Last week I had breakfast with a few colleagues in kindergarten and one of them had some really nice cheese with spices. I asked where I could buy it, but she told me she made it herself. So I tried it as well. I bought lor peynir a cheese that doesn’t really has a lot of flavour and is very dry. I think that you could use cottage cheese if you don’t find lor peynir in your local Turkish supermarket. In Turkey they don’t really sell cottage cheese, but on a food group they told me to replace cottage cheese with lor peynir so it should also work the other way around. Then it is very simple. You just bring it to taste with salt, pul biber (spicy dried paprica flakes), kekik (oregano), çörek (nigella seeds) and you add olive oil. Everything to taste especially the olive oil. You can use another oil if you prefer. Keep in mind that the olive oil is to make it moiste because else it will be very, very dry. I actually didn’t know it’s name so I asked on the cooking group and learned that it is probably çökelek peynir. I just call it cheese with spices. On the cooking group they also told me that normally they also add some tomato or pepper paste but I didn’t have that at the time and it tastes great without it in any case. It is very simple and easy to make and very low budget. We just eat it on bread, but maybe I will use it in a borek or in pogaca just to give it a try.
On 10 February I had jury for my turkish citizenship. I was super stressed and when we arrived we learned that there was a mistake with the hours. The guy gave us a wrong hour and noted another time in our file. Luckily we had all our papers with us so we could provide proof that we actually were on time. I was very stressed by the time I had to go in, but it went super smooth. They asked where I was from, where we lived, what my husband’s job was, if we rented or owned our house. How much rent we paid. How long we lived in Belgium. I made a few small mistakes but inşallah it will be ok. My husband got the same questions and they also commented on our different level of education probably to get a reaction. Now we wait for news. I hope to learn soon if I passed or not.
I still need to post some new posts, but with everything that is going on in my life I’m having a hard time blogging for the moment. I also had some technical difficulties with a plugin that blocked the access to the login page of my blog. I will try to post an update on how it went with the jury and the protected post in the upcoming days, but I can’t promise anything.
I will post a protected post soon. Since it is a personal “women’s” blog it will be password protected. Who wants the password can contact me on Facebook or leave a message here.
Today on women’s day I got a message stating that I bring shame over women by covering and that I add to the oppression of women by covering. A fast response… covering is a choice and if it is done by choice it is not oppression it is liberation. I’m not oppressed I’m liberated. My body my head my choice. I’m blessed with a loving husband who supports my choice to cover, who doesn’t force me into anything I don’t want. On top of that I have made the choice many years ago to convert to Islam. Islam liberates women when practiced correctly. Yes I know some people don’t practice Islam correctly, however women oppression and abuse isn’t an Islamic problem. It is a world wide problem. Oppression or abuse of women is never justifiable. If you are in an abuse situation or you are being oppressed, please find help. Contact your local authorities, ask help from friends or family or specialized organisations.
I want to leave you with some information about women in Islam. There is much more to be found about how important women are in Islam but I saw this picture this morning and I think it is very suitable. If you want more information you can always contact me.
The day before I travelled to Belgium I decided to make something nice for my husband. He had been asking for kabak mucveri for a long time, but it always fails so I didn’t really want to make it again. But since I really wanted to be very sweet, I decided to try it 1 more time. I grated 6 small zucchini and squeezed out as much juice as possible. Then I added salt let it sit for half an hour and squeezed out some more. After that I added 2 eggs and 150gr of flower. I made small, flat patties which I baked in sunflower oil. Guess what they came out perfect.
Tomorrow I will be flying to Belgium inşallah unfortunately without my husband. I’m a bit nervous, because of the hostile attitude towards muslims these days. I don’t know if I will go and visit friends. My husband prefers that I just stay with my family since you never know what might happen. Still being with my family will be great as well. I made a lot of lists of things to buy, to eat, to visit,…. and I’m really looking forward to it. I just hope that it won’t snow. I will try to post a few updates while I’m there.
I finally got a date to go in front of the jury for my Turkish citizenship. How did taking the appointment go? 2 days ago I got a message from the Istanbul nüfus. I had to go and bring a picture of me and one of my husband asap. So we did went yesterday. I again had to answer questions and then we both had to sign a paper. We got a date to go to the commission or jury: 10 February. I still will have to practice a lot beforehand, because for the moment I freeze when I get stressed.
In the beginning of the month there was a milestone. I have been living in Turkey for 3 years. We have had our ups and downs. The first months were terrible and even now I miss Belgium from time to time. Well not really Belgium, but family, friends and food. Turkey definitely has become my home with the support of my sweet husband. I found my place in Turkey.
In these past 3 years I have learned a lot. Not only did my Turkish improve, but I also learned to be a better teacher, I learned to cook with fresh ingredients and how to improvise. I also improved my social skills and I finally start to build up a social network. I learned the hard way not to get to attached to people and learned who my real friends are. It is hard to keep friendships alive when you are living far apart and it takes a lot of effort from both sides. I learned to appreciate my family much more. My holidays in Belgium are all about spending quality time with my family with 1 fixed appointment the wonderful girls from Aalst. I have enjoyed showing the few friends and family, who came to visit, Istanbul and I hope to get some more visitors in the following years.
I have seen my fair share of protests and even experienced an earthquake. Although they were scary I survived and grew stronger. I adapted to living in another country with another culture and I can finally say that I’m happy and I feel at home. It have been 3 wonderful years and I hope to experience many more.