Sunday, February 26, 2006

Traditional home remedies for the cold


I have been quite sick these days: a bad cold, cough, blocked chest, aches, etc... I don't like to take strong medication for the cold and I usually try to let it have its cycle and pass on its own. It takes a long time, though, and I usually get much worse before I get better. This time I remembered some traditional home remedies - foods I should rather say - and had them. I really feel they helped a lot, eased my cough and blocked nose.

Yogurt with garlic: I heard this from a Serbian colleague and since I like both garlic and yogurt, I decided to try it. I just crashed a lot of garlic into yogurt and ate it. It may be bad for the breath, but it is excellent for the cold! I now read that it is good for faryngitis and laryngytis, the common cold and fever. In Greece we know that garlic - and onion - is good for the heart. In fact, I was told that my grandfather - the one from Χειλή (Şile) - used to swallow one clove of garlic every day.

Latte caramellato: an italian traditional home medicine for the cough. You put several (3-4 or more if you like) spoonfuls of sugar in a wide pan and heat it until it caramelizes. Then you pour one cup of milk while stirring with a wooden spatula. The caramelized sugar solidifies when it comes in contact with the cold milk. You should then continue to stir carefully and let the milk boil till the caramel dissolves. You should drink it hot. You must be careful while preparing it, so as not to spill the caramel and get burned.

I hope you will not need these soon, but if you do try them and let me know if they will work for you.
Have a good week tomorrow!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Love was everywhere ! ~Ç

Katerina ! Arahnaki mou!

I loved all you have written about your trip to Vien and I am very glad once again to know you and to move our friendship to a more visual environment.

These are highlights about i planned to write about famous "St Valentine's Day" "Sevgililer Günü" in Turkish and "Agape ...something..." in Greek.

For sure St. Valentine day ( Sevgililer Günü / Lovers Day in Turkish) became a commercial day with full of advertising activities.

After a long time I realized that I detached myself from the gravity of St. Valentine Day – no hurry for celebration or gifts and no grief because there is nobody to celebrate...

February 14, Tuesday started with snow and an outside meeting, when i come back to the cafeteria i have seen these lovely, heart shaped pink cookies for “Sevgililer Günü”...
At the meeting we chat about St. Valentine in line with the day’s agenda and we all agreed that the best way to celebrating this unique day is “ being at home, wining and dining, music and candle light”...

My close friends know that, starting from first half of 2005 i became a TV-addicted. I watch almost all Turkish soap operas... Last year’s favourite was “Bir İstanbul masalı – An İstanbul tale” and “Haziran Gecesi – The June Night", if the translation is correct. This year without discussion my star is “Beyaz Gelincik – The white poppy”. I am in “platonic" –see Greek mythology is everywhere too:)-and "tele-love" with the main actor – Erkan Petekkaya. I think for the years – since teenage period- i am not in this kind of absurd position.

This afternoon i was thinking to post something about St. Valentine, my ideas to post a poem
of Greek &/ Turkish poet in English or the image of the Kiss by Gustave Klimt. It is a classic icon of love and lovers and until my trip to Spain i don’t like the style and the picture.. In Barcelona i met Klimt’s kiss a porcelain sculpture, what a concidence it was the week of February 10s. İn 2003 and again in Spain love was everywhere. That porcelain reproduction of the Kiss charmed me. The circular lines, soft pastel colors... I couldn’t afford to buy that object – a very famous boutique and the price was € 4000!- but i begged for the catalogue... So i have it at the end!

While i was googling about the Kiss of Klimt I met Brancusi’s Kiss – a sculpture. And the sculpture yesterday evening on the TV. Beyaz Gelincik Ceren bought and placed to their bed-room :-0. It was very interesting to see that the “Kiss”es in everywhere too.

  • Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) ’s “Kiss”

His style is highly ornamental (which personally I love-Ç) . The Art Nouveau movement favored organic lines and contours. Klimt used a lot of gold and silver colors in his art work - certainly an heritage from his father's profession as a gold and silver engraver. Klimt's works of art were a scandal at his time because of the display of nudity and the subtle sexuality and eroticism. His best know painting The Kiss, was first exhibited in 1908. As everything coming out of Klimt's hands, it was highly controversial and admired at the same time.
Another interesting coincidence, the original Kiss is in Austria, where I intended to write after yours “Greek inn” J. And the style of the painting is defined as Symbolism.

İstanbul hosts an important Picasso exhibition in months, hopefully i am going to visit on next Wednesday. On March 24, there is a conference on Picasso and Klimt: comparison on two artists.

  • Constantin Brancusi (1876-1975)’s Kiss

Although he was active mainly in Paris throughout his life, originally he was Romanian, he was from Balkans..

He preferred the technique of direct carving in stone -- a process newly popular among French sculptors in the early 1900s -- and was capable of reducing natural forms to near abstract simplicity. His work in both stone and bronze concentrated on variations of a small number of themes -- heads, birds, and his renowned couple embracing The Kiss.
The original Kiss is in limestone, and it is in States now ( The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection -- Philadelphia Museum of Art -)

It is a coincidence or not, both Kisses are dated to 1908!

And now the Kiss for Orchestra!!! This is what I have found on the internet thru the googling for Klimt-Kiss... It is a clear evidence of impact of art. A master piece (in this case two master pieces) can touch somewhere and give inspiration to another piece of art.

The last word for red&pink hearts day, coming from our intersection point: Two Greek poems for love one is ancient the other is Rebetiko which is “ithaf edilmiş”=dedicated to a be-loved gold flower...

Sappho 610-580 B.C.translated by Willis B


I have a small daughter who is beautiful

like a gold flower. I would not trade

my darling Kleis for all Lydia or even

for lovely Lesvos.


Rebetiko by Yannis Papaioannou, Translated by Gail Holst

-My small daughter .....My gold flower .... Christiana, London 1984-

Nights I stay awake without hope

Lonely I walk the streets.

In front of the bars of your window

I spend my sad hours.

How I long to meet you again,

To find our old joy once more,

To give you my kisses again

So my black saddness will leave me

But there where you are in a strange place,

Who knows where you wander now?

I wonder if you still think of me

Or suffer for someone else.

I will add more opinions and feelings into pictures later on for sure :) and create another post about Turks / Ottomans & Vien .


Monday, February 20, 2006

My latest tour around Europe

Here I am, following a long absence due to a tough travelling schedule during the last two weeks. After passing by Athens for a weekend, I left for Paris on February 13th, for Vienna on the 15th, back to Athens - through Paris - on the 16th, back to Cyprus on the 17th, on a plane to England - through Athens - on the 19th (yesterday) and tonight I am in Warsaw, Poland. Tomorrow morning I'll take the train for Krakow, back to Warsaw on Wednesday and back to Athens the same night....

I rarely go to a restaurant when I am on my own. But it was my first visit ever to Vienna and I decided to find a characteristic Viennese restaurant and have dinner. The hotel recommended the Griechenbeisl, which turned out to be Vienna's oldest restaurant. I highly recommend it if you ever go to Vienna! The environment and decoration are charming, the service and the food are very good. The building itself is very interesting, and very old!

Here is their web page
from where I copy the following information:

Welcome to the Griechenbeisl, Vienna’s oldest inn

The Griechenbeisl (The Greek Inn) is one of Vienna’s oldest inns. Artists, scholars and politicians would congregate in the Griechenbeisl to eat, drink, debate and reflect – often into the early hours. From the world famous balladeer ‘Der lieber Augustin’ to later figures of the stature of Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Strauss, Brahms, the painters Waldmüller and Schwind, the opera singer Schaljapin, writers Mark Twain, Grillparzer and Nestroy, and political personalities such as Karl Lueger and Graf Zeppelin have all appreciated its traditional Viennese cuisine and creature comforts. The framed autographs on the walls of the famous Mark Twain room ensure that their presence lives on here.

