What about dinner cooked in 2 min? I am not talking fancy gadgets. I only mean humble little fishes plus a bunch of greens, sharp knife and red-hot oven! The meal that comes as a result is so quick that before you know you become addicted to making and eating it. I can tell because I have been cooking it all winter. And instead of simply giving you the recipe I want to share with you three simple principles I follow when I make a quick dinner (=very often).
Shoes polished and hair brushed, it’s me going to a weekly market! Besides the festive mood, I take along a handful of linen bags and a backpack. My heavy photo camera usually stays behind and weeps.
Last Friday in Sapanca it was my mother-in-law shopping at the local market. As baba was ferrying the bags she was amassing with the speed of light back to the car, I was strolling along the stalls with the camera in my hand. Before the winter is over, I am going to show you what it looks like here, produce-wise. And explain how to shop at a local market in Turkey.
Through running my Istanbul cooking classes and food walks, I’ve become increasingly aware of many ways to eat. Vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, omnivore, locavore, gluten-free, raw, low carb, low calorie, kosher, halal and many more plus their various hybrids.
They say you are what you eat, but it is not quite so. Whether you eat one way or another out of choice, religious requirements, medical condition, or nutritionist recommendations, it does not define you as a person per se. Just like through living abroad for over 10 years I have learned to never judge people by their nationality, now I know better than putting labels on people because of their food choices.
Now and then I wonder what if I run out of recipes, tips and most importantly – stories to share with you. Turkish recipes, Russian recipes, recipes of other delicious foods, bread baking, Istanbul food shopping, eating in Istanbul and everything else I blog about: could these topics be indefinite? What if one day I exhaust my creativity by telling you everything I know?
Do you believe in telepathy? The mere possibility of communication without sending or receiving a message through any medium known to the human kind? I would have been much more sсeptical about this idea unless me and my mother-in-law communicated that way. We don’t see each other often: she is not leaving the kitchen of her countryside restaurant, and I am keeping duty at my kitchen in Istanbul. We rarely talk on the phone. But too often when I come to the countryside I discover she’s cooked exactly the same dish I made in Istanbul the day before.
Me in Istanbul and my parents in Russia started baking bread at home around the same time. While I approached the matter scientifically and studied one of the most fundamental books in the field, read home bakers’ forums and watched hours of video tutorials, my parents pursued the intuitive path.
How do you feel about peeking at other people’s kitchen pantries? This is the first thing I do when allowed to somebody’s kitchen! What can be more fascinating than looking at your friend’s curated collection of jars, boxes, bags of the cooking condiments you also use, you know but have never ventured to cook with or you never knew existed? I love asking questions and hearing stories about how people source their ingredients and what they cook with them. A week ago Alex, my friend from San Francisco living in Istanbul, invited me over to have a look at her pantry.