November 29, 2009

Trip to an old wine village, intense: just in time.

Tonight I got all cosy, winter tea and baked chestnuts. I call this living in the moment.

Looking back... I've been working for four and half months now. Summer schedule part weekdays full-time and Saturdays part-time. Having switched to winter schedule, weekdays full-time and work every other Saturday. That makes a lot of working if you're on your first steady full-time like me, fresh out of university with no similar work experience beforehand. Keeping active is fun, but I miss being in more control. So, I've been trying to adjust to my new timing - it's okay for now. What's the big deal! Oh hello adulthood.

So when it was time for this religious holiday, I was very stoked - days of doing nothing? I'm in!

.. But I actually did something nice, hopping on a bus to visit my sister and her boyfriend. They live an hour and half away - but this would be my first time seeing them since I started working. Stuff gets in the way and this circumstance that salad whatever. You know.

It was a great idea though. Well, why the past tense... I'm still at their place. Whenever us three come together, you count on delicious food and having cosy leisure time together.

Those and we even took a half day trip to this cute little village I'll talk about, and share the photos of. First a glimpse of how it looks...

And while you're at it, you might want to click here for a brief history snippet of the village.

Beautiful little village on the hills, home for approximately six hundred inhabitants. Famous for its wine and olive oil. Women make "gozleme" traditional pastry made of phyllo and filling, and in little streets of the village, there's a lot of handmade stuff. Olive oil soap, clothes, souvenirs. But when you mention " Sirince Village"; you'll recall wine first.

Juicy wild strawberries...

Aside from the usual red wine, this village expertises on fruit wine. Black mulberry being my favorite. Well... many others would call it a favorite out of all kinds. Speaking of which, they make peach, strawberry, kiwi, blueberry, sour cherry, quince, apple, melon and blackberry wine. Mmm.

I wanted to take some home, and we were offered a wine tasting at this wine house. There we go...

The guy defined them all but I was so into my photography, I put glasses in order for my photo and I forgot which cup was what flavor. Recognized most of them - only having trouble with the berry flavors. Err.

I didn't want to leave the wine house. The moment I stepped in, I looked around and had this feeling, I must've been here before. So familiar I felt like I've known the place for years. This welcoming feeling... it blew my senses away. My eyes examined the room, and found happy.

A kind of place I would love to heal myself in, contemplate and ponder. Birth my child and spend a difficult winter. Write letters to whomever on the table made of rock, and burn them while playing with the glowing coal pieces.

I had a lot of thoughts. Wine bottles on each wall. Distant, soothing music in the background. I let myself free in each breath. Acknowledging insanity while achieving a balance, indesribable.

I was different when we left that wine house. Different yet still same. Maybe re-integrated to a side of me I've been neglecting. I rename the place to introspection room. Do you have one?

We walked in narrow streets. One of them has led us to a beautiful little shop with good wine, olive oil and sour pomegranate sauce - of which we bought plenty.

Sister and her boyfriend were chatting up with the shop owner who turned to be a Cretan guy and I was looking around in the meantime.

The olive oil loving Mediterranean in me screamed in high glee.

Finally made our way up to this restaurant, craving for some organic and pure village made food.

Stuffed grape leaves, and garlic yogurt with purslane.

Crowned the hearty rustic bread...

Refreshing healthy drink, "ayran"... served in traditional cups.

Tomorrow looking out of my window, I'll see this. Fewer leaves on the tree, more on the ground. But somehow, it'll be okay.

November 15, 2009

Little India In My Tummy

Tum kaise ho?

I don't know you, but I deeply missed murmuring from this corner of mine.

Another farmer's market day. I happened to decide going there when I was already out & about, just after a rare meeting with dad. Where art thou, lovely backpack, to carry my fresh produce? So I did some strategical shopping to only get stuff I really needed - noone knew I was on this secret mission.