History of the Griechenbeisl

The Griechenbeisl is first mentioned in the registry of the City of Vienna in 1447. From around 1500, the present Griechenbeisl appears as an inn by the name of ‘The Yellow Eagle’ and later as ‘The Red Roof’ and ‘The Golden Angel’. In the mid 17th Century numerous tradesmen from Greece and the Levant settled around the area of Fleischmarkt which became known as the Greek quarter. Beside the inn stands the Greek Orthodox Church, the seat of the diocese.

Completed in 1861, the church is the only ecclesiastical work by Theophil von Hansen, architect of the Austrian parliament. It was around this time that the inn adopted the name ‘Griechenbeisl’. In 1852 the then landlord Leopold Schmied introduced Pilsner Urquell beer, a novelty at the time. From then on, the Griechenbeisl started to acquire a reputation that made it known all over the world.

I ate in the Karlsbader room.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Portugal, Pgymalion, Sunday Cook ~ Ç


I heard Madeira first in a cake recipe as Madeira pond cake:

A traditional English favorite that's like a simple pound cake, the top of which is sprinkled with candied lemon peel halfway through baking. The name comes from the fact that it is usually served with a glass of Madeira. Some cooks also sprinkle the baked cake with Madeira before it cools.

Then Madeira is in the Finnish Hot Wine recipe. What I know about hot wine, you can make it from cheap wine, but in Finnish Christmas Glögg it is recommended to use Madeira!

When you G o o g l e Madeira, you immediately learn that it is an Portuguese island famous with its special quality of wine. I visited Spain 3 years ago. As a fond of everything Mediterrenean Portugal is one of the dream countries to visit. This beautiful island wih beaches and wine maked Portugal as a must destination together with Andalusia. Till now we already planned to visit Kyrete and Kavala together, so we added Andalusia and Madeira to the route.


Second is Pgymalion. I was one of the facilitators of a training program last week. Training for management development and its name is Odyssee, from Homeros’ İliada. Odysseeus the hero in the legend has been in a sea travel for a very long time, more than 20 years full of wars, storms etc. Then his long journey has became a metaphor for challenging and long-term processess, as it is used in this training program.

But I want to tell more about Pygmalion instead of Odyseeus. Pygmalion is a sculpture, even it is told that he is a king from Cyprus, yes he is your citizen J. Pygmalion had felt in love the woman he created which is a ivory statue, however Aphrodite, the goddess of love, gives her life. Galetea and Pygmalion have together in a very happy way...

Bernard Shaw is the person who brought them today, or 20th Century. He has written a play – Pygmalion, and in the play the Pygmalion is a Professeur and Galatea is a flower-seller in Covent Garden. After many shows in London, the first movie done in Holywood in 1938. But, the most famous one is My Fair Lady of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Dolittle.

The relation with the management development lays in the researches in 1960s about school children. This research repeated in the management area and the results are quite similar. Now the behaviour is known as Self – Fulfilling prophecy or Pygmalion Effect. I will write more about the concept, however it is easy to google it.

Here also I would like to mention my own version of My Fair Lady: Three years ago, a very close friend and I visited Barcelona and Madrid. After a beautiful concert in Palau du Musica Catalana, and a flamenko – ballet if Gabriel Garcia Lorca, we had a ticket for Spanish My Fair Lady.

I admired the visuals, the colors, the images and of course the music. Thanks to God i know the theme so, all I understand from the play is a rhyme: “İl pan di Spagna bagna la campagna”


On last Sunday there was our annual apartment administration meeting at 11:00. Since we talked to have breakfast together i planned to prepare something for breakfast – Olive bread!

I do believe you have very delicious recipes too, but my basic recipe is here...

Olive Bread

2 eggs
2 cups of flour-all wheat
1.5 cups of olive – without the seeds inside
½ cup of milk
1 table spoon of sugar
1 coffee spoon of baking powder

Mix eggs, sugar and olives together, olives dyes all to black! Add flour, baking powder and resemary and mix again with a spoon. Place in a baking tray and cook in 1800 for 30 minutes or until you get a knife clean!

