, enjoyed the incredible sun and joined some cultural events.

When we were in Edinburgh, in this beautiful Scottish city, we were lucky to find tickets to two concerts in Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. First one was Mike Hart All Star Band playing classic hot jazz from the 20’s and 30’s. It was a beautiful night.

After this American jazz band, the next night, we choosed Scotland’s leading jazz repertory band, Ken Mathieson Classic Jazz Orchestra with a guest from New Orleans, clarinettist Evan Christopher who joined them for this concert.

The second concert was the icing on the cake for us in our last night in Edinburgh. We loved them, we didn’t want the concert finish and it was a perfect way to say to Edinburgh “See you next time!”. 

11 Temmuz 2013 Perşembe


Last time we have been in a Paco Peña concert was years ago, in Istanbul. When we heard that Peña’s flamenco project Quimeras comes to a theatre near to us, we were very excited to hear his guitar again.

Yesterday evening we were in Sadler’s Wells Theatre for Quimeras performed by Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company. Quimeras is an art project about Spain, flamenco, Africa, immigrants from Africa to Spain.

The performance was exquisite, the way they combined the flamenco music and dance with African music and dance was fascinating. It was a big pleasure to hear again the big flamenco master’s guitar. All musicians and dancers were superb but specially dancers Ángel Muñoz and Charo Espino were amazing.

If you are around London in these days, just go! Go and enjoy! 

7 Temmuz 2013 Pazar


Yesterday after shopping in Judy’s Vintage Fair and then going through Brick Lane to take new street art photos popped up there, it looked like a nice idea to make a stop in A.Gold, a beautiful traditional British food shop next to the Old Spitalfields Market.

A.Gold in 42 Brushfield Street, is not just a little shop who sells old style jams, candies, treats, some kitchen accessories, good quality coffees, teas, etc, is also a place where you can enjoy a nice cup of Monmouth coffee, a cold bottle of Victorian lemonade or a freshly made sandwich.Even the sandwich’s taste was pretty basic and nothing special, glad to visit this cozy and old style shop. A.Gold is open Monday-Friday 10.00-16.00 and weekend 11.00-17.00.
In Turkey, the people is resisting since 31 May 2013 to protect their park, democracy and human rights. Court refused Gezi Park demolition.  Yesterday, thousands went to their park with the court decision and the police attacked them with tear gas, watercannon, plastic bullets.
Resist Gezi Park! Resist Turkey!

Poster via #DirenGeziParki

6 Temmuz 2013 Cumartesi

5 Temmuz 2013 Cuma


Yesterday’s kitchen activity was Ottolenghi’s buttermilk and bay leaf tart using the exact recipe at The Guardian except the bay leaf quantity (used 3 instead of 15).

Because of using 28 cm tart  dish for the recipe of 24 cm, our tart was slightly thiner but the taste is amazing and recipe is quite practical:     

For the filling:
285ml buttermilk (one standard supermarket tub)
100ml double cream
15 bay leaves
50g melted unsalted butter
4 eggs
180g caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
½ tsp grated lemon zest

For the pastry:
150g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
35ml ice-cold water

First make the pastry. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the butter and, with your hands, rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the water and bring the mixture together to form a dough. Stop mixing as soon as it comes together, wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge for at least two hours.

Meanwhile, put the buttermilk, cream and bay leaves in a medium saucepan. Place on a very low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time, making sure the buttermilk does not boil and split. If you have a thermometer, use it to check that the milk is not going above 70C. Leave to cool for at least an hour (or overnight, if you have time), then remove the bay leaves and stir in the melted butter.

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Roll out the pastry into a 32cm-diameter circle. Very lightly grease a fluted tart tin that's 24cm in diameter with a 4cm edge, and line with the pastry. Chill for 30 minutes, then line with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, bake for another 10 minutes until golden, then set aside to cool.

Raise the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and airy. Fold in the infused buttermilk, followed by the flour and lemon zest, and mix gently until smooth. Pour into the pastry shell and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down. Take out of the tin and serve at room temperature.