Broccoli was the only veggie I craved for; but I still got other stuff too : celery roots, arugula, mint, tomatoes, white potatoes and some cheese mm.
It's been a while I barely cooked stuff that would treat my spice loving tummy.
So the re-union should have been a veggie feast - little India if you will - in my tummy!
Washing broccoli, trimming stalks and cutting through florets... my! Placed the florets and carrots I sliced on my metal steamer carefully. Sliced some garlic cloves, threw some into the cooking pan and some on florets. Filled up the pan with some water, watching the garlic slices swim. Dreamy at this point, anticipating the outcome.

Spices - de la must use items in my cooking, I sprinkled some over veggies to be steamed: Masala mix which had turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom etc, red pepper flakes, thyme. Put the lid on and watch the steam dance. Joy... joy... pure joy.

In the meantime I went exploring into cupboards and fridge, and I spot this can of coconut milk my colleague gave me. Opened the can and what do I see, coconut... cream! I don't usually open a can of coconut milk and find coconut cream instead. For one, I never had coconut milk in a can before and secondly it's amusing to put it this way now - I know I am seriously distracted.

Though I - am - trying.

To bake some sense -_-

When broccoli florets were good to eat, in few minutes, I removed the steamer and poured coconut milkish cream and stirred it to get some sort of sauce out of it. No idea. Got some cheese, and walnuts to go along oh also yogurt. Not even going into the nutrition levels of those stuff all together. Especially that coconut milk... I'll take that it has not raised my colestherol levels at all. "Who'd have thought Coconut Nutrition would be controversial" ... It will have no effect on me until scientists come to an agreement.

Time's running late and while I wish I could've actually shared a little something, this too felt assuring, well maybe I will keep coming back to my corner here every now and then.
Feel that little ease now, simply by attempting to rekindle this blogging affair.

September 22, 2009

Summer Overview

It's in Summer '09 I've:
- Graduated university as a Psychologist
- Enjoyed just relaxing without obligations for a month
- Got employed as an educational consultant for an overseas working company
- Come to terms with some wishes requiring good timing to come true
- Dealed with the one above, and continuing to.

.. and I've fed my tummy a lot of well made goodness - and I got the chance to turn my loved ones' tummies happy, doing a little cooking here and there.

I can't wait to catch up with my dear fellow foodies. Before that, say, how is your life today?

June 14, 2009

Baking Experiment, Food Art, Appreciating

There are just so many things to contemplate on the global village. Then there is the daily running around we have to do. For me it's been graduation lately. I've invested a lot of my time studying; in another words I need some time to rejuvenate.

In this due update I have pastry with veggie topping. It was an experiment to bake them in boat shapes, to find out how they'd turn out. In my mind, the possible outcome would be a boost to visuality. Say, what if the topping dried out from heat until the dough baked nicely? What would the belly say? It was sheer relaxation, mind relaxing experiment to me in between all the studying.

Especially the dough kneading part! Oh how I loved squeezing/forming that ball in my hands. Since it was experiment time, I sprinkled black cumin seeds (nigella sativa!) , some dried mint , turmeric over the ball and kept kneading. It didn't occur to me to include spices and herbs from the beginning since I am rather a act-on-whim kind of cook in kitchen. Had I known earlier, I'd have added them earlier. Turmeric would work its color well, so my dough would get evenly yellowish! Even more!

At the time my camera was out of battery, and I out of patience so just snapped these quickly with my webcam. They pass though. So, some ingredients to the right. Piece of dough, grated zucchini, on top of it is cayenne pepper and to the sides are grounded black pepper and turmeric. I've got a lot of courage to push you all into experimenting BUT an exact recipe to share as usual. I should put this on the "About Me" section to come probably. (Maybe it's time to buy measuring cups!) I suppose it's not much helpful to a foodie who has no to little idea about what food I'm talking about. If I feel in that position, there's got to be something really spirited about the website to keep me coming back. On a spirited miu note, I have good news about that. I try to pitch in some helpful tips... breadcrumbs to compensate for the lack of a strict trail. That may not have helped poor Hansel and Gretel but they ended up finding a house of gingerbread, candies and all, remember?

On with the experiments!

