Daily Food Journal

THE LAST DAY- June 15 2012

Today we had a traditional Turkish breakfast which consists of many breads, something like jam but with larger pieces of fruit, many kinds of olives and cheese and of course black tea. We also have made a little friend, a baby kitten who lives outside with no mother but today has been playing inside with us for hours! She loves the curtains! 

We went to the beach to swim and watch the sunset. It was so beautiful. Then we had local fish at a restaurant on the beach. I even tried octopus! It really did taste like chicken but with just a hint of fishy taste, maybe it was the olive oil.

DAY TWENTY ONE- June 14 2012

Day twenty-one on my twenty-first birthday! Today we are at Baris’ family’s summer “cottage” on the Mediterranean sea in Turkey. Baris’ mother made us dinner for us to bring with us which was so sweet and consisted of eggplant salad- they use a lot of eggplant here- and a form of steak and potatoes. Our neighbor also brought over some stuffed green peppers which were delicious. We rode bikes into town to get a cake and I don’t think I could have picked a better one! Its white cake with fruit and simply amazing.



Grandpa and I shared in the experience of trying the whole week to catch some fish. She finally caught 6 nice crappie. We took them to the cabin where grandma and mom cooked them over the fire. Because it was Geri’s birthday and in memory of Geri’s mom, Deanna, Athena tried a new food. As Athena was about to take a bite she said “I guess i am stepping outside my bubble”.

The Meal- Five crappie caught by Athena, cleaned by grandpa then cooked by grandma and mom. Mom took the fillet’s and used butter, lemon,pepper and garlic then wrapped them in foil. The were grilled directly on the campfire.

DAY TWENTY- June 13 2012

Today we are in Antalya, Turkey with Baris’ parents. They are so sweet! Antalya is situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains. Baris’ family used to live in a small town in the mountains so they took me to see that area today. The mountains were huge and dry but we climbed up to see a natural wonder. There is an area in the rock where natural gas leaks and so it is the only place on earth that fire burns constantly! After this hot dry place we drove just 20min to a town that is blessed with a natural spring and use it well. Water is everywhere, it is like a rainforest and it is here that we ate wonderful fish! This day was simply wonderful.

DAY NINETEEN- June 12 2012

Today I felt much better. We walked into the center of town and stopped at Turkey’s version of a Starbucks on the way. I had Turkish coffee- which is not filtered, just boiled and prepared for each person- and carrot cake. We went to see the Blue Mosque but when we got there it was closed for prayer so we could not see anything. We didn’t have much time to wait so we decided to visit it next time. We grabbed some quick traditional meatballs at a famous place across the street from the Blue Mosque before heading home to pack for our flight to Antalya.

DAY EIGHTEEN- June 11 2012

Today I felt almost better so Baris and I went into Istanbul and walked along the coast, the main street and the Grand Bazaar. We also saw the Istanbul Modern (Contemporary Art Museum) which was one of the best and largest I have seen. In some areas of Istanbul the streets are full of restaurants that overflow to the street and it was here that we met up with Baris’ brother Alp and were joined by Esin later. The food, the atmosphere and the company was wonderful!

DAY SEVENTEEN- June 10 2012

Today my sickness continued. We tried to go out in the morning and I succeeded in eating chicken noodle soup (Turkish style with lemon) and orange juice but we returned home for the rest of the day so I could rest. I slept most of the day and Esin made me a strong tea that is traditional in Turkey to give to someone who is sick. It consisted of boiled flowers- some special kind but with an unknown english name- honey and ginger. It was good and I think it helped because I started to feel better the next day!

DAY SIXTEEN- June 9 2012

Today we arrived in Istanbul, Turkey and Baris’ friend Esin picked us up from the airport and we stayed with her in Istanbul for three nights. Unfortunately I was very sick so all I ate was some traditional candies made of pistachios that Esin’s friend brought her from Eastern Turkey.

DAY FIFTEEN- June 8 2012

Today the bus strike is still going on and it is the day before travel which means relaxing, uploading photos, catching up the blog and packing. The easiest and most delicious way to make comfort food for such a day is to make the homemade granola recipe from LLBCamp! Oats, Sugar (I use brown sugar), Cinnamon and Butter in the oven for a few hours on real low.

DAY FOURTEEN- June 7 2012

Today there was a bus strike so Baris could not get to work so instead we took a train to Italy! We had a wonderful day relaxing on the beach, buying little presents for people in Turkey and eating good Italian food!

I had lasagna because it reminded me of the story my grandpa Bob always tells of how my grandma Judy won his heart. It was her perfect lasagna that she made for their first date!

DAY THIRTEEN- June 6 2012

Today I made a meal for the man I see sitting by the grocery store nearly everyday but when I arrived he was not there. I thought I would just give it to the next person I saw but I saw no one! Then I realized it was one in the afternoon- right in the middle of the two-hour mediterranean lunch break which apparently applies to everyone except me! After an hour of carrying it with no luck I stashed it where I know a few me sleep, I hope they got it.

