Friday, October 18, 2013

You've got to be kidding me!!

"This week saw the celebration of Kurban Bayramı, the Feast of the Sacrifice and once more, the houses on the site began to fill as the owners came for the holiday.

All along the roadside, there were sheep and goats penned, dreading Tuesday. They were not the only ones. Even though I am an complete and utter carnivore, I just like to see the meat on the plate. I don't like the very obvious reminders of where it came from. I guess the horses are the only ones that are safe.

Mum and I resolved to stay indoors for the morning when most of the killing is done, only venturing out into the garden in the afternoon.

Our caretaker went home to his village to see his parents and wish them "Iyi Bayramlar, Happy Holidays" He was away overnight. When he returned, the car was full to the gills with eggs, tomatoes, onions aubergines, peppers, watermelons, melons, honey, olive oil and two shoulders of lamb.  I was presented with these and told to cook them. Just to be sure I checked...." This is lamb?" . "No, no it is even better it is goat!" "Dear God in Heaven, what am i going to do?" Why does my head have a problem with the idea of eating goat! why should it be any different to eating lamb or veal or chicken? But everything in me is resistant to eating goat.  How will I cook it?  Thinking I might escape I  pleaded no room in my fridge.

It seemed I was expected to empty the car and sort out all the vegetables. While I knew I wouldn't have to buy much for the next couple of weeks he was told I was not a Turkish woman and most certainly wasn't his wife! 

He pleaded extreme tiredness was after his trip. He had gone home and visited all his family and friends and got very little sleep. And when you know the Turks,  you will know that if they are tired or have a cold, they usually seem like they are one step from the grave. Major drama queens! So I relented.....a little.....and helped him with what needed to be put away immediately. He could haul the enormous watermelons the next day. The goat went to his house. The sooner this man finds a wife the better.

The next day, he arrived at my door with a very pleased look on his face. "Look what I've done," he exclaimed, and handed me a huge bag of mince. There must have been 3 kilos of it. "Oh oh, the goat is back," I thought. But at least this time it is minced. 

He told me it was beef and lamb and goat mixed together. Now if have often made köfte, Turkish meatballs using a mixture of lamb and beef but never before with goat. I'll just add lots of spices and hopefully it will disguise the goat. Pity he told me or I would have eaten them quite happily and never known the difference. So the mince had to be divided onto small packets to be frozen so he could cook it with pasta at a later date and I was left with half of it to make the meatballs.

It was then he produced another packet of meat, "biftek, beefsteak," he announced happily. The butcher had boned  it. I must have made a mistake yesterday, I thought it was all goat he had brought back. "Biftek?" I asked smiling. "Like biftek, the butcher said," he answered" It's good meat, it's goat."

There was no escaping my destiny! So this morning, I  trimmed, cut and diced the goat and it is bubbling happily on the cooker. Guess what is on the menu this evening? If there are further blog posts you will know I have survived the experience, if not well that will be a story for someone else to tell.

And of course, then there was the mince, my freezer is now full of beef/lamb/goat meatballs. You've got to be kidding!

Afiyet olsun. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New beginnings

It has been so long since I have posted it is hard to know where to start. The past year has flown by and I have been constantly on the go. 

I let a lot of things slip, even though my adventures continued. I did not blog, mainly because i felt guilty for not keeping up with reading other blogs and posting comments. It all became a little overwhelming. I also didn't seem to find time for my photography. I gave up going to my camera club. I let so many things that I enjoy slip away.

 On the positive side I visited Strawczyn in Poland, did a teacher exchange to Hacilar, Kayseri,  had a girlie weekend in Cappadocia, something i had never done before, and most importantly I  reached the age of 55. 

With 35 years service as a primary school teacher ( in the same small village school ) I qualified for early retirement. I had been planning  for this from the day I realised I could not be a stay-at-home Mum. 

I spent my summer in Turkey, and  four of the six other members of my book club came and stayed for a week, another girlie occasion.......I've even begun to paint my nails!! Did I mention I was an only girl with five brothers? They did their best to corrupt me and had me drinking cocktails. They tasted just like fruit juice. Mmmmmm. But one a night was my limit. Did we read books? Ehhhhh......not so many, but we went on a boat trip, watched the ballet in an outdoor amphitheatre and of course we shopped.

  A Turkish friend, his wife and little daughter stayed with me for a week. I was constantly mistaken for the grandmother. Ah well, I am a pensioner now! Good practise for the future.

After a short visit home, I am now back in Turkey for the month of October. I am here with my 87 year old Mum and we are enjoying some uninterrupted mother daughter time.

So why did I put pen to paper ( figure of speech, but it sounds better than finger to keyboard) and return to my blog this evening?

Well, I've retired, the new camera is bought, the knitting needles are clicking, 18 kilos have been shed and today my application to volunteer for a month, next February, in a school in Beruwala, Sri Lanka, has just been accepted. 

Cilgin Kiz is back, a new chapter is beginning and I'm going to blog again, for the reasons I first began blogging, to record my adventures for myself and my family. Anyone who wishes to drop in and see what i'm up to is welcome.

Did I mention I'm thinking of coming home through Nepal?