The news here is less dramatic but in many ways more frightening. Police are stepping up arrests and detentions. The PM gets crazier every day. I like how the sounds of hundreds of people marching and chanting are as dependable as the call to prayer though. That’s pretty awesome.
So this is a lighter note thing:
I feel I have much to offer not only in advice for how to live in Istanbul, but also general single girl of a certain age advice. The other night when I was giving my incredulous girlfrinds, (incredulous with awe, I think) my amazing recipe for a fish finger sandwich, I realize that I’ve been holding out on you, dear readership, and that you could all gain a lot from my knowledge and experience.
So every Friday I’m going to bestow on you a recipe.
My first recipe is for something resembling chicken korma. So, step by step, here it goes:
1. Have a day when you are so uncharacteristically miserably cranky you want to crawl out of your own skin, or, perhaps preferably, help everyone who has the misfortune to cross your path crawl out of theirs.
2. Go home and flop on bed and read until you realize you are RAVENOUS.
3. Decide nothing you can make with the food in your house is what you want.
4. Wander around neighborhood peering at restaurants and decide you don’t want anything. But you’re really hungry.
5. Realize that the only thing that will do is a curry.
6. Buy some chicken thighs from the butcher.
7. Realize you know a shit ton about mixing your own curry powders but almost nothing about making korma paste, and that therefore, the only thing that will do is chicken Korma. Dismiss jarred sauce, which you know to find at Milka Delicatessen, out of hand.
8. Think about trying to track down coconut milk, get tired at the thought, turn for home. Buy almonds on your way.
9. Have a shitty internet connection.
10. Attempt to google korma paste for twenty minutes while searing half a kilo of thumb sized pieces of chicken thighs in a little bit of oil and simultaneously, in another pot, gently browning onions. Make up many new creative curse words when not a single page loads properly.
11. Attempt to assemble new food processor. Fail. Curse some more.
12. Spend fifteen minutes on the balcony with a hammer, whapping the shit out of 50 grams of almonds which are double wrapped in plastic bags that are probably not food grade. At the end of fifteen minutes half the almonds will still be whole. Fuck it.
13. Assemble sort of Korma paste thusly- crack 5 or so cardamon pods and scoop out seeds. Add a couple Turkish teaspoons of dried ginger powder, some grated fresh ginger, 5 cloves of pressed garlic, a teaspoon of curry powder, some grated nutmeg cause you grabbed the jar and why the hell not, something that might be yenibahar but you’re not sure cause you forgot to label the jar, and a bit of cumin and corriander and tumeric cause why not make this more curryish when you realize what you’re really craving about korma is the cardamon, and a teaspoon of acibiber. Mash well. It will stick infuriatingly to the bowl. Why is the world out to get you today? Add the paste with the sort of crushed almonds to the onions with a bay leaf, three cloves and half a cinnamon stick.
14. When the spices are hot add some water from the kettle and half a bouillon cube. Let it all cook for a while so the flavors can properly mingle.
15. Add the chicken a quarter of the way through an episode of The Misfits. Simmer while you have a cigarette on the balcony. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Have another cigarette and think of all the clever things you’ll say when you finally confront that co-worker who’s been driving you CRAZY.
16. Before the third cigarette and just when it’s tempting to start stewing about exes, add the last of the frozen mixed veggies to the mix, along with what will turn out to be too much water from the kettle to keep things from burning/sticking.
17. Wait a very long time for the excess liquid to bubble out. Add more peas, and also some more ginger, salt and acibiber cause it tastes perfect now, but you’re about to add yogurt.
18. Add yogurt. Stir, simmer a few more minutes to allow yogurt to integrate. (How much yogurt you add depends on how creamy you want it. I added two whopping huge spoonfuls.)
19. Consider giving up, aiming for four hundred pounds and adding cream to everything. Regretfully reject.
20. Spoon over old lavaş bread that was in the freezer.
It will be delicious, and not just cause the two glasses of wine you drank on an empty stomach while waiting for the liquid to reduce got you kinda drunk.