My touristy adventure of the day brought me to an area of Nice up in the hills, away from the coast. There is an old monastery, a park, a cemetery where Henri Matisse is buried, the Matisse Museum and Roman ruins- all within half a mile of each other! The park was full of local people enjoying the day. There was a little to go coffee/sandwich/dessert shop with outdoor seating where I stopped to get a coffee and a treat. I ordered an espresso and what looked to me like lemon meringue pie but the man at the counter said that I must try the dessert next to it, which looked like some kind of tart. He said it was so delicious and I must try it so I agreed and he brought my coffee and tart to a table for me. When I was almost finished he came by to collect my cup and to see if I liked my tart. I said it was very good and he explained that it is an old family recipe and a specialty of the shop. I have no idea what was in it but it was delicious and the man could not have been nicer, he even brought me a glass of water when I was finished!

I brought the above piece for Baris when we met at the Old Town to go to dinner after his day of work and my day of museums and cemeteries. He brought me the below chocolate tart! They are his favorite from a place near his office.

DAY TWELVE- June 5 2012

Today I decided to be a little more generous with this project. From walking around Nice for the past month I recognize most of the homeless people on the street and know where they usually sit. I can see a mother and small son from my balcony on the street just below so I decided to make them a meal. I wrote a few sentences in French in my journal so that I may communicate with her.

It reads in English ” Hello, I do not speak French. I have prepared a meal, would you like to share it with me?” I prepared a simple meal of salad, pasta (with homemade pasta sauce), and bread. She thanked me many times and asked if she might keep it to bring to her two other children who were not with her and are sick. I said of course and left the meal with her.

Tomorrow I will make a meal for a man I know that sits by a local grocery store just down the street.

 DAY ELEVEN- June 4 201

Today was a post travel day which means resting and cleaning. I made homemade apple crisp because Baris had never tried this! I wondered what I could possibly do with the apple peels and found a recipe online for apple tea! The crisp and the tea turned out great and was a nice treat after travel.

Recipe for apple tea- boil in a pot of water on stove these ingredients- adjust amounts to your taste- apple peels, lemon juice, and honey! Simmer for half an hour.

DAY TEN- June 3 2012

Today was a travel day. Baris and I had to travel separately. At the airport in Stockholm I found a little part of home- my first Starbucks since leaving home! I had my signature drink- a triple iced grande soy extra caramel drizzle caramel macchiato. It was definitely not as good as when I made it myself but it was a comfort from home!

DAY NINE- June 2 2012

Today Ingrid and Alex showed us where the family is from in Sweden- the house where my great grandma Ada’s family lived and the church where she was baptised. For dinner they took us too a restaurant in a fisherman’s village on the Baltic sea. We all had Rodspatta- breaded plaice with shrimp and mushroom filling- and ice cream with cloudberries for desert. This was so delicious, especially the cloudberries which are a specialty of the region of Sweden.

DAY EIGHT- June 1 2012

Today  I met my Swedish family, Ingrid and Alex Brammas! They were so kind to pick up Baris and I from the train station and bring us home for dinner!

DAY SEVEN- May 31 2012

Today I made a huge breakfast… and I forgot to take a picture! You will just have to take my word for it! We had 3 egg omelets with mushrooms and green peppers, Risgrot with lingonberries, bacon and coffee outside in the Swedish sun!

Baris and I camped in Tyresta National Park. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful place. We walked to the nearest town- about 5 miles away- to get some food. For dinner we cooked sausages and potatoes over the open fire and had marshmallows with chocolate for dessert. Unfortunately it rained all night and all the next day.

DAY SIX- May 30 2012

The day has not started yet at home but here in Sweden it is 10am and I have just made breakfast consisting of Risgrot (rice pudding) with lingonberries (again!) and Swedish pancakes.

After breakfast we went to the old town. There we had some lattes and pie from a cute little cafe. I had a chai latte- made with steamed milk and loose leaf chai tea- and rhubarb pie!

After town we came back to our little cottage and made dinner. Baris played the manly man and started a coal grill for the first time and grilled us some Salmon while I made boiled potatoes, and sautéed carrots, red peppers and asparagus in butter. We topped all this with hollandaise sauce and lemon and drank some hard apple cider! We ate outside and after we finished we roasted marshmallows! This was perfect!

DAY FIVE- May 29 2012

Today we flew from Helsinki to Stockholm then made our way to our perfect little cabin about a half an hour bus ride from the city center. I took a walk around town and went grocery shopping for dinner at a little supermarket. I could not figure out what little packages were butter and which were not so I asked a cute old lady who happened to be passing by, she was very helpful and sweet! For dinner I made Swedish meatballs with potatoes and gravy as well as some asparagus and vanilla ice cream with hot lingonberry sauce for dessert. We also had some pear cider and it was all delicious!

DAY FOUR- May 28 2012


Today was our last full day in Helsinki and so we went back for one of our favorites but in a new form- Reindeer meatballs! The garlic sauce is amazing, you can dip anything in it- meatballs, potatoes and vegetables- but it really doesn’t taste a lot like garlic.


