I initially thought I would borrow Özgür’s mom for a month, enjoy her food and learn a couple of cooking secrets on the way. 1.5 years down the line Zeliha Irez became my mother-in-law, or simply anne (mother) how I call her, and I could not wish for anyone better. To express my fascination I often blog about my Turkish mother-in-law.
A woman of many achievements, talents and incredible charisma Zeliha Hanım is a former national athlete. She won the Turkish Championship at the distance of 800 meters when she was 4 months pregnant with Özgür and the Balkan Championship a year later.
A decade ago anne bought a land at a hilltop of Sapanca, a village which in time have became a trendy weekend getaway destination. Her house grew into a small hotel and a restaurant known as Zeliş Çiftliği where people from Istanbul and Ankara drive for fantastic food and peace of mind. Anne makes her own bread, jams, cheese, pickles, sausages and what not! Her cooking repertoire covers much of the Ottoman empire and modern day Turkey – just like her family roots spread all over Egypt, Romania, Greece and Turkish Mediterranean.
If you are around Istanbul you should definitely spare a day trip and come for her signature breakfast or dinner. You can book by calling +905336125952.