Friday, 18 March 2011
Cooking without an oven
My oven is electric. The hob is gas which runs off a gas bottle...normal for most of Turkey. Last weekend I switched on my oven ready to cook a bread pudding which I had prepared and to roast some potatoes. I left the kitchen to do something else and when I came back I couldn't hear the familiar whirring of the oven. I turned it off, checked the trip switch in the fuse box and it was down. So I flicked it up and turned the oven back on. It appeared to be working...at least the fan was...but it just remains cold.
I can't find anyone locally to fix it. No-one in Milas is prepared to come out to the village to do it....well not for me anyway. I'm pretty sure Mr A could find someone but of course he's not here. So I am adapting to life without an oven. I've blogged before about electrical appliances in this country. They just don't last. I've lost count of the number of fridge-freezers, cookers, washing machines and other smaller appliances that we've had to replace in 13 years. This cooker has lasted 5 years...much longer than it's predecessors.
I transferred the bread pudding mix to a suitable dish and cooked it in the microwave. It didn't go brown of course...it looked very pale and unappetising but it tasted fine. I chopped up the potatoes which should have been roasted and sauteed them on the gas hob. Everything else I've eaten this week has been cooked in a pan on the hob or microwaved.
But I need some more ideas...particularly easy and cheap recipes for the microwave oven, so if you have any bright ideas please let me know.
Mr A's progress: Work seems to be going well and they have customers. There is no personnel accommodation however and he has been staying with a friend/work colleague for the past week whilst the man's wife and children were away. They were due to return last night so Mr A had to move out. He's now staying in a pansiyon (small guest house) where they agreed to wait for payment until he gets his salary...hopefully at the end of this month. The small...and very slow...motorbike which took three hours to get him to Kusadasi has been sold to pay a couple of debts. A wise decision as he is transported to work by company dolmuş so the motorbike was sitting gathering dust.
We are looking at various options which will enable us to be together this year. We can rent an apartment for me to move over there. Or Mr A could buy a more substantial motorbike on taksit (hire purchase) and travel home every night which he thinks will take half the time with a more powerful bike. I worry about all this travelling and the dangers involved, but Mr A doesn't mind this and in any case says that he would really prefer to sleep in his own bed.
It's a case of weighing up the options and looking at what is most economical. If we rent (and rental charges in Kusadasi are not cheap), we will also have additonal costs of electricity, water, etc....and again these charges are much lower in villages like ours than towns and resorts. There are things that we won't have like internet connection or a garden for the dogs. The motorbike option is looking like the most attractive one at the moment.
I'm used to making plans and having them change from one day to the next, so none of this is out of the ordinary for me. It's just a way of life here. So watch this space.