Geri, don’t grow horns from all the reindeer meat. ha ha. The menus sound fabulous. The way they do the lingonberries, so unusual. I would love to have seen the street production. We went to Aunt Donna’s yesterday and Emily, Debbie and Bob were there with Randy’s family. Picnic food but Rose made a rhubarb pie with raspberry jello. Much fun, great food. i am done wirth heavy work from my gardens, time to play!! miss you swweets.


Saturday lunch with Emily grandaughter, before going to the cemetary to prepare the graves. Sunday the 27th Graduation party at Marcia Edgar, Van wolvelaare. Our Dee’s best friend. Food was yummy, but the comaraderie and the taffy apple salad. One of Dee’s favorites. The best.

Chicken strips. Reminds me of my grandkids. They all loved chicken strips Yum and a rollo blizzard fat fat and yummy

DAY THREE- May 27 2012

Today Baris and I tried some new street food while soaking up the sun with the locals in a city park where there live street performances daily. We enjoyed fresh salmon and vegetables with garlic sauce while listening to beautiful music, that sounded and looked to me like Native American music but what they are doing in Finland I have no idea!

As I stated in my post Sun is God today we shared some drinks and cake with a group of Finnish friends. They were such wonderful company. We learned a lot about Finnish culture from them including the spiritual space of the Sauna. It was wonderful to really dive into the culture like this!

DAY TWO- May 26 2012


Today Baris and I went down to the Market Square in Helsinki to have a look at the souvenirs, the people and the local street food. What we found was Reindeer Delight! All different forms of prepared reindeer meat and potatoes with lingonberry sauce. This was delicious, a bit too much meat for me but thankfully Baris is a big carnivore.

At the market we also bought some homemade pastries from a nice Finnish lady and brought them to the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress for a snack. The top photo is a rhubarb cake, Baris had never tasted rhubarb! The second is an apple roll and the third is an almond tart. They were all very delicious and very homemade!

DAY ONE- May 25 2012


Today I shared an authentic Finnish meal with my traveling buddy Baris. After trying to watch the Finnish National Ballet along with half of Finland at Senate Square in the heart of Helsinki we made our way across the street to Savotta Finnish Restaurant. This may have been the best meal İ have ever had. Every bite was heavenly. İn the true spirit of my mother İ asked the staff´s advice and opinion on everything I ordered and they were very friendly and helpful! The atmosphere of restaurant was very traditional and cozy which added to a wonderful experience!


Finnish Homemade Beer
Local Hard Apple Cider
Local Rye bread with homemade butter
Cream of Reindeer Soup (This was simply amazing and I have no idea how to describe the taste, like nothing I have had!)
Cream of Salmon Soup (With fresh local fish!)
Karelian Casserole- Lamb, Veal, and Pork in Karelian Stew served with mashed potatoes and pickled salad of pumpkin and lingonberry (The meat was sooo tender and the potatoes were perfect)
Finnish Beesting Pudding with rhubarb compote (The waitress said the pudding is very traditional and made from unprocessed milk. It was delicious!)


May 25th the day we lost and Jesus won our beautiful girl. We went to the graduation party of my friends grandaughter. The unusual food was a three tiered cake white with black trimming with a purple rose on top out of fondant. 1st layer red devils food with black frosting, next layer carrot cake with cream cheese filling, 3rd layer lemon with raspberry filling. I ate the carrot abd tried the red devil, but they hadn’t got to the lemon cake. Maybe if I knock on their door in the morning and say I need the lemon I might get some or maybe not. All in all it reminded me of a wedding cake.. Different. Great to see old friends!!


6 thoughts on “Daily Food Journal

  1. Geri, don’t grow horns from all the reindeer meat. ha ha. The menus sound fabulous. The way they do the lingonberries, so unusual. I would love to have seen the street production. We went to Aunt Donna’s yesterday and Emily, Debbie and Bob were there with Randy’s family. Picnic food but Rose made a rhubarb pie with raspberry jello. Much fun, great food. i am done wirth heavy work from my gardens, time to play!! miss you swweets. GMA

  2. Geri, Donald says you are so lucky to be eating all that Reindeer meat as he loved it when he was over there. Sounds like you are really enjoying your trip. Have fun and be safe!

  3. Geri, your trip sounds incredible. Day 12 is my favorite God brought you there for such a time as this. In giving to the homeless you are giving to Jesus- when you do to the least of these you have done to me. I’m sure Dee is smiling.

  4. Geri, I am enjoying your food diary. What an experience. I will try making the apple tea. Sounds yummy. Octopus not so, I ate calamari and didn’t like the rubber bands. The cake looks yummy. I made the white choclate rhubarb swirl chheesecake to take camping. But before we could eat it, one of our friends had a heart attack and was rushed to Marquette for a new pacemaker and an added defibrillator. Bad omen, but I reduced all the fat and the rest of the crew gobbled up. Try it is in your Mom’s cookbook. Someday, we will sit down and duplicate some of your favorite dishes. Especially, your cake looked so yummy. Again Happy Birthday my beautiful, adventurous grandbaby. Kisses, hugs. GMA

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