My neighbours loved it! I also, recognized once again oil brings a unique taste – because i put the olive oil to the bread quite generously.

In the afternoon, my aunt and cousins came for the tea-talk.... Then they stayed for dinner. I have cooked the liver from last Fest “Kurban Bayramı”. I love liver, and if i cook it at home i love to prepare it with caramelized onions. I merge my own recipe with Emine Beder’s recipe with minor changes....

Arnavut Ciğeri- “Albanian Liver”

It becomes three layers:
1) Liver => after prepare the liver (clening the outer membrance etc) cut into mini-dices. Mix the flour with salt and sweet powder red pepper and coat the liver dices with this flour-mix. Fried in hot vegetable oil.
2) Onion (+ parsley) => Cut the onions in “yarım ay / piyaz” which means like very thin apple slices, add some salt and mix very well the onions with your hands until eliminate the bitter taste, wash the onions and leave to dry. Put some olive oil, add onions and some brown sugar and caramelize the onions. In the last minutes add the small pieces of parslay and “sote” all together.
3) Potatoes ( + carrot): Cut the potatoes to small dices and rende the carrots. Instead of frying, stir them with olive oil, salt and thyme and bake in oven for 30 + 10 mn.

Serve in a big-flat plate, potatoes at th bottom, onions in the middle and liver on top.
For the ones who like “sakatat” this is a fantastic meal! In Türkiye now, we are enjoying all these kind of food as much as possible until we got accepted to EU sometime in future :P

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Vacation Plans & Κρητικό Κοπανέλλι


It is winter here, cloudy, raining and mild during the day but cold at night. I am very busy with work but also with other things that I need to do and never have time. The big project was finding barrels for transplanting my boukamvilias. It took me two weeks of research but I found them! Now I need to arrange to get soil. I will transplant them next Sunday morning!

I am leaving tomorrow for the next trip: Athens for the weekend, Paris on Monday and Tuesday, Vienna on Wednesday and back on Thursday or Friday. Then two days here in Nicosia and away again, this time to England, Maybe France or Germany and then Russia!!!

I feel tired and need to think about vacation. Would you like to make one of the trips we have been talking about? How about Crete or Portugal?

Well, speaking of Crete, here are two pictures of the famous Κρητικό κοπανέλλι (kritiko' kopane'li), the Cretan bobbin lace. This is the next technique I plan to learn. It resembles very much Brussels lace. The mother of a friend knows it very well and I can go to take lessons. The only problem is that she is in Athens!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Αλκυονίδες Μέρες (Halkyon Days)

During these days - usually at the end of January - the weather is mild, sunny with no winds. Hεre is why!

The noun “halcyon” comes from the Greek word “alkyon” (or “halkyon”) meaning the bird called kingfisher. The word and the bird are both connected to a tragic, but romantic Greek myth.

Alcyone (or Halcyone) was the daughter of Aeolus, the ruler of the winds. Alcyone’s beloved husband, Ceyx, the king of Thessaly, drowned in a storm at sea. When she saw his floating body, Ovid tells us in “Book XI” of his METAMORPHOSES, the grief-stricken Alcyone threw herself into the sea “…and then, while beating the light air with wings that instant formed upon her, she flew on, a mourning bird, and skimmed above the waves.” She reached the corpse and tried to embrace it with her wings and kiss it “with her hardened bill.”

The gods, taking pity, turned them both into flying birds. “Their love lived on, nor in these birds were marriage bonds dissolved, and they soon coupled and were parent birds. Each winter during seven full days of calm Halcyone broods on her floating nest — her nest that sails upon a halcyon sea: the passage of the deep is free from storms, throughout those seven full days; and Aeolus restraining harmful winds, within their cave, for his descendants’ sake gives halcyon seas.” The sea and winds were calmed for those seven days as well as the seven after.

Halkyon is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, a group of seven stars in the constellation Taurus.