August 17th, 2009
Unfortunately we already spent another weekend and heading to our brand new manic Monday very fast. As the song of “The Bangles”, hit of 1986, says;
“It’s just another manic Monday, I wish it was Sunday.
Cause that’s my funday, my I don’t have to runday.”
I tell the same to myself, I just want to live Sunday again and again with all the fun and relief it brings. You would understand easily that I spent the day out of the city, in a peaceful place making you forget all your worries just with a touch of summer breeze coming from the sea, in an island close to Istanbul but far away from its rush and hectic daily life. It takes almost forty five minutes to reach Burgazada by ferries operating on a timetable but if you also have the habit of being late for scheduled events like us, you may take an alternative way to go there, small boats travelling back and forth every half an hour. These small boats are a lifesaver for latecomers but I have to add one more thing; they toss wild enough in windy days to become a complete substitute for a thrilling ride in an amusement park. It is also funny to get wet with a massive wave and watching all scared people running to take shelter in the closed part of the deck. Even though Istanbul is a city surrounded by water, most of its residents are not fond of sea. I believe only one out of five people know how to swim including the retired ladies in their 60s who swim like a side-engined steamboat making you feel they are about to stop any time soon. Despite the striking statistics, there is a great deal of brave hearts to jump on and off these boats every day.
After a quite wavy voyage we were on the island and had a long way to climb up to our dearest friend Ceren’s family house. Any sort of engined vehicle is not allowed to operate on the island so you just inhale the oxygen with a little bit of horse shit flavor when a horse-drawn carriage passes by your side (I said no engined vehicles but I did not say no vehicles at all).
Road to their house hosts beautiful mansions arousing your jealousy against their households and allows you to enjoy the fabulous view of Istanbul. When we got there, they were preparing the fish for grill and making the final retouches on their master pieces, all Mediterranean style light dishes and an amazing green salad with fresh herbs. In a short time all of us got carried away with the pictures we took during our vacation in NY and guess what? Mr. Oguz’s special bulgur with fresh herbs was almost about to burn and he was just lucky enough to get it off the stove making it a little bit caramelized, an accident with a happy ending I may call. After devouring all of the dishes accompanied with warm and enjoyable table talks in a terrace overlooking an amazing scene, it was time for us to set off.
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August 11th, 2009
What a day! What a hot, what a rainy, what a windy day as we, people in İstanbul had in the weekend. This is an interesting place promising you lots of different experiences even the daily weather is concerned.
We went out to the seaside for running in the morning time wearing our 30 SPF sunscreen lotion, shorts and sunglasses and guess what happened? Right after we completed the running track under the harsh sunlight with sweat on our temples, sky turned gray and wind started to blow in less than three minutes time and we got soaked like we were just out of the shower with our sporting apparels. Thanks god our sunscreen lotion was waterproof!
As soon as we got home, we had our traditional weekend breakfast with all the delicacies, different cheeses, an omelette scrambled with milk, goat cheese and fresh ground pepper, homemade jams and a biscotti style homemade bread (I deliberately used the phrase “biscotti style” since the intention was not to make a biscotti at all but we cooked the previous days’ homemade bread again in the oven just to make it crusty and hot. By the way the word “biscotti” is quite meaningful when you consider the word “bis” which in Italian means twice and “cotto” meaning cooked.)
After passing some time by chit chatting, reading newspapers and magazines (for sure about food), it was time for the kitchen of Oz to start operation. I would like to come up with a delicious recipe and also something I could use the fresh spinach leaves I bought from the open market the day before so that they won’t fade away and lose their taste. I had also a package of ricotta cheese I bought before; looking at me aimlessly each and every time I open the refrigerator’s door. After getting lost in my hand written recipe notebook, I decided to make a tart with the ingredients in hand. It is quite simple and clear to prepare however requires a little bit of manual skills to spread the dough with equal thickness everywhere. If not the first time, you’ll master it on your second trial but I assure you the taste will make you pass over all imperfections in terms of form.