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Summer Time

Sep 8, 2013

Ricotta CookiesRicotta Cookies

I better hurry back to the house and brew some tea before mom wakes up from her afternoon nap. Because I don't like taking orders you know. When I'm told to do something, I'm mysteriously inclined to do the opposite. If I'm asked to brew tea, I feel like not brewing it at all. My mom says I got this peculiar ''contradictoriness'' from my father. It can't be from her anyway, she is mellow. We two are certainly not. 

When I hear mom's slippers click the stairs as she comes down I will call out to her: 'moooom! I brewed the tea!'. Then I'll serve the tea, which is whole another affair as everybody has their own habit: one takes it with sugar one without, one drinks it in a cup the other with a turkish glass. Dad wants it in a cup and uses sweetener. He always asks me whether I added his sweetener; although I always say 'yes, father', he keeps asking me every single time.

It's still the ricotta cookies I love the most in our local bakery. I had figured out how to bake them last summer but I really can't bother in this heat. Both mom and dad moved on to new favourites, dad likes walnut cookies whereas mom likes cherry filled ones. Before I head to the bakery I take orders: ''ok, three cherry-filled cookies for you mom, four walnuts and one bitter almond cookie for you dad, three more walnuts for aunt number one, three curds for aunt number two which makes a total of seven with my five.'' 

Corn

The spectacularly tasty local corn loses its shape in august here, let me tell you. It peaks in july. I go on and on about it while I fish for another one from the boiling pot: ''these corns are useless compared to those we had last month''. Yet I eat more corn than anyone else, sometimes stealing from the others' share. I'm a little greedy when it comes to corn I admit.

LokumLokum - Turkish Delight

Bıdık appears at the gate with a cricket in her mouth. I hate this habit of her. When last summer she appeared with a baby bird, I had lost my mind. This year no such incident so far thankfully, but I wish she'd leave the crickets alone too. She catches one everyday and brings home as a gift for her disabled brother Lokum. The poor cricket buzzes as Lokum bounces it around with his paws. This sight used to give me stomach cramps, now I'm used to it.

Turkish TabboulehKısır - Turkish Tabbouleh

Kısır

I return from the market with plenty of summer greens. Is it the perfect occasion to make zucchini fritters and tabbouleh or what? I'll do the preps: I rinse and chop fresh mint, parsley, dill and spring onions, grate zucchinis and peel tomatoes whose exposed flesh, so red and fresh, makes me happy. I am finally one of those grown-ups who find happiness in the most minute details in life. But wait, when did this happen exactly, my transformation to adulthood, while I'm still the kid in the family?

Tomato SauceTomato-garlic-olive oil sauce for fried summer vegetables

Fried Summer VegetablesFried zucchini, eggplant and green pepper

Tomatoes And Summer Vegetables

I let mom do the rest of the work because everything tastes better when her hands touch it. While she assembles the batter and do the frying. I keep an eye on her in case I witness a tip she had  ''forgotten'' to tell me before. So far she executes everything like she had taught me: she gives the mixture a stir before she takes a spoonful and flattens the fritters when she lays them in oil. Oh but wait. ''Mom, did you add four eggs? Isn't it supposed to be three?''

Lokum goes missing again. Our yard doesn't seem to be big enough for the little lad as though he doesn't spend the winter in an eight square meter apartment. He clumsily climbs up the fence dad had built to keep him from running away and throws himself into one of the neighbouring yards. I always find him sniffing a mini pine tree. But now, I can't find him anywhere. It's mid-day and suffocating hot. I feel faint after two hours of hopeless search and start panicking. Tears start wetting my eyes a little as I contemplate the possibility that he might have gone too far to be able to make it back before getting dehydrated. 

Lokum

An elderly man is picking pomegranates at his garden in one of the houses down below. He turns to me with interrogating eyes when he realizes I'm scanning his garden.''Excuse me sir'', I say, ''have you seen a gray-white cat with a wobbly walk?'' I can see from the way he squints he is forcing his memory: ''yes'' he says ''I have, it was a gray ... taxi''. Assuming he had misheard me I spell out: ''no sir, a white-gray CAT''. I can tell he is confused. Then, I suddenly realise that this is the man our neighbour had told us about, who had disappeared for a day and was found on top of a hill after leaving his home to buy bread. I panic to the idea of having caused him another matter of confusion, say hastily ''oh, so you haven't seen it, thank you very much'' and leave him behind.

Lokum The Turkish Delight

I decide to check the hotel nearby whose poolside is neighbouring our compound wall. I ask permission at the reception: ''can I scan the poolside, my cat's been missing?'' I spot Lokum immediately in the shade of a palm tree. His head starts shaking as he sees me approach: that's what he does when he gets excited, his head wobbles. Then he surrenders by lying on his back and lets me pet him.

Imagine how happy you'd feel, had you found your disabled cat. That's how happy I am.

BıdıkBidik

Now it's past lunch time, I suggest an early dinner with meatballs stocked up in the fridge perfect for an effortless meal. I confidently tell the rest: ''you go ahead open the beers, I'll peel and soak the potatoes while I fry the meatballs. I will join you in a second.'' I am now the meatball expert like it wasn't only three months ago when I was cocncoting my first meatballs ever. I join them with the platter full with the perfect combo. Even I'm impressed. Now that I can handle a whole meal by myself I can't be the kid in the house anymore, I am getting old I'm telling you.

 
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