Friday, July 26, 2013

Stay Tuned...

Hello Friends,

I'm still working on my new blog. I should have it up by August 5th. I'll keep you posted.

May God bless you all on your summer endeavors.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Cooking: Turkish Rice Salad

With summer heat in full swing, I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel much like cooking. My kitchen is an oven between 4 and 6 p.m., so I try to stay out of there as much as possible. Turkish housewives are practical; many of them cook in the morning, when it’s cooler, and then they have food ready for later in the day.  I, on the other hand, am not so organized. So I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy.

Here’s a simple recipe, great for summertime. Turks call it “Chinese Rice,” which mystifies me. As far as I know, there’s nothing remotely Chinese about it.

Turkish Rice Salad (Cin Pilavi*)

1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
4 TBSP olive oil
¾ cup frozen corn 
¾ cup frozen peas
¾ cup carrots, diced in small cubes
1/3  - 1/2 cup dill pickle, diced in small cubes
3 TBSP chopped fresh dill weed (or 1-2 tsp. dried dill)

1.  Cook the rice by sautéing it in 1 TBSP olive oil; then add 2 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt.  Let it simmer 10-15 minutes, until the water is absorbed.  Stir to fluff it, and let it cool.

2.  Thaw or gently cook the frozen vegetables.  (If you live in the U.S., simply thawing them works fine. If you live in Turkey, these need to be cooked 2-3 minutes.)

3.  When the rice and vegetables are at room temperature, gently toss them together with the chopped carrots, pickles and dill. Drizzle with 3 TBSP olive oil and continue tossing.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

This serves 4-5 as a vegetarian main dish, or 8 as a side dish. Turks fill a small bowl with the salad and unmold it onto each individual plate.

Afiyet Olsun!

*I’ll correct “Cin Pilavi” as soon as I find the Turkish keyboard on my new computer! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Do What You Can" Summer

What is summer like in your corner of the globe?  Here in our Aegean home, summer’s all about a laid back, slower pace.   Ramadan started this week, so many friends and neighbors will be lying low during the hot afternoons while they fast long hours from food and water.  

I’m taking advantage of extra free time to start a new project. In a few weeks, I’ll start a new blog, and I’m already excited about it.  Change and variety add spice to my life, so I decided to try a new angle on blogging.

"Do What You Can Plan"   

One thing that’s encouraging me to make time for a new project is Holly Gerth’s Do What You Can Plan: 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better.  Holly’s book is great encouragement for taking baby steps towards big dreams that seem out of reach. My ultimate dream is writing a book, but for right now, blogging seems like a more attainable goal for this home schooling, church planting mom. 

Meant to be read over 21 days, the book has a short devotional reading and an application point for each day.  Holly talks about starting small, doing what you can each day, and not waiting for the perfect time to start!

I have other summer projects that aren’t so exciting, like de-cluttering and organizing closets and drawers, but I’m trying to set aside some time each day to work on my new writing project. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. 

How about you? 

Do you have any summer projects that you’re working on?  Any dreams you wish you had time for? I’d love to hear how you’re spending your summer.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Enjoying the Journey

Travel is part and parcel of the cross-cultural life, but let’s face it, most of us dislike airplane and car travel. We look forward to arriving at our destination, but the actual trip is a drag.  Last month I took two trips: a 27 hour airplane journey over 10 time zones from Izmir to Los Angeles to stay 6 days and come back, and then a 9 hour car drive to stay at the beach for 2 days before returning home.

I dreaded our first day of air travel because it included a 5 and a half hour layover in Munich. 

To my surprise it was an eye-opening epiphany.