As for the dough: I used white flour (but definitely go for more nutrition rich flour when possible) , eggs, vegetable oil, some Turkish yogurt (plain Greek could substitute probably) , pinch of salt and baking powder. Dough consistency aim is as usual, ear lobe softness. I use a deep bowl to make my dough. Break eggs, add oil and yogurt and mix them using a mixer. Not the machine! Dear Rosie the Riveter suggested we have the power, so. Then I add in the flour, salt and top with baking powder to mix them somewhat. Time to get hands on it. Adding flour as needed to knead it without sticking to my fingers.

If I feel polarized with good or bad mood exceptionally, I knead that dough so fast. On average moods I rarely give up on stubborn dough anyway. I remember staying away from getting my hands on dough for a good long time after beginning to cook. Somehow practice makes it better.

Moving onto topping: My vegetable of choice was zucchini - because that's what I had. If I knew to be sneaky I'd say I used it cause the topping would have to be moist enough so it can stand the heat while preserving its flavor. Well this is how I rationalized it afterwards anyway. I wouldn't make a good politician.

Grated zucchini (well, thanks mom) , added spices like grounded black pepper, cayenne pepper and some thyme. Fresh garlic cloves too! A LOT of them! Also, I spot mom slicing up a baby artichoke and mixing it up with the rest as she giggled. She said she was contributing to the experiment.

Pulling off chunks of dough, I shape it in my fingers. Genuinely flattening them; length being bigger than width. Just like boats. Adding some topping, and then gathering the ends together and pushing with my thumbs so they keep in shape.

Smudged the side of "boats" with egg yolk so they'd brown nicely. Sprinkled some more black cumin seeds all over. Oven was already pre-heated to medium by then, so I just placed the tray in and waited in anticipation.

There we go. I plan to keep making this pastry! It's like an alternative to usual pogaca to me, just this time the shape being different so. No way I'll ever give up on these goodies. Comforted me well and I did both of my final exams just good. No more university since June 12th. I might have just graduated with a BA in Psychology. I won't believe it for sure until I see it on paper. Or wear the ridiculous cap and gown.By the way, summer is here fully - I'm not sure how motivating it is on creating meals or spend more than fifteen minutes in kitchen with a steaming pot even. But who knows, maybe it's time to come up with chilled, light alternatives ;-)

I'll leave ice cream making to our pros, but I plan to play around Turkish yogurt, fruits and stuff! When it's hot, I live on mostly liquid stuff. That's not much appropriate though... There's some food I won't give up on regardless of weather. Like pasta! How do you adjust your eating to weather?

Miu murmur to foodie friends: You know Lisa Orgler of Lunchbox Project. Her recent project is on drawing from food photos foodies send her roughly. When I got her call for submissions, I was so excited about the idea I quickly agreed to it. I sent my pogaca photo first. Then after a while came the strawberry smoothie photo - oh luscious yumminess - so I switched to that! I am so glad finally she got around to work on my photo. Here's her precious art:

I wonder how I should describe her style. There's some great familiarity to her drawing style I feel. Accomplishes to look genuinely simple, yet it's not. It's warm and welcoming. Reminds me of my childhood books I found comfort and best company in. Couldn't help myself reading them as if I'm putting a hungry belly at ease. Then I'd study the illustrations and imagine. I feel a similar relief viewing Lisa's art. Say, if her drawings were people, you could sit with them in a room without the silence getting awkward.

My first smoothie, I called it wonder breakfast! Click the photo above if you want to recall it - but beware. I am drooling on a 4 am now. How alluring strawberries can get...

By the way, you could participate in her ongoing project by clicking this.

Please appreciate her effort!

Lastly, shout out to Pass the Pocky. She awarded me, and I am grateful to be worthy of her time with what I can do, thank you!

Time to go to bed. Do exactly as my little baby did then - she does at the moment. Cute little bump under the sheet! Meet her, she keeps me well. Adds up to spirited Miu. A lot. She's going to be 3 on November... my Maji.

