And indeed we were. This was yesterday when Nurhayat invited our old group of seven or eight ex-teachers from the English Department of the local high school round for tea. She had been trying and trying to get us all together – a difficult task with everybody’s busy lives – but she didn’t give up till she did.
Here is her sofra or table of offerings, and this is only the tuzlu or savoury part which every Turkish teaparty starts off with. Don’t forget the tatlıs/sweet things were to come! I love the bright colours of her provencale cloth which set the food off so well. My favourite was the mısır ekmeği/corn bread which she made from an old recipe of her mother’s. Nurhayat’s family hails from İzmir, by the sea, and this bread had an Aegean touch as the ingredients included both olives and walnuts. It was both delicious and light.
There was also kısır which was special as it was made with brown bulgur which we had never seen before, and moistened with unsweetened pomegranate molasses. The böreks were sprinkled with seeds which she baked in the oven as opposed to frying. She is very into healthy cooking which I really appreciated.
The day before, I enjoyed another lovely afternoon: my German friend Crystel invited our staunch group of friends who have been meeting once a month for about 15 years, round for her traditional Christmas teaparty. You know how well Germans do Christmas and she always excels herself!
If you want any recipes, just let me know and I will ask Nurhayat or Crystel! They will be delighted if you ask!