Saturday, February 28, 2015

Turkish Foodie Showcase: Baklava, Kebabs, Kahvesi...Yum!

You didn’t think we’d leave Turkey without giving you some amazingly mouth-watering Turkish recipes to try, did you? No way!

The Turkish culinary repertoire is a real melting pot of other cuisines and shows very strong regional associations throughout the country. For example, the Black Sea Region specializes in fish recipes and shows influence from Balkan and Slavic cuisine. In contrast, the regions of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and near the Aegean Sea show greater influence from traditional Ottoman court cuisine.  This means dishes with a lighter use of spices, more vegetable stews, and a preference for rice over bulgur.

via Flickr by Simon Q
Occasionally, regional recipes will include the name of a city or region, which can actually help differentiate one recipe from another. For instance, take the urfa kebab and adana kebab. The urfa kebab is thicker and less spicy than the adana kebab.

All right, now that you have a little bit of background knowledge, it’s time to dive in and take a look at a few different traditional recipes. We’ve looked high and low to round up the tastiest looking recipes around...so dig in and enjoy!

Adana Kebab


You had us at marinated ground lamb. But seriously, how incredibly succulent do those kebabs look? With the right seasoning and a little know-how you too can have this wonderful meal on your very own table. (Just remember to invite us for dinner!)

Photo by J. Kenji López-Alt

 Click here for Serious Eat's full recipe.

Döner


Traditionally this is a very popular fast-food meal for Turks and foreigners alike, but of course with a little ingenuity and clever work-arounds it can also be made in your own home. The meat won't be quite the same (unless you have a vertical rotisserie) but you can definitely recreate some of the traditional sauces and toppings.

via Flickr by Alex Kehr
Click here for The Kitchn's thoughts on how to get started with at-home döner.

Baklava


What’s not to love about flakey pastry, pistachios (or sometimes walnuts), and a gooey, delicious melt-in-your-mouth syrup? Nothing. Baklava is just about the most incredible dessert on the planet...in fact, we can’t think of one that tops it. Nope. Nada.

Photo by Cook's Hideout.
Click here for Cook's Hideout’s full recipe.


Türk Kahvesi


It's well known that we're fans of coffee. Whether it's in a cup or in a homemade project, we simply can't get enough! Turkish coffee is said to be a little sweeter than the regular cup of java. The secret to perfect Türk Kahvesi is not in the beans, but in the way it's prepared.

via Flickr by Damien McMahon
Click here for full preparation instructions.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Turkish Showcase: A Closer Look at Traditional Art Forms

In Turkey, the most important media forms happen to be applied art, meaning that pieces were not simply expected to look beautiful but also serve a specific, functional purpose.


via Flickr by G.OZCAN
Everyday objects and belongings that also make lives more beautiful? We’re all about that here at Robin Street Market! Today we’ve decided to highlight three of these stunning applied art forms: ebru, Iznik pottery, and carpet weaving.

Ebru


Ebru, or paper marbling, is a fascinating process that results in one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork. This technique originally flourished under the Ottoman Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries; at this time book-lovers came to prize and cherish this art form, and it made a significant impact on book art in Europe. It has since maintained its popularity.

The technique actually involves creating a painting on the surface of a water and tragacanth bath using ox-gall paints and a horse-hair brush. The tragacanth acts as a thickening agent that allows the paint to be manipulated on the surface. Once complete, the artist carefully lays the paper over the bath and the picture is transferred.

Are you still curious about the traditional ebru technique? Check out this quick video to see how it’s done:


Iznik Pottery


Originally named after a town in Western Anatolia, these decorated ceramic pieces were produced from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 17th century. At this time, the town of Iznik was already an established centre for basic pottery, but towards the end of the 15th century, the craftsmen began to produce pottery with a fritware body and a trendy cobalt blue paint underneath a transparent lead glaze. This change was likely a result of the high value that the Ottoman court placed on Chinese blue and white porcelain.

via Flickr by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
As time went on, the Turkish craftsmen added more colours and the style of pottery evolved to more closely reflect the Turkish culture. Today, most of the surviving Iznik pottery is held in museums outside of Turkey and, even though this particular type of pottery is no longer being produced, the value and appreciation for ceramic arts is still highly visible throughout the country.