June 03, 2009

Morning Veggie Pastry, Lunch Strawberry Arugula Salad, Dinner With Fellow Blogging Foodies

Sunny morning. My mom and cat are still asleep. I am in the mood for a comforting breakfast. I don't need to think much, I'm going to bake. Checking for ingredients: flour, eggs, yogurt, oil. There. I want stuffed pastry... Veggies! I have zucchini, red bell pepper, some corn. Quickly beginning.

Breakfast pastry with zucchini, red bell pepper and corn

As usual I lose track of how I knead the dough for it, fellow foodies raise eyebrows at me. Luckily, the dough itself is nothing special, doesn't drive the hungry folk mad. It's the combination with veggies and baking that matters.

It's the mesmerizing smell that fills the house, makes it home. I even want to go overboard and associate it with "giving birth at home" kind of comfort - but I'm yet to try it myself.

I love to sprinkle black cumin seeds (nigella sativa!) on savory pastries. Flavor enhancing. They're good for us too. Although, I hear that consuming them raw has more use.

Say, if the hungry folk also feels impatient - I give tips on easy dough making here.

Oh the sheer joy of linking to self. =giggle= Nah, just short in time.


Strawberry, arugula and cheese salad with olive oil, thyme and lemon

Then comes the noon. It feels hotter now. Trying to concentrate on last bit of studies, for final exams. My mind feels anything but concentrated. Okay, I get it. Nutrition refill time.

Wandering around, discovering new food blogs; recently I tend to notice strawberries in salads a lot. I am intrigued, experiment time.

Foodies mostly bring strawberry & spinach together. Well, I have arugula! How do they taste together?

I'm delighted to discover. Also, feeling enlightened. If it weren't for being in food blogging, it'd hardly dawn on me to use strawberry in a salad. Taboo!

I am feeling euphoric as new discoveries bend my borders. Lifetime resolution : extend beyond borders.

I love cheese. So I include some and my salad brings these ingredients together: Strawberry, arugula, cheese, thyme, olive oil and drops of fresh lemon. Cheese just completed the missing link.

By the way, I am munching on a new (to me) variation of salad at the time of typing my post: Arugula, fresh apricot, corn, cherry tomatos, olive oil, drops from freshly squeezed lemon.

Talk about sour, sweet, zesty and tangy! It's a sense stimulating salad.

My mind is blown away ...


Last Saturday I've been to a latin dance show by myself. One of the dancers - also dance teachers (male in photo) is my former classmate from university. I've seen him dance before, he's great. It felt so nice to see him on stage again, after a long while.

I asked a dancer guy to let my friend know I came. I couldn't speak to him, cause I arrived later than we planned to meet, so he was in backstage by then. It was pretty weird that a piece of velvet curtain and some social rule prevented me from going to see my friend in the back. Oh the good manners and home sweet homes.

Even from a distance though, I felt his soothing energy making me feel welcomed. Appreciated. Very few people can do that, unconditionally.

Sometimes, I like to believe that people like him have a purpose to brighten up others' lives without expecting anything in return. Nothing... Except for not being taken for granted. This is not to be taken lightly, in miu book.

On that note, I want to thank Ann of Happy and Healthy Cooking for appreciating me. I've seen awards going around, and the idea behind them is nice. Anything to appreciate the effort someone shows. It's my first, in that sense. I haven't been around for long in food blogging (since March 1st to be exact) , and some people have been there for me more consistently than other fellow foodies, making this experience a fruitful one for me with their company and support. In fact, I can count more names in my mind. I am thankful for everyone nevertheless, but here my special thank you's go to:

The Duo Dishes
"Frand" of Cooking For Zo
Tangled Noodle
LouAnn of Oyster Food & Culture
Kim of Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet
Curious Domestic
Reeni of Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice
Jenn of Bread + Butter
Leela of She Simmers
Pass The Pocky
Chez What?
Pooja at My Experience With Cooking
The World Tastes Good
(Aww sorry some of your blog names I'll edit later)

I am inspired by this "awarding" idea. Expect some dedication posts for fellow foodies and good causes in near future, Spirited Miu Flavor way 8-)

Happy Hump Day.

