Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Turks

I had a lovely weekend with friends, food and wine. Friday morning Wendy and myself went all the way back to Kenmare via Kilkenny to stop at Avoca where we spent a 'little' money and had lovely cake (the poor lady behind the counter wasn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier and got seriously mixed up - she charged us €33 for a latte, tea, scone and piece of cake) and we enjoyed the view.

The rest of the day was spent in bliss as well - a cheese plate and a bottle of Costieres de Nimes helped a lot.

Saturday I was invited to Kate's housewarming party. We were supposed to paint the picket fence but we didn't want to disturb the natural beauty of the fence (if you need an excuse for anything, ask me.....I am pretty good in finding one :-). Kate's house is a lovely old farm house near Kilbrittain with a lovely view over the beach. It takes her and her two dogs, Wellington and Leopold, about 3 minutes walk to the beach. Am I jealous.....of course not.......grrrrr. She prepared a lovely BBQ with marinated salmon steaks, chicken and the old favourite - The Burger -. everyone tucked in and the wine and beer was flowing. The sun was shining and nothing really bugged us other than the bugs...(was eaten alive).

Sunday was Turkish Day as I invited a couple of friends around for dinner. I wanted to see if I can cook a 4-course dinner for under €30 (haven't calculated the costs yet so I am not sure if I have achieved the impossible). Anyhow, I decided to cook Turkish food. First of all, I used to live in Turkey when I was a spring chicken and loved it. I loved the food, the people and of course the sun. So I tried to keep the food as traditional as possible and as it is a habit of mine, made everything from scratch (just as I learned it when I lived in Izmir). The traditional meal in Turkey doesn't actually consists of several courses but of a loaded table. But being me.....I went the whole monty.

I started with a Meze Platter including stuffed vineleaves (totally out of practise rolling these little thingis), stuffed peppers, börek (filo pastry stuffed with Turkish cheese and herbs), olives, cacik (yogurt with cucumber and garlic) etc. The soup was a lentil soup - dead easy to make and on every menu in every restaurant that serves Turkish food. The main course was kadin budu köfte (ladies thighs - you have to love the poetic way the Turks name their dishes) served with couscous salad and green beans with tomatoes. With that I served yogurt. The dessert was an almond milk dessert sprinkled with pistachios. Jan didn't like the dessert and apparently I made the köfte too dry (should have used lamb instead of beef). But apart from that, I think the dinner was a success.

While interviewing Julian for this blog, we were chatting about new suppliers of Bubble Brothers and he was all excited about Domaine Du Haut Perron, Sonnemot 2008 - a rose that was full of flavour and promise of more to come which it fulfilled. Amazing wine and for €13.90 a bargain. This vineyard is also good for reds and whites...check out Bubble Brothers for more. But since I had only one bottle (yeah I know, very well thought through), I opened my last bottle of Costieres de Nimes and everyone loved the wine as much as I do. A medium bodied wine with a smooth finish. It was able to handle the garlic in the food quite well. But since this was my last bottle (I know I know...I am not getting better with the wine planning) I thought we try a wine that I got as a gift (I am not sure who gave me the wine) which was a bit of a mistake. First of all, it didn't have time to breathe and secondly it was a Cabernet Sauvignon - my pet hate. Ravendale Coonawarra 2005 needs a lot of time to develop - not that it improves the taste too much. It is a bitter wine from start to finish, very surprising for the Cabernet but that is the only way to describe the wine. So I offered the wine to my dad the day later and guess what.....he loves it but then, I am not sure if his tastebuds survived his last stew where he included 3 bulbs (yes, I am saying bulbs) of garlic and our homegrown chilli.

Music in the background was Sufi music (normally played for special occasions with the dervishes). Next dinner will be French (and no, I am not going to invite any French people.....;-). Watch this space for more tales from my kitchen.


Kevin said...

Hi Elke,

I've never tried turkish food, but it sounds nice.
I've been lucky enough also to try that BB Rose , it really is excellent. I've also tried a lovely light and fresh malbec by the same producer, great wines all round.

Elke said...

Hi Kevin,

Yes, the wine was excellent and I think I am going to try the other grapes. Watch this space :-)