I guess the teaching bug instilled in me, while watching my mum teaching and then while I was doing my degree on English Language and Literature at the University of Marmara, Istanbul (anyone from Marmara University? 🙂 I used to teach English language privately to secondary school pupils. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to make a little difference to their learning and infuse love of languages to the children.
Now living in England, it is a joy to carry on the classes. Many folks still think Turkish cuisine is based on mostly kebabs, and they are pleasantly surprised to see the many wonderful vegetable courses, like vegetables cooked in olive oil, refreshing salads and mezes we have too.
A special aspect of the cooking classes is a chance to talk about the freshness of ingredients and importance of seasonality in Turkish cuisine. In Turkey food is bought fresh daily, and each meal of the day would be taken into account, with as much attention paid to breakfast, lunch and dinner. As well as having a balance of nutrients, the food should also be appealing to the eye, and of course tasty. Turkish cuisine is healthy and nutritious and the Turks are purist in their culinary taste; their dishes bring out the flavor of the main ingredient rather than hiding it behind sauces.
Another aspect of the class worth noting is a chance for the folks to “taste” Turkish hospitality and culture. Today in Turkey food and mealtimes is still the hub of everyday life. Always time is taken to share meals with family members or friends, to relax and enjoy conversation. Everyone wishes each other “afiyet olsun”, literally meaning “may you be healthy.” This is followed by a tribute to the creator of the meal, “elinize saglik”, meaning “health to your hands”. Guests are always received with the highest cordial hospitality and it is believed that no one should ever leave a Turkish table without feeling satisfied and happy! And I must say, the classes are such a special time for me to connect with home, and I am grateful for these moments, I so look forward to them!:)
Well, my next Turkish cooking class on Saturday, June 16th is almost sold out -many thanks to all the folks signed up!- There are only few spots left; if you are in the area and would like to join in, do please let me know. You will be showered with Turkish hospitality, delicious food blended with history and stories from my homeland.
If you can’t, here are some of the courses and recipe links from the class menu, for you to have a go at home. They are so easy to make, healthy, delicious and fun to share:
Spinach and Cheese fillo pastry – Ispanakli, peynirli borek (a wonderful appetizer, great for healthy lunches too; freezes very well)
Baked Turkish meatballs with summer vegetables (a real crowd pleaser one pot dish, freezes well too) – Firinda Sebzeli Izmir Kofte
Yoghurt and cucumber dip with dried mint – A wonderful accompaniment to any grilled meat, roasted vegetables and casseroles. It is also a great party food, for dipping veg like carrots.
Turkish Coffee – Our ultimate, fragrant coffee, a great experience. A little sip of Turkish coffee is enough to transport you to that quaint café in Turkey!
I do hope you enjoy the recipes and have a chance to go at them sometime. I would love to hear your experience with Turkish food (or your travels inTurkey), so please drop a line if you can.
And Here Comes the Awards; One Lovely Blog and Versatile Blogger
Peri’s Spice Ladle has again been very kind to nominate Ozlem’s Turkish Table with Versatile Blogger and One Lovely Blog Awards. Thank you very much Peri! Peri’s Spice Ladle is a wonderful gateway to the fascinating India and Indian cuisine, I look forward to her posts every week. Please check out this great blog.
The Rules of Acceptance:
- Thank the person who gave you this award
- Include a link to their blog
- Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
- Nominate those bloggers for the Awards
- Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
- In the same post, include this set of rules.
- Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
I’d like to nominate the following blogs (some of which I am delighted to discover recently) for the Versatile Blogger Award and One Lovely Blog Award, I very much enjoy reading their posts, travels, recipes, photos…Please check them out :
Inside A British Mum’s Kitchen
I wouldn’t like to bore you about 7 interesting things about me again, though here is the link if you’d like to refresh your memory 🙂 One more thing I forgot to add on about myself in that list is that, my love for music. I was a (proud!) radio DJ in the late 1990s in Istanbul (can you believe??) The private radio stations just started by then, and I was thrilled to have a chance to host two radio programs for Kent FM with my dear friend, uber music guru Eralp (great memories, Eralp!!:) We did Friday Night Fever Show on Friday nights and Golden Oldies on Sunday morning, happy days!!