May 28, 2009

Colorful Pasta For Spring Farewell & My First Cake

Intense, it smelled warm like home,
Then spring dawned few more days.

Spring time, faint smell released from honeysuckle vines in bloom rejuvenate me. You find them blooming in little garden spaces in apartment entrances on the streets. They assure me, there is room for growth even in a place with less source.. Life in the city, supposedly has more source. If only we didn't have to give up nature.

But it's possible to find smiles. I have a two pot basil garden. Farmer's market to sell me colorful, fresh and hopefully organic produce. Seaside to go for walks nearby. I have much more to be grateful for - but excuse me while I say farewell to spring, my favorite time of year.

Colorful Pasta For Spring Farewell

Very easy to make spaghetti for lunch or dinner. Or in my case, breakfast! Luckily I crave more reasonably, other times. Craving for anything I can't get due to late time, past midnight for example.

What makes this spaghetti special is visuality : colorful ingredients you include. Juicy red pepper, Cretan zucchini, peanuts why not and leftover broccoli. Prep and cooking, I fixed this meal in fifteen minutes I think. Ridiculously delicious for such short time spent. No excuses for having to eat unhealthy! Who's familiar with the lil green wraps tangled with spaghetti?

Taking a closer look on it, hint there...

I won't go for a usual recipe, but instead share my tip for cooking this pasta practically. Cravings don't wait.

- Preserve water : No need to fill the pot fully and let boil for pasta throw in. Depending on how much pasta you'll use, add water three -four fingers above them. Instead of dumping all that water down the drain in the end, you could add less at the beginning and if you did well with the measuring by senses... it'll be just enough, so there won't be any need for draining at all.

- Avoid sticky pasta: One tablespoon oil of choice into boiling water

- Save time: I wanted veggies with my pasta so at around fifth minute, added them into pot to cook together with pasta. Four more minutes to go. Actually, I'm not sure. I never do timing. Helpful eh? Yes, because in intuition I trust. You can always pinch a strand of spaghetti to check for how soft you need it.

- Use herbs, spices: Is there another way around? I can't think of a life without these.

Easy Peanut Honey Home Cake, Even For A First Timer!

My first cake here...

I love and use the baking method for food in general, but sweet/desserts are something else. Profession! Little by little I'm warming up. Baking a cake has been on my mind for a while now. Especially carrot cake with walnuts. Cheesecakes are so alluring. Oh cupcakes. But for these two I need extra equipment...

Happy Birthday Tangled Noodle!

Well, I baked a cake in an oven proof bowl. The batter raised twice its level. (I need cake mould!) I followed a recipe, which is way unusual. There are so many unbelievably amazing food ideas out there from all you foodies, and on websites we come together. But seriously, I'll pass the recipe if it is:

  1. * Too much work it's overwhelming
  2. * Not clearly described
  3. * Just recipe, but no personal note (There are tons of them, what makes yours stand out?)
  4. * Ingredients are location specific, no substitute ideas given (Evil! Some of them look so good...)
  5. * Not visually inviting
Don't get grr at me now, I know we all have our own way - or we're *on* our way to creating them.

those come to my naive mind. What's yours? Maybe we should point these out after all... to optimize our foodie experience, he he. Okay. Diversity is good.

What you need (in using order):

  • - 3 eggs,
  • - 2 cups (or 480 gram) sugar (but I used half of this, and added some honey instead),
  • - 0.6 cup vegetable oil,
  • - 1 cup (or 250 gram) yogurt,
  • - 1 pack baking powder,
  • - 1.3 cup (or 300 gram) flour,
  • - 1 pack vanilla extract.
My addition to the recipe:

  • - 200 gr (0.7 oz I think) peanuts
  • - 2 tablespoonful of comb honey
Instructions? What do you mean instructions! This is the part I fell in love with.

Pre-heat oven moderately (325F or 160/170 C)
In a deep bowl, all ingredients above get in order and meanwhile you constantly stir/ or ideally use a mixer. I did some labor there, no problem.

The cake mixture will be squishy and evenly consistent. It needs to be stirred/mixed so well. Especially if you use nuts, honey like me.

