Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Vegetable Spaghetti


I'm not keen on kitchen gadgets as there is not much you can't do with a set of sharp sharp knives, a sturdy mixer and blender, but I had great fun yesterday with a "Spiralo"
My daughter has been told to cut down on carbohydrates, a hard task for a working girl keen on pasta, so I bought this contraption for her.  Before I cart it back to Turkey, I thought I should give it a go. It is a multipurpose slicer, but it can very cleverly turn vegetables into long strings of "spaghetti".
I made a simple tomato sauce with 2 skinned beef tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, half a leek, and a glug of olive oil. Two courgettes were turned into strings in seconds, and could probably have been eaten raw, but I steamed them for 3 minutes to heat them up and soften them slightly.  A handful of grated cheese and a few basil leaves topped off the dish.  It was very satisfyiing to be able to twirl the courgette spaghetti on the fork, and with a meat sauce, would be an even tastier low carb dinner. 
I think I might have to buy another one for my kitchen. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Hoopoe Excuse.

It is proving difficult to write a blog about Bodrum this month as I've only been there for 48 hours in the last 30 days, but looking through my photo album has provided inspiration.  This photograph is a recent favourite.  I was siting on the terrace in June, reading a book, when this bird swooped over my head and perched on a nearby pine.  Luckily, I was reading on my ipad so I switched apps and took this shot. I hadn't seen a hoopoe for a while so was very excited to catch this one on film.  I always feel that I'm living somewhere exotic when a hoopoe visits. 
The sight also took me back over 20 years to our first weeks in the house. I was so overwhelmed by the number of birds in the garden that I used to spend most of my time with binoculars and no time with a duster or vacuum cleaner.  I'm not very house-proud anyway but with the wildlife distracting me, the house was getting progressively more untidy.  When my old friend Jane visited, she berated me for my messy house. I stood my ground, giving the hoopoes in the garden as an excuse.  She has never let me forget this and blames hoopoe-watching for anything I forget to do.  
I'm using the hoopoe excuse now - there are plenty of jobs to do in my mother's house in Dorset, but I'm writing about this beautiful crested bird instead.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Derek Charles Sadler 1926 - 2014

My father died on Friday.  I should be extremely sad, but I'm not.  He went the way he would have wanted, although I'm sure he felt he had a good 5 years in hand.  He spent the last week of his life doing the thing he loved most; paragliding.   There aren't many folk, well on their way to 90, who can take off from a Dorset cliff and fly like the birds he so admired.  He wasn't a religious man and his aim was to come back in the next life as a buzzard.  He had two reasons for this:
1. So he could spend his whole time following the thermals that keep the birds effortlessly flying.
2. So he could shit on the people he didn't like. (His words not mine).

He was not the sort of man who could have put up with a long drawn-out terminal illness so a heart attack in his chair at home on Friday was the best  way he could go.

If you are holidaying in Dorset,  watch out for any low flying buzzards with a gleam in their eye. Especially if you are a speed cop, politician or traffic warden.
My father and my Aunty Joy with their mother, Winifred c. 1927

Dad's visit to The Turkish Bakery

Dad's beetroot and apple bread recipe

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Up North

It was 30 degrees today.  So what, you say. Normal temperatures for July in the Aegean. But I'm in Sweden! 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

No Shit Bitch

"No shit bitch"  has become my motto for the summer months. I pass these 3 words, as I climb up the hill in Hydra, on about the 180th step I think.  I keep meaning to count the total number, but the ability to sweat, walk and remember at the same time deserts me after 150 steps. I'm also busy trying not to lose face as an octogenarian or two overtake me with a friendly "Yassou" and not a hint of perspiration on their brows. There is not much graffiti on Hydra, but I can't say the same for the mainland. I don't like to draw comparisons between Greece and Turkey, but the amount of urban scrawling can't be ignored on the a Western side of the Aegean. It is everywhere and makes for unpleasant viewing on the bus or metro ride from the airport to Athens or Piraeus. 

I'm a great fan of Banksy because his pieces make us either laugh or think but the majority of the stuff I pass by on the bus just signals a society in decline. 

Occasionally there are attempts that look as if the perpetrator has artistic tendencies but most are rather sad and depressing.  I hate mindless graffiti so I'm not sure why I'm so fond of the "No Shit Bitch" tag. It may be the beautiful turquoise shutters it's written on but it's probably just the lack of oxygen getting to my brain as I wheeze and pant up the hill.