Monthly Archives: October 2012

Obama Works… It!

If only the real world was this fun! Hopefully things like this encourage the youth vote!

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October 16, 2012 · 7:15 pm

Lahmachun

When Janice and I were in Bulgaria we stayed with a Turkish guy who introduced us to his favourite Turkish food from back home. We got a ton of advice on what to eat when we were in Turkey (especially useful seeing as Turkey was our next destination!) The number one recommendation was Lahmachun which is sort of like a Turkish version of pizza. Its comprised of crispy thin dough and topped with a ground meat and spice mixture. Its served with a plate of fresh vegetables and you roll the lahmachun around the vegetables and eat it sort of like an open-ended tortilla. Its generally served as an appetizer in Turkey and Janice and I must have eaten it with almost every meal! Our friend in Bulgaria gave me a recipe for trying at home and here it is! (The pomegranate seeds were my addition, just something I had lying around!)

Dough:

• 1 tsp dry active yeast
• ½ tsp sugar
• 1 ½ cup of warm water
• 4 ½ cups of flour
• Olive oil

Topping:

• 12 oz of minced lamb
• 1 large onion, minced
• 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp of butter
• 1 bunch curly parsley, chopped
• 1 cup of fresh mint, chopped
• 2 tomatoes, diced
• 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
• 1 tsp of chili pepper or 1-2 red chilies, minced
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp of cumin
• salt
• Juice of 1 lemon

Directions for the dough:

In a small bowl mix yeast and the sugar. Add 1/2 cup of warm water, stir well. Cover and let proof for about 15 minutes.
In a large bowl combine the remaining water, flour and the yeast mixture. Mix until it comes together and then kneed it into a soft, springy dough. Put about a tablespoon of oil in the bottom of the large clean bowl and add the ball of dough, flip to coat, cover with damp cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place. In about an hour the dough should have doubled in size.

After the dough has doubled, deflate it and cut into 10-12 pieces on a floured surface. Roll each into a ball and cover with a damp cloth and let it stand until your topping is ready (around half an hour). Preheat the oven to 420 F.

Directions for the topping:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once melted add the onion and garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 more minutes. Take the skillet off the burner and cool the onion mixture. Add the onion mixture to the ground lamb and the rest of the topping ingredients and mix well.

Take one ball of dough and roll into a round, flat circle about 5 mm thick.
Sprinkle some olive oil will work on a couple baking sheets and place rolled dough on the sheet. Brush dough with some olive oil and top up with 2 Tbsp of the ready topping. Spread the topping evenly and very thinly.

Bake, rotating trays part way through once the top tray begins to look a little crispy. I found they took about 7 minutes, but keep a careful eye out! Because the oven door is opened a lot during this process the ideal oven temperature is about 370F. When done the Lahmacuns are crispy at the ends and softer in the middle. Take them off the baking sheet to a wider container and cover with a towel until you are done. (Or eat them crispy!) Humidity under the towel will soften Lahmacuns, making it very easy for you to roll them around fresh ingredients. I like Lahmacuns rolled around onions, parsley, lettuce, more fresh tomato or cucumber and lemon juice. (But I got too excited to eat at this stage and forgot to take a photo!)

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Bakewell and Chatsworth

One day this summer, Janice and I decided to take a daytrip to Bakewell. We hopped on the bus (at a very early hour) and drove three hours to the little picturesque town of Bakewell. I had downloaded a map of a hiking route we were going to take that day. It took us through beautiful countryside, views of historic estates and very little climbing or mud. And then the first thing Janice and I did was to get lost. Its impressive really. We went in completely the opposite direction. Not even close. So instead of our pleasant walk we walked through a field of alpacas (not very friendly), were almost hit by flying golf balls, climbed a very large hill and managed to get entirely muddy. It was excellent!

The Peak District

Somewhere on the mountain/ hill?

Views of Bakewell

The hike did provide us with beautiful views and after a couple hours we made it around the hill (or very small mountain) and saw the town of Bakewell in the distance so we knew where we were again! We headed back to town and wandered through the town (stopping some of the well-known shops and bakeries!) We had afternoon tea at a very popular teahouse and tried the traditional Bakewell pudding and tarts. Bakewell is a lovely place and there is a lot to do in the area (Peak District, Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall)

Re-entering Bakewell

Bakewell

Bakewell Tart

Bakewell Pudding

About a month later Janice and I were back in the area visiting Chatsworth House, a stately manor just a few miles away from Bakewell.  The house looks familiar because its been in several movies – such as the most recent adaption of Pride and Prejudice. The house is home to the Duke of Devonshire and it was home to Bess of Hardwick after her marriage. Janice and I wandered through the house for several hours (I was very impressed by the collection of Orientalist artifacts). I also thought the collection of baby carriages and children’s toys were very sweet. After the house I wandered through the beautiful and extensive gardens for several hours before heading home.

Chatsworth

Orientalism was a fun trend!

The family’s library

View down the river Wye

Stairway to the Sky

The fountains

View out onto the Peak District

See you later!

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Filed under Travel

Same Love

Just beautiful.

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October 4, 2012 · 2:26 pm