Cuma//joo mah: Nourishment + Simplicity
Welcome to my new series posted on Fridays, called Cuma, which means 'Friday' in Turkish. It will be focused on recipes, happenings, and general life for us in Turkey.
During the past couple of weeks, the internal urge to return to the basics has unconsciously built up in my body. The world continues to bring unpredictable chaos but in the midst of restlessness, I find myself gravitating towards nourishment and simplicity. I am struggling not to be triggered by what is happening in America (and the world at large) and with that extra stress, I remind myself that I can control where I direct my attention and focus. While my intentions may be confused with the eagerness of the New Year, my desire to focus on nourishment and simplicity just so happens to coincide with the annual "new year, new me."
In Turkish gastronomy, the winter months similarly bring a focus on nourishment and simplicity, in the form of a bowl of soup. Traditionally, soups were consumed in both the morning and evening. Turkish breakfast has since become more elaborate, with a smorgasbord of offerings, but that is a recent trend. Soups are slow-cooked for hours to access the multiple benefits found in bone broth or aiding in the ability to digest food in the winter months. It takes patience and forethought to prepare most Turkish soups and they often demonstrate the ability of people to make a nourishing meal from nothing - they feed the poor and rich alike. In short, soups in Turkey require patience to cook as they unify a nation, sustain the diverse strata of society, and provide nourishment from disregard and forgotten bits and pieces. Applying these qualities of Turkish soup and connecting it to my own life looks like patience, unity, nourishment, creativity, and hope. May this be a week where we can return to the basics and have an intentional focus on nourishment and simplicity. Oh and maybe make yourself some delicious soup or stew - if you keep reading, I have included a recipe!
Peas in the Streets" also known in Turkish as Bezelye
This is not quite a soup - it is more of a stew - but the approach and simplicity are similar. Not to mention, we received a bunch of frozen peas from Salih's Aunt so I wanted to use them up. This recipe comes directly from Meliz Berg from @MelizCooks on Instagram, she is an amazing cook making Turkish/Cypriot food in the UK. I love her version of bezelye so I am following it here!
4 carrots, large
4 potatoes, medium
500 grams of ground beef/lamb
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
700 grams of frozen peas
1 can of chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
1 liter of chicken stock
Put a large pan with 3 tbsp light olive oil on medium heat, add 2 roughly chopped large onions. Soften for 12-15 mins, add 4 large carrots and 4 medium potatoes all peeled and roughly chopped, and cook for around 10 mins, until lightly browned on the edges, stirring often.
Add 500g beef or lamb mince and cook for 8-10 mins until browned. Add 4 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp each black pepper and sea salt flakes, 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and cumin, 1 bay leaf and stir for a min or so.
Add 700g frozen peas and cook for 10-15 mins until peas start to change color a tad. Add 1 tin chopped toms, 3 tbsp tomato purée, and 1 litre of chicken stock.
Bring to boil and simmer with lid half off for around an hour. Leave to settle for 30 mins with lid on before serving. We ate our bezelye on top of some delicious spinach and bulgur.
Three Things I am loving:
This quote: “One should go easy on smashing other people’s lies. Better to concentrate on one’s own.” — Iris Murdoch
Vital Proteins Blueberry Moon Milk with melatonin, magnesium, GABA, and collagen. I sleep like a baby after a cup of this, albeit expensive, tea.
Notice some recent changes around here?
We are in the process of rebranding the blog! For quite some time, I have known that Hasat Günü is a mouthful, especially for those not used to speaking Turkish. We shortened the name to 'Hasat,' meaning 'harvest' in Turkish. Our new website URL is www.hasatco.com and our Instagram handle is @hasatco. If you are already following or subscribed to the blog, you do not need to update or change anything about how you engage with this space. This is simply an update that changes are happening, new designs are coming and the creative energy is flowing! Stay tuned!