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.
Already our friend Walt Disney has put it so wisely
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
And that’s exactly what I did last Saturday. I’ve been playing with the idea to do more videos for a while now. Ever since I published my first travel (drone) video on Youtube, I wanted to do more videos. I’ve taken a lot of footage during my previous trips to Romania and Sri Lanka but just the thought of spending yet again days on editing these videos into a proper travel video, put me off. My video editing skills are not very advanced yet, so everything takes up a lot of time. “But a vlog doesn’t need to be super perfect and glam, right?” I thought last Saturday morning while having my cup of daily matcha latte. “Na, I still can’t do it because I don’t have a vlogging camera” is what followed next.
Now, I’ll go deeper into this topic another time but I come from a culture (hello fellow Germans) that sees limits and boundaries in everything. ‘I can’t’ is more common than ‘I can’. I can’t become a freelance photographer because that means I would need to quite my 9-5 job. Certainly, I can’t learn Japanse because I’ve never been good with languages. I can’t found my own company because I don’t have the funds yet. And I also can’t start a new hobby because I’m busy making excuses. I’ve been there, believe me, and it took me years to work on my mindset. To shift it from an ‘I can’t’ to an ‘Let’s do it’ attitude.
So that Saturday I decided that my iPhone, limited editing skills and the one hour I had to put it all together in the evening was enough. Some might argue that you always have to put out only your best work to impress people. I argue it’s okay to become better with practise. One not-so-perfect vlog is a hundred times better than all the videos I have saved in my draft folder because my standards are too high.
Having clarified that, let’s talk about food. Because these lentil balls are actually quite perfect and taste exactly like the ones I already had so many times in restaurants in Istanbul and all over Turkey. The lentil balls are quite filling so I prefer to have mine with green leaves and just a splash of lemon. This is how they are served typically in Turkey. But the lentil balls also make a great mezze (appetizer), served with other Turkish delicatessen foods like hummus and stuffed vine leaves as well as fresh and season vegetables.
Turkish Lentil Balls Mezze Platter
- 1 cup fine bulgur
- 2.5 cups of water
- 1 cup red lentil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili flakes flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4-5 strings of flat parsley, finely chopped
- walnuts and almonds
- dried figs
- fresh red bell paprika, thinly sliced
- radishes, halved
- ½ cup of chickpea or fava bean hummus
- fresh parsley
- handful of green salad leaves
- cucumber sticks
- 5-6 stuffed small vine leaves
- black olives
- 3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3-4 tbsp tahini
- In a saucepan combine water and red lentil
- Let simmer uncovered for about 10 min or until almost all liquid is absorbed
- Turn off heat, stir in fine bulgur (no cooking required but only if its fine bulgur) and set aside for 5 - 10 min
- In the meanwhile, heat oil over in a small saucepan over low-medium heat
- Add onion and sauteé for a few minutes or until soft
- Now, add the tomato paste and mix well
- Turn down the heat and add cumin, black pepper, chili flakes and salt
- Add the onion tomato mixture to the lentils and bulgur, mix gently
- Add the parsley and toss to mix again
- With damp hand form the mixture into walnut-sized balls
- Serve with lemon slices and/or on a Turkish mezze platter