The sun is shining, spring is slowly arriving and it’s almost Easter. Wait…what! How is it already Easter in two weeks. I haven’t even finished writing down my 2017 goals yet. But hey, I’m on time for the yearly overdose of Easter recipe. Maybe I’m even the first one you see this year. If I tell you that this is more or less an accident, would you believe me? Though I really wish I would be a little bit more organized when it comes to blog content (and goal setting) but I just don’t care much about holiday recipes. Neither Valentine’s Day cakes nor Easter bread or Christmas cookies (though I did actually post one last year here). …
Around The World
Here it is. My first vlog. Have you watched it yet? It’s not a cinematographic masterpiece but it’s a start and that’s what this blog post is about today. But first I would love to hear your thoughts on my first video.
Now that we all know that I have very affectionate cats, where I go shopping on Saturdays and how quick and easy it is to make a Turkish lentil balls mezze platter, we have a common ground to talk about why I spontaneously decided to do a vlog….
I’ve done some thinking. The more I work and photograph for my blog, the more I wonder where all this is going. Or better said, where I want to take it. So far most things just happened naturally. I have a passion for food and travel. So obviously I post about recipes, publish food guides and give some tips for destinations I’ve recently been to. But I wanted to give my blog a deeper focus. I feel like that even though I have my own style and my content is unique my vision is still too generic.
So consequently, yes, I’ve done some thinking. I want to take my blog to the next level. I want to broaden our cultural and culinary horizon, write about places less covered, challenge traditional recipes by veganizing them and only cook with ingredients that are widely available for everyone (sorry, no acai bowls for now). It’s my goal to create food that tells a story about my travels, about nation’s traditions and about personal experiences. I don’t know much else yet. Just that the focus will be more on food as a way to bring people together, to share their passion and to unite different cultures through cooking. Does that make sense? My recipes are and will be still all vegan, often gluten-free and mostly healthy. I’ll just add a little international touch. Like I did for this Israeli Vegan Skakshuka with Tofu….
I miss the days when things were simple. I also miss the days when I knew which place to call home. Today, right now, this very moment, I’m confused and everything seems just a tat too complicated. I’m not even going into politics here but has there been a time in history when there was more of a mess (thank you internet and social media for the information overflow) than it is today? Right! But then again it’s a time I wouldn’t want to miss.
Now I suddenly feel the urge to voice my opinion, do something for our community, get back to my German roots and actually make up my mind what I want to do with my future. Up until the beginning of last year I had a very casual (not indifferent but also not very strong) opinion about so many aspects of my life. “Are you proud to be German?” – “I guess so, Germany is a great country…”. “What’s you favorite German food?” – “Pfff not that I can recall one on the spot but I like Vietnamese spring rolls.”. “What can you do for your community back home in Germany as well as the one where you currently live?” – “Nothing?”. “And what about the immigrants that come to Germany?” – “They are welcome but not sure how to actually integrate them and make everything else work.”…
Today I’m taking a little trip down memory lane. Back to my childhood when there wasn’t any Trump but the GDR and sweet potatoes were unheard of. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I visited my grandparents for a few days last week. I flew into Berlin on Wednesday night because I had an important meeting on Thursday morning. After my meeting, I took a few hours off and just wandered around Berlin aimlessly, my favorite thing to do. Ever. Really!
I can’t do much walking anymore in Istanbul because it’s not very pedestrian friendly and you actually need a car to drive to some nicer areas where you can walk, have a proper sidewalk and not a busy road right next to you. So whenever I travel to more pleasant places (in terms of walking) I just love to walk for hours. Why do I tell you that instead of telling you about my visit to my grandparents? Because as a child I hated walking….
