Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fruits and Trees in the Garden

I grew up in a house surrounded not just with tropical flowers and plants but lots of fruit-bearing trees. So, imagine my delight when we arrived here in Turkey in the month of May and saw trees with summer fruits thriving. Our apartment complex has a big space for a garden compared with the rest in the area.

Look, a watermelon as big as a couple of golf balls! Hope it matures before autumn comes and the cold blankets this place.

And another just a few inches away. These fruits are growing real fast, I swear.

We just harvested this one 5 days ago, and boy, it was so big and sweet. We were able to share a slice to each neighbor in the building.

Here is a photo of our peach tree before we harvested them more than a week ago. Too bad I didn't witness the harvest time. My in-laws took all the fruits while I was in my nap.

They are not the sweetest variety of peach but no complain here because this single tree alone gave 8 bags of fresh fruits to us. Hence, we delivered 2 bags to each neighbors and a few more extra to friends.

We have grapes here, too. And cherry and nectarine that are both spring fruits.

Here is the orange tree with fruits still green. They'll be orange by winter.

Here is pomegranate that is very nutritious. The fruits are big and already heavy. Beside this tree is a lemon tree that carries a lot of fruits as well.

Have you seen olive fruits in a tree yet? Here they are. A few steps away from this olive tree is a pear tree as well. No photo though. Will share it in IG next time if I remember. Haha.

We are planning to move out of this apartment and get a house with a garden by next year. Hopefully, in a place with a huge space for flowers and plants and most of all fruit-bearing trees. I want to have an apple tree, peach, cherry, orange, lemon, pear and maybe more if there is enough land to cover it.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Homemade Granola Cereal

Before coming to Turkey, I made sure I had packed my favorite Mornflake granola cereal that I could eat for weeks or months. I have been eating Mornflake cereal for a while now since I started weightlifting in PH. I used to buy them from the imported section in the supermarket. I like them so much because they are great alternative to ulam and rice because of the protein and fiber content. Anyway, it's already August and my 6 packs of Mornflakes are all gone.

I have searched local groceries here for rolled oats and nutty seeds in the hope of making my own granola cereal, and yes, I was able to come up with a granola cereal of my own that has less sugar and fat, thus more healthy than the store bought ones. Now I don't have to force myself eating Turkish breakfast everyday. Cold cuts, cheeses and olives are not really appealing to me. I also don't like raw veggies in the morning all the time. So, to those who are a little health conscious and love some high protein breakfast to maintain some muscles, I say try this recipe. It's time to make your own granola cereal to add to your weekly meal prep!

What you will need:
-1 kilo rolled oats
-handful of almonds
-handful of pumpkin seeds
-handful of chia seeds
-handful of raisins
-handful of sunflower seeds
-4 tbsp coco sugar
-2 tbsp honey
-1 tbsp butter
-1 cup water

Here's how:
Combine the last 4 ingredients in a pan. Make it boil, stirring constantly. When bubbles, pour the rolled oats all the rest of the ingredients. Keep mixing in lowfire until the oats change into a golden brown color. Let cool then transfer to a tight container.

To enjoy as a breakfast treat, transfer a couple of handfuls in a bowl. Add some more fresh fruits or protein-rich seeds like chia.

Add the type of milk of your choice. Soak in overnight or eat right away. Perfect morning fuel before hitting the gym. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Living the Turkish Life

Hello again after a long time! I am feeling really lazy lately that I just wanna sleep, wake up and go to bed again. I am a little stressed out but I really do not have a choice but to get up, cook for the kids, feed them, blah blah blah, until it's sundown and it's bedtime again. So, instead of complaining and posting all the rants in IG or FB, where I can right away get a reaction from my friends or relatives in PH, here I am sitting down in front of my computer and updating my blog. Just so you know, our life here in Turkey newly started and is finally sinking in to me.

To keep my sanity, I will be blogging again about both the uninteresting and interesting things in my Aegean expat life. I knew I will be blogging again when I am already here in Turkey, the reason why I kept this domain and waited until today. I will be using this platform to air my daily struggles and whatnots.

My family arrived here in May and just as I expected it, life in this part of the world is not easy. We we've been visiting every summer for like 5 years straight, but not a lot of people here can speak English which is very important if you are a foreigner and starting anew. Aside from the hard to find ingredients that my palate is longing for, I also have a problem going around the area since most places are ideally reachable by car or bus. Though hubby already bought me a car and I learned driving here, I still can't go around freely for safety reasons. You know, typical things if you are a foreigner and a woman and alone. You can get catcalled or worst harassed.

Happy to share that I met a Filipina here over 2 weeks ago. She is from Davao and is married to a Turkish guy who grew up in this district. Their small family used to live here but moved to Istanbul. They come here only to visit her in-law and for summer vacations. So we met a couple of time and it was like a breathe of fresh air. I also met 2 young Indonesians working in a hotel nearby. They noticed my sis-in-law and I were talking in English that's why they approached us. They were so cute. I knew from their accent and looks that that they were Indonesians. I met Indonesians in Hong Kong before in early 2000s.

Anyway, it's hard to find ingredients like I initially mentioned. Not a single Asian store is within the district. While shopping at Kipa last night, I finally found coconut milk and it got me so giddy. Turkish food is yum but also I want a taste of home so I have been searching for coconut milk for weeks now. Although they have fresh coconut here in Migros, they can't clean it for me. I don't have the means to extract the milk by hand as well. No coconut grater here. So in October, when I'm back to PH for a short visit, I will definitely hoard coco milk powder and many more Asian stuff.