Carpet Weaving


Kilim, Soumak, Cicim, Zili – these are all different terms for Turkish carpet weaving. Whether hand-knotted or flat woven, Turkish carpets are some of the most renowned hand-crafted art works in the world. Carpet weaving began out of necessity, but quickly developed into a highly specialized and regarded art form.

The oldest known Turkish carpet, fondly referred to as the Pazyryk rug, dates from 500 B.C. and is now kept at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This important part of Turkish history depicts horsemen, deer, mythic animals and floral motifs. By the rise of the Ottoman Empire, carpets became a very important export item with reach throughout Europe.

via Flickr by Shankar S.

The carpet designs reflect Turkish culture, daily lives, as well as climatic and geographic conditions. Turkish rugs have distinguishing features that set them apart from Persian carpets – primarily the double knot technique and distinct colour scheme.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Weekly Market Round-Up: February 28 - March 1

Every week we search far and wide to bring you the most exciting local and international craft and farmers’ markets possible, because we know our readers love them just as much as we do!

via Flickr by Karlis Dambrans
Here are our top picks for this weekend:

Saturday, February 28th


9AM-1PM, Benalla, Victoria, Australia

11AM-5PM, Friends Meeting House, Brighton, England

10AM-4PM, Town Hall, Yorkshire, England

10AM-5PM, St. Kilda Town Hall, Australia

9AM-2PM, Alcester Road & St. Mary’s Row, Birmingham, England

10AM-2PM, Methodist Church Hall, Northwood, England

via Flickr by M Lim

Sunday, March 1st


10AM-4PM, Coromandel Parade, Blackwood, Australia

11AM-5PM, Mac Birmingham, Birmingham, England

9AM-1PM, Settlement Road, Melbourne, Australia

10AM-3PM, St. Kilda Town Hall, Australia

9AM-2PM, Yarra Glen, Australia

via Flickr by M Lim

Are you planning on visiting any craft markets this weekend? Tell us about it in the comments below so we can add them to our list.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cute, Crafty Things: DIY Magnetic Containers

Here at Robin Street Market, we're firm believers that functional projects can still be cute! There's just no reason to settle for boring solutions!

Today's crafty project is just about as simple as they come... but just look at how great the results are:

via marthastewart.com
Of course, this project solves an ongoing problem: the constant search for pens and pencils, which seem to vanish into thin air whenever we turn our backs. Are we the only ones that struggle with this?

(...but seriously, where do they go?!)

We can thank the wonderful people over at marthastewart.com for this lovely project.

Click here to check out the original tutorial.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Weekly Market Round-Up: February 21-22

For us, another weekend means another chance to catch a fun craft market. Or farmers’ market. Or antique market. We’re happy it’s Friday!

via Flickr by Saya Muncil
Here are our top picks for the weekend:

Saturday, February 21st


11AM-5PM, Mateo Street, LA, California, U.S.A.

8:30AM-12PM, Lillian Rock, New South Wales, Australia

10AM-4:30PM, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland

10AM-2PM, Rolling Green Nursery, Greenland, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

9AM-1PM, The Landing, Hobsonville, New Zealand

9AM-2PM, Cornhill Market Place, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England

via Flickr by M Lim 

Sunday, February 22nd   


11AM-5PM, Mateo Street, LA, California, U.S.A.

9AM-3PM, Bangalow Showgrounds, New South Wales, Australia

10AM-4PM, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland

12PM-4PM, La Cité Francophone, Edmonton, Canada

9AM-1PM, The Landing, Hobsonville, New Zealand

9AM-2PM, Middle Brook Street, Winchester, England

via Flickr by M Lim
Are you planning on visiting any craft markets this weekend? Tell us about it in the comments below so we can add them to our list.