How do you feel about coming back home after a long holiday? I was away for more than 3 weeks. First I went to Germany for my other (aka daytime) job and to spent Christmas with my family. I only came back to Istanbul for merely half a day before we left to Abu Dhabi and then Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka we enjoyed warm and sunny days filled with an abundance of fresh exotic fruits. You’d think that coming home, especially after enjoying our last three days at the magical Tri hotel, would be nothing less than painful. And yes, our journey back home to Istanbul was not a good end to our holiday, neither a good start to work life. Due to a little bit of a snow incident in Istanbul, we were delayed by more than a day. Completely exhausted and tired from our odyssey of spending 1.5 days on and off the plane, the first thing we did was getting some comfort food….
Today I’m very very veeeeeery excited to kick of my series of guest posts with a long time Instagram friend, Janine of Nuts and Blueberries. Janine and I connected through Social Media at the beginning of both our Instagram journeys. Since then we’ve always been in contact and I loved seeing Janine grow her following, her passion for food and photography skills.
Janine authentic style and her own story inspires everyone who comes across her blog and Instagram account. Also, if you love cats as much as I do, you should definitely check out her account and Instagram stories. Janine has a very open and creative approach to food. She doesn’t follow any super strict diets but she listens to her body. She is always keen to try new things, so when I’m in need of some dinner inspiration or a new breakfast smoothie recipe, Nuts and Blueberries is one of my first sources….
Our lives are contingent on how-tos. How to wash your face, how to cook pasta, how to treat your colleagues, how to decorate your apartment. You name it, there is an how-to book or article for it. But I’ve rarely come across the question: How do you travel? Maybe because it is a very personal one and there is no right or wrong answer. But I have to admit that I never asked that question myself until very recently. Keeping in mind that I do travel quite a lot, it should have been something to think about a long time ago. How do I travel? I travel with my backpack but also my suitcase. I travel by car but also train. To cities but also to the mountains. With an itinerary or wherever the road takes me. But how do I really travel? It was only when I went on a trip with my mum a few weeks ago that I started to realise one thing. I travel through food.
I haven’t been on a longer vacation with my mum for many years. A few days into our holiday while having yet another mind-blowing lunch in Tallinn my mum and I got talking about our experiences on the trip so far. She told me: “Most people read up on the history of the country they travel to, they visit all churches and museums and they sprint from one sight to another. You eat and wander.” And it’s true. The minute I know of an upcoming vacation, I search the internet and guide books for food recommendations. I read up on food culture, find trendy spots, check out the entrepreneurial landscape and also read a little about the history and current affairs. But I have long stopped making a list of sights I want to visit. I love wandering. I love getting lost and discovering these sights myself. And on the way I love to stop and have delicious food….
This cold blueberry soup is a reminder of my recent trip to Helsinki and its many wonderful food markets. We arrived by ferry from Tallinn in the morning and spent one day in the city, all while the sky gleamed in bright blue and the sunshine warmed the streets of Finland’s beautiful capital. It was a perfect day to explore Helsinki. Strolling the food markets became an instant favorite. They were overflowing with fresh produce from the region, colorful flowers and the occasional fish stand. One things that surprised me to see over and over again – berries of all sorts, colors and shapes….
Growing up at the Baltic Sea, I’ve really come to miss the ocean, moody days and nordic beach landscapes here in Istanbul. Every time I go back home to visit, everything has changed, most of my friends moved away but the cooling sea breeze and smell of the smashing waves still makes me feel like this is the home I’ve never left. I never realise how much I miss it until I’m there again. As a child and teenager I would always feel most comfortable by the sea and I would never get bored looking out to the horizon. Most summers we would spend our days at the beach, mostly swimming and sunbathing, sometimes playing volleyball or learning how to windsurf. I would walk the shore and collect shells and stones only to through them back to the sea at the end of the day. There, I imagined the beautiful jewelry I could make with my finds or the artsy collages I could create. The sea always got my thinking and imagining and visualizing. Today I still feel like the ocean is the only place where my thoughts can run free. No limitations, no obligations – just an empty head that wants to be filled with ideas….