I just know the mommy rule about baking. Bake until the knife comes clean. Must be universal...

The result was so satisfying for a first time baker like me. It passed Mom test, too. The crust browned - and even cracked! (Sorry this was a miracle to me). Inside it was spongy, nicely baked. It smelled like peanut butter and home. It made me think that American people I know would go crazy for this cake. It's PB time!

Recipe above is so compatible, it went from basic spongy cake to peanut honey cake for me. I wrote it on a post-it, hung on the fridge with a magnet for later use. It's that life saving.


Miu murmur: At the time of writing this post, I munched on purslane & yogurt meze, green bean mom made, some whole wheat bread. 4 am.

Strong smell of plastic burn came inside my room from the street. But first, I got alarmed that it's in our house. Well, I blew up the kitchen once. I'm still wondering what caused that weird smell, now it's not as strong though... On that person't behalf I apologize your fresh breath of air is just ruined. I'm good at these, but rather call me a realist nut than pessimistic.

In the morning I'll check the litter container for the remains of some undercover's top secret documents.

I'm in a good mood actually, yesterday I went out with former university classmate and her friend. We had beer and chatted, while listening to this band live Those guys have a future. Sound better live for the note. What else...

Next post, I'll talk about appreciating my fellow foodies (hey Ann!) and also, my blog's makeover. Pss, notice the change already? Those reading via Google reader might have not yet, but take a look! I'm aiming a more spirited, more personalized look. Live up to its name. Cheers.

Credit: Gourmet Sleuth for measurement conversions.

May 18, 2009

Monday Mischief Smoothie

With Monday we associate a syndrome, new diet or just the beginning of a new week. This time, I choose mischief and bring it together with nutrition in a smoothie. Actually, this is just the result of my random experiment with unrelated looking (to me?) ingredients. Enjoy.

Checking out what raw edible stuff I got, here's what I came up with:

  • dried apricots
  • a banana
  • yogurt (do I ever run out of this...)
  • less than a glass of milk
  • a chocolate bar (mischief part)
  • comb honey

I could have some fruit yogurt, too. Still under the impression of the other smoothie I made, though. So, off into the food processor goes all ingredients above. Checking my spices and herbs; I include some cinnamon, flax seeds, fennel seeds and basil leaves for aroma & nutrition enhancement. There we go... After running the processor a couple rounds till everything inside is smooth enough, I add in the milk and it's ready. Flavorful smoothie that's good for the digestive system. Especially dried apricots, flax seed and fennel seeds being commonly known for it. Although the use of banana here is a regulator against a result that's uncalled for. Hmm next time, I'll leave fennel seeds out of it or maybe just add a small pinch... its pungent aroma was too much for my liking. Possibly it's better off roasted, used as a garnishing to meat dishes, for example. Or, potatos. Or tea! Back to the outcome:

I shall continue the smoothie experiments.

May 16, 2009

Fruity, Chill & Delicious... Wonder Breakfast!

PS: I made it to top 7 out of 1650 posts with this on Foodbuzz, I walked around with a huge smile on my face all day

The Turkish already have pretty healthy breakfast habit. You name it, we have it on table almost. However some days just call for another delicious alternative. Waking up not quite feeling awake, I decided to prepare something nutritious and visually inviting to kick start my day. It'd be fruity, chill and yummy. Smoothie, alright! I never made one before... who cares? Improvise.

Moving onto imagining what goes into a smoothie, strawberry flashes in my mind. Flavorful, energetic. Banana? High in fiber and potassium, be welcome. Turkish yogurt is not even questioned by this dedicated fan. Some milk too, sure. Tablespoonful of honey, suit yourself. I have a good feeling about this day already. A couple spinning in the food processor, my wonder breakfast is ready. I mean the nutrition part is taken care of. How about the visuality? Taking some extra time with it, I'm having a special breakfast. Slicing some strawberry, pouring smoothie into cup, top with few leaves of fresh basil for the pungent aroma.

