i’m not ready to leave such a beautiful place.
actually, i can leave a beautiful place easily. but a beautiful place with amazing people i adore? time, please stop.
two more weeks.
after the walk in the market, you continue wandering around istanbul and absorbing the atmosphere…wedding whites. although you are in the most conservative area of istanbul where on the streets you see burqas after burqas, in the shop windows you see extravagant wedding dresses. poofs. layers. glitz. the complete opposite. through these dresses, you see a culture that loves to celebrate. to enjoy life. to be with family. to dance. it’s not a side you see often because of stereotypes and media portrayals. but wedding dresses that fun can’t possibly be lying.
obligatory reds and browns. things one sees all over and must do and eat. the ayran yogurt drink which is offered at all your meals. small restaurant cooking. bread. turkish coffee.
red and yellow. your first mosque. unfortunately, it’s under heavy construction. but still, for never being in a mosque before, it’s still nice. and the carpet! it’s odd at first being barefoot in a place that isn’t home, but you get used to it quickly.
blue. the ubiquitous ayran yogurt drink – made by carrefour. you always find it interesting when a foreign company makes a product for a specific region that can’t be found in their home country. it’s just odd seeing the brand on something that you can’t get in the home country. and the laughing cow! even if it’s the lowest of the lows on the cheese rank, it at least makes a foreign country seem more familiar.
yellows. for when you eat a turkish home cooked dinner at night and your only light source are light bulbs. the cake – you’ll never forget it. pistachios. raspberries. bananas. chocolate. all things you love, but never really thought of putting together. until you ate this cake. and you’ll be making an interpretation of it soon. very soon.
it began innocently enough, just two magazines and a book.
but, it grew.
it grew into this (which is actually very restrained, because i can easily acquire this amount of stuff each month… so for eight months, i think i did a very good job.):every letter and postcard that was mailed to me.
every book i bought from each of my travels around europe.
every journal that i filled with ideas, thoughts, and inspirations.
every pamphlet i picked up from the numerous salons and expos and bakeries and restaurants that i visited.
every magazine article i clipped.
all spread out in 9+ little parcels weighing 5 kilos each, on its way to a new home. my home across the atlantic. in texas.
i’m putting all my faith in the french and american postal system – please please please don’t fail me. the things most precious to me are too heavy for me to bring back as one person. so i sent them on a long journey.
but, if they do get lost, it isn’t the end of the world… which is why the one thing i’m not shipping back are all my bank/housing/work/health/etc documents. because in france, paperwork is king. you lose one sheet of anything, and there goes your chance for accomplishing anything. because i hope to come back, i don’t want to risk losing a thing. those will be traveling by suitcase.
so – hopefully – in a few months (no more than 2, i hope) – there will be a very very very excited and happy cathy in texas posting here with the safe return of her books and papers.
but that is not the theme right now. i’m doing a 180 and will be taking a plunge into the colors of istanbul. from each set of photos, i’ve highlighted a few of the colors that i like and added them to the side. plus, they remind me of divider tabs, which brings back memories of my elementary school binder
and you also like spotting your favorite patriotic colors: red, white, and blue. or in french: bleu, blanc, rouge.
browns. another subtle reference to red, white, and blue. the browns of pastries. and a hint of green for the spring that’s on its away. as well as a hint of green for the flood of pistachios that you’ll see later on…
brown and red. the browns and hint of orange in the market vendor’s sweater. a nice thing about istanbul is the willingness of people to pose for photos. in fact, you never ever ask to make a portrait, but if someone poses automatically, you go ahead and step away from your usual style.
plus! you discover the backpack basket. they have the same function as the wheeled shopping bags in europe, but it’s these slight differences that define a culture. *more on this later
your eyes are wide open. there’s just so much to see. to do. to taste. to talk about. to notice. all the colors grab your attention constantly, and you can’t wait to see what else istanbul will reveal to you! but the beginning has already left a strong and delightful impression.
but first we are going back in time back to february to visit istanbul. april vacation will have to wait!
if i ever ask you this question:
what’s your favorite fruit?
you can be pretty sure something this will soon follow:such as a: chocolate passion fruit ganache tart topped with pineapples roasted in a banana caramel sauce as well as roasted strawberries in balsamic vinegar
i just love finding out what people love, and then making something derived from what they tell me.
as for the french title…
my translation attempt: pâte sucrée avec une ganache à la fruit de la passion, des ananas rôtis au sauce caramel banane, et des fraises rôtis à la vinaigre balsamique
translation correction #1 by a french friend: OMGWTFBBQ AWESOME PIE
translation correction #2 by same french friend: pâte sucrée garnie d'une ganache aux fruits de la passion, d'ananas rôtis à la sauce caramel banane, et de fraises rôties au vinaigre balsamique
my oral skills may have sky rocketed (although that pesky french r still trips me up), but my writing has remained stagnant, as seen by the correction.
You’ll have to decide what order to do things. For me, it was best to line the tart pans and bake them. Then make the caramel sauce for the pineapples. Then roast the pineapples. Then make the ganache. Then roast the strawberries. But everything was a blur, because perhaps i was slicing strawberries when i was waiting for the chocolate to melt, or dicing butter as the sugar was melting into a thick caramel… you’ll find your rhythm, no worries.
- 125g sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 220ml water
- 1/2 mashed banana
- 1 pineapple, peeled and diced
passion fruit ganache
- 10 passion fruits
- 400g milk chocolate, melted
- 80g butter, diced and at room temperature
- 300g heavy cream
- 1000g strawberries
- 4tbs raw sugar
- 2tbs balsamic vinegar
for the pineapples: caramelize the sugar in a pan over medium heat. then slice open the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and dump the entire thing into the caramel. make sure to keep stirring so nothing burns. then quickly add your 220ml of water and step back as quickly as possible so hot caramel doesn’t splash onto you. bring it to a boil, remove it from the heat, and then add in your mashed banana. mix it all together, pour it into a container, let it cool, and dip your pinky in for a quick taste. you can make it a day ahead and store it in your fridge. or use it right away. in any case, when you’re ready, roast your diced pineapple pieces with this caramel banana sauce in a 350F/180C oven for about 40 minutes. once that’s done, let it cool in a container in your fridge.
for the ganache: cut open your passion fruits and scrape out the insides over a sieve and press out as much juice as possible. but don’t trash the pulp. you can eat it, seeds and all, or you can save it for something else. place it into a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and then pour it over your melted chocolate. once the mixture has reached 40C, stir in your diced butter until it has all melted and there are no more butter chunks. then pour in your heavy cream and stir it together. then pour this tangy chocolate mixture into your tart shells and let them set up in the fridge.
for the strawberries: slice your strawberries in half. in a large bowl, toss them with raw sugar and the balsamic vinegar. spread this mixture out in a cake pan (make sure there are walls!) and roast in a 350F/180C oven for about 40 minutes. it will be quite juicy so strain the juice out from the solids. don’t trash the juice – you can easily make anything with it, or if you are lazy like me, add in the passion fruit pulp that wasn’t used, buy some vanilla ice cream, and pour the strawberry balsamic vinegar passion fruit sauce over it for a simple but tasty dessert.
so in conclusion, if i am asking you for your favorite fruit… or favorite cheese… or favorite anything, there’s usually a very tasty motive not too far behind.