Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Making up for lost time in the kitchen

After the drama of my damaged finger and the pain it caused, meaning I couldn't do much other than sit around moaning for the last few days, It has recovered enough for me to start catch up.

My jobs have rather stacked up, so today I have been cooking all day. We have brought in all the green tomatoes as they are not going to ripen now and I have made green tomato chutney. A friend brought us a load of ? -  not quite sure, they may be mandarins or something similar - from the trees in his garden. So I have made two batches of marmalade, some curd and a syrup to go with the lemon yoghurt cake I have also made. Lemons are abundant here at the moment and very cheap so we bought some from the Fethiye Friday produce market and I have also made some lemon curd.

 Swept away with my cooking hat on I have made an apple cake and some flapjacks between waiting for marmalades to reach setting point and stirring curds. So we will be eating well for the next few days, but not too good for the waistline. Too bad! I always feel hungrier when its colder weather.

Orange curd, olives and lemon curd
We didn't have a good year for olives from our sole olive tree this year, so we purchased some from the market. They are really cheap at the moment. I found some really good black olives for 2.75 tl per kilo. So I have now finished preserving them for next year.

Last year was the first time I had ever tried to prepare olives, so I scoured the internet for advise and eventually settled for trying an Italian method. You smack them with a mallet (I use a wooden spoon, because I don't have a mallet) to split them. It's a really good stress busting exercise! Then they soak in water for three days, replacing the water for fresh at least twice a day. After three days, they are ready to preserve in a brine solution. One quart of water to a half cup of preserving salt. Place them in your jar with whatever other bits you fancy. I put a hefty slice of lemon in the bottom of the jar and then a couple of garlic cloves and a chilli pepper amongst them. Pour over your brine mix, then top with olive oil and put the top on the jar. They are supposed to be ready to eat in a month. Having said that last year we tried them after a month and they were disgusting, so I put them in the back of the cupboard and forgot about them. Then when I was making chutney earlier in the summer I rediscovered them and we tried one and they were fabulous. So we are going to stick to that method now. If it's not broken, don't fix it! I would however, be grateful if someone could tell us the Turkish way of preparing olives.

I have also made a litre of yoghurt in my fairly new yoghurt maker that I bought from Calis car boot. Actually it was a soft cheese maker when I got it home, but  it does a good job with incubating yoghurt too.

David has started phase two of the courtyard garden, starting to build the next raised bed,. This is on the side of the fountain and in the middle, so once that is built the paving can be taken across to the other side. You will notice we don't lack high tech equipment, marking out the new bed with a piece of cut out cardboard! If the weather remains the same we should be on target to finishing our courtyard garden next year, which would be brilliant, but we'll see how it goes. Something is bound to go wrong!

Well for all those of you who had a laugh at my expense about my afflicted finger, it's pay back time. As predicted I am losing the nail and it's flapping around at the moment just joined at the base - GROSS!

At least the pain has pretty much stopped now, and I can do most things again. Except the monster pile of ironing. It's not well enough for that yet.


  1. I soak my olives for two weeks, changing the water every day, before I put them in brine and olive oil and they are ready to eat within a month. I don't think 3 days is enough to get rid of the acrid acid.

  2. That's really interesting. Although I have to say the ones we did last year tasted divine. Maybe that's why they were not ready after one month though. When you say brine and olive oil, what mix do you use? Idiots guide please! Thank you Back to Bodrum