Hey Özlem, its very nice to meet you and thanks for the lovely award. Its so good to find a Turkish food blog in English..I would love to make a post about your blog in the coming days if it is OK with you..In the meantime as a terrible cook, I am following your blog to learn couple tips..
Merhaba Aysegul 🙂
I feel the same, it is soo lovely to find another Turkish blogger sharing the passion of Turkey and Turkish food in English too!! I would be delighted if you’d like to make a post about my blog, thank you very much 🙂
oh wow, Özlem! This is wonderful! Thank you so much for this!!! I hope I won’t take as long to blog about it as the last time! BTW I love this post with its lovely photos – you write so well too. Thanks xx!
Thank you so much Claudia! Your blog is such an inspiration for me and you gave a great, genuine dose of Turkey to us all, much appreciated! Enjoy your well deserved awards!!:) xx Ozlem
Wonderful wonderful post, Ozlem! So much lovely information, delicious food like the spinach filo and Turkish coffee:) your classes are informative and you are a great teacher…your pleasant personality backed by a teaching background is the key! What beautiful pictures of Turkish markets and food:) love it all…
And congratulations on the awards, absolutely well deserved. I am such a fan of your Turkish Table! And now I know one more thing about you, dear friend, radio jockey! That sounds like so much fun:) we share a love of music and food…
Oh Peri, it is joy on this foodie journey together, many thanks for your kind words : ) Next time I see you, I’ll bore you with my old DJ tapes!!:)
Look forward to those tapes:) and our times together…
Oh I love your blog!!! thanks so much for leaving such a lovely message and the award!! I will link back to your blog on my next post – in the next few days. Wish I could take some Turkish cooking classes – fabulous pictures –
Thank you very much Mary, you are very welcome! I love British pies, puddings and all and now I will be getting them first hand from your blog, look forward to your posts!
Your cookery classes look great! What a wonderful food and I love the look of that coffee, so creamy and full of flavour.
Turkey must be so interesting to visit, surely one day I will manage to get there!
Thank you so much for the awards, very much appreciated!
Thank you, I think you will really enjoy visiting Turkey – a feast for all senses!! And Turkish coffee is great, very fragrant, yet not that heavy. Maybe we can enjoy one together sometime, let me know if you come along to London area. You are very welcome for the awards, well deserved 😉
Thanks so much for thinking of my blog – I’m truly honoured. I’m still learning lots from your blog – I’m planning to make mercimekli bulgur kofte tomorrow. I’m really sorry that I can’t make it along on the 16th. By the way, I’m really impressed by your radio DJ past.
We share a love of music too – at some point, I will bore you with my DJ tapes, fun times. So glad you are enjoying the recipes, good luck with the mercimekli bulgur kofte, do let me know if I can help 🙂
Special thanks for teaching us how to prepare delicious, easy-to-cook healthy foods appealing not only to taste but also to the eyes 🙂 All the photos & the way recipes are presented are very attractive indeed, showing each step of the cooking in details…putting you in the mood of cooking to share with your family and loved ones…I shall keep following your lovely & inspiring blog with pleasure 🙂 Thank you!
Oznur’cum, so sweet of you – can’t wait to cook and share food together!
Thank you so much, Ozlem! I am truly honored. I posted some photos from our trip to Turkey on my blog. We can’t wait to go back! http://www.createamazingmeals.com/2012/05/one-lovely-blog-award.html
You are very welcome Susan, look forward to checking out your Turkey trip photos!
As a Lebanese/American I am fully aware of the big part that Turkish cuisine has influenced our own Lebanese one! Your efforts at educating interested foodies is remarkable, thank you!
Dear Taste of Beirut,
Thank you very much for your kind comment; our cuisine have a lot in common and it is a pleasure to share what we have. I look forward to checking out your wonderful recipes 🙂