A Breakfast Ritual – Turkish / Balkan Style

During a blistering Balkan summer, mornings greeted me with a delightful breakfast spread. Coffee, sizzling beef sausage, fried eggs and buttery peppers perfumed the air and awoke me from my heat induced slumber before I could even open my eyes.  Empty water drums clanged excitedly waiting in turn to be filled by a temperamental tap. Strays barked from dusty dirt roads in the near distance and the family Cockerell ended his doolde-doo on a bizarre flat note as if the heat had exhausted him too. As a guest I didn’t want to out stay my welcome as I was used to pulling my weight but my offer of a helping hand was politely refused. Eating in the open air under the shade of vines, we picked from a spread which took up the entire length of the table. Red and white checks poked out from small gaps between sun dappled plates.  The elderly bumbled to and from the table as they pleased and kids unable to sit for long were soon distracted by the rural landscape’s hidey holes.

In Crete, the ritual of breakfast continued. Even bigger, more elaborate spreads became us complete with a backdrop of sparkling sea. Then in Istanbul as we sat at the table bleary eyed from perhaps a touch too much Raki the night before, the early afternoon call to prayer floated on the air reminding us we’d risen later than intended.  After the food was cleared away Murat’s sister prepared syrupy coffee, serving not only as a digestif but as a talking point as she read our fortunes from the empty cups.

The breakfast ritual is one worth keeping as long as it’s practiced in good company. Here’s how I intend to keep it going in not so sunny London..

Read on…

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This entry was posted in Food, Mediterranean Culture, Multi Cultural London, Recipes, Travel, Turkey and tagged , , , , , by NazarBlue. Bookmark the permalink.

About NazarBlue

Growing up with Southern Italian roots, Turkish best friends and Arabic neighbours, life was lived around abundant tables and socialising in kitchens. A love for food and feeding was inevitable. It showed me how all people were the same regardless of language and borders – Una Faccia Una Razza! When I became engaged to a Saracen from Istanbul, his relatives not only welcomed me into their family but welcomed me into their kitchen. For me, food is love. Food personifies the people who you hold dearest and speaks of origins and affections. To cook is to create edible offerings of love. NazarBlue is concerned with Food, Travel & Photography. But by no means the regular stuff you'll find littering the Mediterranean tourist trail. No, no! I cook real food with stories behind each dish. I photograph simple things, but try to emphasis natural beauty in a moment or in a scene. And when I travel I live with families for an authentic experience and then write about my experiences of people and place alike. I crave to find the pockets of culture from the Mediterranean and beyond in this great city, London, and write about the authentic unpretentious eateries I find. I have also uploaded some flash fiction.

2 thoughts on “A Breakfast Ritual – Turkish / Balkan Style

  1. Alexia, I was just on authonomy trying to find your book ( have taken out some time to get back to reading and writing) didn’t find your book but found this wonderful blog of yours, I love it. Beautiful pictures, great post. Following.

  2. Hi Khaula! Thanks so much for your lovely comment – It means so much coming from a published author. I took down my book until I have enough time to do a huge edit, but I’ll re post when that’s done. How are your projects getting along?

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