Here's yours:

Weekend is here. What's for breakfast, foodies? ;-)

Note for Foodbuzz friends: I posted a poll about "X foodie sent you a post to view" messages coming to our inbox. I pulled the link for you, find it here.

May 13, 2009

My Secret About May 13th, Picnic By The Sea & Fresh Basil From Flower Festival

I've got two birthdays. I've never died and come back to life, not that I know of. But I've got my original birth date as May 1st, and May 13th on every official paper there is. Back when mom was pregnant to me, it was difficult obtaining maternity leave. Agreeing to her doctor's suggestion, I was registered 12 days later. That's my story which makes me feel funny every year. I don't intend to change it at all. It's my secret...
Picnic By The Sea
Yesterday I enjoyed such a nice day out with mom. I actually forced her to go out which she thanked me for later. I was envisioning having a small picnic by the seaside. So I made pasta with sausages and indulged them in yogurt & spice sauce. Just enough for two plastic containers. Pack. In another, some washed arugula and cherry tomatos. Pack. Ready to leave? Nope. Pocket size radio, some water and mint candy, all set.
Since we don't have as much as green I'd like here in city... I go to the sea then. Nature bits, the blocks of apartments couldn't eat up yet! Ha! :D

Fuzzy green tea mochi looking rocks during walk

A couple minutes later we're on our way to the seaside. Basically, walking to the coastline which is arranged as green areas to enjoy, walk, come with pets and exercise outdoors with installed equipments.

We walked up to a shady area and sat on the grass. There were few men trying to catch fish. One of them had this fishing rod with a jingle hooked on it. It kept distracting me. When they left, I captured a photo of my view from where I sat:

De-clutter your mind...

Feeling very hungry by now, we quickly finished eating our pasta. Since it was chilled, garlic let its pungent aroma merge well by then. Yummy!
Flower Festival

After contemplating the blue sea, green grass and sunny weather our flesh and bones enjoyed, it was time we'd start walking back home. Following the coastline, we came across a crowd of people and flowers in all colors. Right, it's time for flower festival in my province again!

Mom as she's examining flowers

Such vibrant colors... such liveliness... Reminding me there is beauty to appreciate. A lot of visual feeding!

Close up on floral feast

If you wanted to get them, they were dirt cheap too. For comparison, one of those flower pots above come for 0.50 to 1 in mine - which makes like 30 to 65 cents in US money. CENTS.

Basil smell is calming to me...

As much as I enjoyed the flowers though, I just laid my eyes on cactus and basil pots. Cactus dudes I love for being self sufficient which I associate with myself. Basil I appreciate for the mesmerizing smell - and I wanna eat it! Actually we mostly keep this herb for a little green and great odor in the house. All my childhood we did. But now, I'm so motivated to pick few leaves for pesto sauce :blush:

Plus, mom told me that it'd encourage my plant to grow better.

When I look it up online, I come across somewhat different basil plants with bigger leaves... From memories I know this plant I have will never grow that big leaves, only grow in volume with same leaf size.

Question here; does this look like the usual basil you use for cooking? Also, all basil use ideas welcome. If you cooked food with basil, would you link to me below to get familiar also? Next post I'll have a meal that uses my new metal steamer I previously mentioned and use some basil too! Though, steaming and basil don't have to come together.

P.S: Lastly... talk about lucky! As I was typing down this post, amazing pastry smell slowly surrounded me. To my surprise, mom secretly baked my favorite - I mentioned before... It's a twist to the Turkish pogaca by laying out the dough flat on the baking tray. You could see the original version by clicking this sentence for -> Midnight Craving For Pastry: "Turkish Pogaca" by me.

So comforting... This one has cheese, all melted inside

Oh by the way, if you're not yet familiar with the little black seeds sprinkled over the pastry... I suggest you visit this informative post by clicking this sentence for -> "Special Ingredients: Nigella" by LouAnn at Oyster Food & Culture

I'm off to enjoy this all time favorite pastry with some green tea now, and possibly go for a walk on the coastline again because all this talk made me miss it. Flower festival's still going on, and I planned to buy another pot of basil to gift.

How are you doing?

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