Now that Ramazan is over, life has returned to normal. Breakfast in the village, at the regular time, has commenced and I love nothing more than falling out of bed, jumping in the car and turning up at my mother in-laws just as breakfast is being laid on the floor.
We do make a stop on the way though. We stop at one of the village bakers and pick up some fresh warm bread which can be used to wrap cheese, aubergine or peppers, then rolled up to dip nicely into bowls of freshly made tomato sauce – Delicious.
I especially like doing this on a Friday because Friday is the holy day, and on this day Murat leaves money with the baker to pay for the bread of village families that can’t afford any. I love that he does that and I’m sure there are others that make the same gesture.
The bakers, or ‘firin’ as it is known, is nothing fancy. It’s just a shop type building with a large counter behind which stand men in aprons holding paddles. I say paddles as I don’t know the real name for them but for the sake of your imagination, they do look exactly like paddles. These are used to place the bread deep into the fiery furnace until it turns golden. Families also use the firin to prepare meals like ‘Tepsi Firin’ (oven tray) – They fill a large stainless steel dish, a bit like a flan dish but bigger, with tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, and sometimes adding onions, then send it to the bakers to be roasted in the oven – It costs just one lira for this service and of course, more bread is bought to accompany it.
I love the simplicity of this cheap and nutritious food and the simplicity of the village lifestyle. There’s a lot to be said for it.
Tomatoes, Peppers and Aubergines are such a staple of the nations diet that there is even a song about them. If you don’t believe me, here’s a video of the late Baris Manco singing Domates Biber Patlican 🙂