Today I ate roast chicken and vegetables for Sunday lunch.
Salih Usta roasted my meal of chicken portions surrounded and covered by whole onions, garlic cloves, chunks of potato, capsicum, tomato, broccoli stork and carrot, spiced with blck peppercorns and salt with fresh coconut shavings for flair. This was the first time I have made my own roast since I came back to Turkey and it was delicious!
My flat, like many, if not, most, Turkish homes, does not have an oven.
If I require anything cooked in an oven, I have to go Salih Usta (“Salih Master”) across the street. Cooking my meal today cost 500,000 TL, less than 50 cents Australian. Salih operates a wood-fired oven. On Sunday afternoons During Ramadan his business was obscenely busy. All the Turkish families were preparing their Iftar (fast-breaking meal) and many required Salih’s services.
On Friday night friends Toygun and Kerem visited.
This week Toygun will be entering the military service, something compulsory for all Turkish males. There is no choice for community service or any other alternative. As Toygun (a university graduate) will be an Officer, his service is for a year. University graduates normally have military service for 6 or 7 months. Non-graduates, longer. He does not know where he will be posted and will find out in his first few days.
I had not seen Kerem for at least a year and it was a great surprise to see him. In 2002-2003 he had undertaken his military service as a translator and editor (his English is excellent). For about 3 months Kerem served in Afghanistan. He told some stories bout how he hated his first month there and that Kabul airport had loads of wrecked aircraft and other stuff. I look forward to viewing his photos.