Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Black Sea Break 2016: Finishing Up our Vacation, Getting Back Home

We truly enjoyed our time so much. We walked the streets and markets at night, picking up a pair of flip-flops for one Campbellkid, a pocket knife for another (I wonder which one?), a fun island bag for another. The street vendors sold cups of corn and roasted corn on the cob, also deep friend potato slices. Mmmm.

I can't complete this series of vacation posts without stating my fatal mistake. As I said earlier, we found one restaurant and went there every night. Except one. I suggested we just had to try local fish one night. How could we go to the Black Sea and not eat some of the "fresh" catch. (Yes, "fresh" in quotes.) So we did. It was delicious going down. But the next day, the two Campbellkids that ate off of one plate got food poisoning. Lots of trips to the bathroom, flattened for basically a day. We took care of them and survived it. My famous last words haunted me, "We HAVE to try some of the fresh fish."

This little guy took us on. He perched himself right up next to us. When a car drove by, he'd hop up and chase it away for us, then return to his spot. I wish I could have brought him home. The mixed breeds of the Amasra had quite a bit of hound dog in them, my favorite.

We had a lovely drive back. In just a few short days, school would be starting...on our new campus! There was still much to be done. I knew my days of freedom were quickly coming to an end, and indeed, many of those days were already filled with school work. But I just had to try to do something with beautiful, rock-hard quince coming in to the tree in the yard. I found a recipe that seemed the easiest. Pick. Quarter. Boil. (no peeling, no coring). It was like trying to cut a coconut! But I got them sliced, then boiled them for hours.

They are so tart, they drain the saliva from your mouth. But that which makes them so astringent is what makes them turn blood-red when cooked in sugar. When cooked with sugar, they turn out to be some of the loveliest compost and jelly I've ever eaten. My kids said they liked quince sauce more than apple sauce. This mysterious astringent makes its own pectin. So, we've got several jars of delicious jelly for the winter. After a spoon of it, while making it, I'm not sure they'll ever want store-bought jelly again.

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