For Turkey and especially for my father, both of which/whom have a lot to do with my dreams.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the main streets of Istanbul were empty on Sunday mornings, and as we drove through neighbourhoods I’d never seen before, we’d listen to “light Western music” (the Beatles, Sylvie Vartan, Tom Jones and suchlike) and my father would tell me that the best thing a person could do was to live by his own lights, that money could never be the object, but if happiness depended on it, it could be a means to that end; or he would tell me how once when he left us and gone to Paris he had written poems in his hotel room, and had also translated Valery’s poems into Turkish, but years late while travelling in America, the suitcase in which he kept all his poems and translations had been stolen. As the music rose and fell in rhythm with the city streets, he would adjust his stories to the beat and I knew that everything he told me – of having seen Jean-Paul Satre many times in the streets of Paris during the 1950s or how the Pamuk Apartments in Nsantasi had come to be built, of the failure of one of his first businesses – I would never forget. From time to time he would pause to admire the view, or the beautiful women on the pavement, and while I listened to his offerings of gentle and understated wisdom and advice, I would gaze at the scenes of the leaden winter mornings as the flashed across the windshield. As I watched the cars crossing the Galata Bridge, the back neighbourhoods where a few wooden houses stood, the narrow streets, the crowds heading to a football match, or the thin funnelled tugboat pulling coal barges down the Bosphorus, I’d listen to my father’s wise voice telling me how important it was that people followed their own instincts and passions; that actually, life was very short and that, also, it was a good thing if a person knew what he wanted to do in life, that, in fact, a person who spent his life writing, drawing and painting could enjoy a deeper, richer life, and as I drank in his words, they would blend in with the things I was seeing. And before long, the music, the views rushing past the window, my father’s voice (“Shall we turn in here?” he’d ask) and the narrow cobblestone streets all merged into one, and it seemed to me that while we would never find answers to these fundamental questions, it was good for us to ask them anyway; that true happiness and meaning resided in places we would never find and perhaps did not wish to find, but – whether we were pursuing the answers or merely pleasure and emotional depth – the pursuit mattered no less than the attainment, the asking as important as the views we saw through the windows of the car, the house, the ferry. With time, life – like music, art and stories – would rise and fall, eventually to end, but even years later, those lives are with us still in the city views that flow before out eyes, like memories plucked from dreams.
– (a very large) Excerpt from Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
Broccoli and paneer omelette
This Sunday, my main aim is to gross my husband out by showing him broccoli in an omelette. We’re told so much through American TV and its picky children that broccoli is “ewwwww” (another term we learn from the Americans in the TV). Mr Stretchy Pants embodies this spirit and I still don’t understand why (“the smell, the smell!!”). It tastes normal to me, which is why I went ahead and made this breakfast…TWICE.
Muwhahahahaha….*ahem*. Must have a sore throat or something.
I like coming up with omelette combinations and this is a definite winner.
You will need two eggs, a handful of broccoli florettes, green onions and some paneer, sesame seeds, chilli-garlic sauce, salt and pepper.
Beat the eggs into a bowl and then head for the broccoli. First, run cold water over it. Separate the broccoli head from the tougher part of the stem and then peel what’s remaining of it. This will tenderise the it and make it easy to cook. If you don’t want to use it at all, chop off the whole stem and save the broccoli florettes. Break them apart randomly. Roughly run a knife through the broken florettes until they are broken up into smaller sections (like in the picture). Put these pieces into the bowl with the beaten egg. The paneer part is easy. Just chop the block into small 1/2 inch cubes and put them into the bowl as well, along with the chopped green onions. At this point it’s going to look like there are more add-ons than eggs. To that I say, great work team!
Heat up a pan and coat it with oil. Let the oil heat up and then add the egg mix to it. Spread out the broccoli and paneer around the omellete-to-be and then put a lid on the pan. Let the bottom of the omelette cook for about 4 minutes. It should be well-cooked and golden brown on the underside. This makes it so much easier to flip-over without turning it into a scramble. Which brings us to the next step: Flip it over, very carefully. It’s going to be heavy. Let it cook for a minute more on the other side. Slowlyyy slide it onto your plate. Season with salt, pepper, sesame seeds and drops of chilli-garlic sauce.
Happy Father’s Day to all the father’s and father figures, in the stars and on Earth. And to my own, thank you for Sunday breakfasts, loving Bidli, my mother and your spawns.