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a Turkish soup (Ezogelin) recipe

I was going to share with one the recipe of one of my favorite Turkish soups, namely Ezogelin, but found such a great recipe on the web already. So I am simply sharing the website, follow this recipe word for work, but I do suggest cutting on the paprika. 2tablespoons of paprika make a very "hot" soup. I suggest putting like 2teaspoons and then you can taste it and if you want to add more, you can add more...


Writer's Block: Open book test

Based on the books on your bookshelf, what conclusions would people draw about you?

That I love Russian literature especially Dostoevsky and French writer Camus. That I am also into Philosophy...

Writer's Block: Can you handle the truth?

What's the one question you would like to ask if the answer were guaranteed to be correct?

How long will I live?

Writer's Block: Who's your daddy?

What famous person from history would you have liked to have as a parent, and why?

No one, happy the way I am with my current parents....

Henna for hair

Monday is my henna day. I have medium brown hair and probably 5% whites. I have tried commercial dyes for awhile, but after seeing their effect on my hair and also reading how much scalp can absorb the chemicals in them, I looked for a more natural solution.

Henna was the answer. Yes, it is a bit more time consuming and a bit more messy, but it is totally natural and the more you do it, the more you get faster. Now, my hair is more healthy than ever. Henna is what I will use for the rest of my life without a question.

Everybody has their own way of mixing their henna, I got so many questions on mine that I wanted to share my technique and "recipe."

First of all what is henna?
Henna, lawsonia inermis, is a plant. It is a large bush, or small tree, that grows in hot, dry climates. Evidence shows that henna was used in the Middle East at least five thousand years ago to keep hair healthy and dye whitening hair.

Natural hair dyes that have henna usually are mixed with other natural plants such as indigo and cassia. I have tried a bunch of different brands and soon realized that there are different qualities of henna.  I also noticed that some so-called natural dyes do have henna in them but along with some chemicals! Among the brands I have tried the one that works the best for me is Light Mountain. Light Mountain natural hair dyes have only USDA certified organically grown henna (lawsonia inermis), indigo (indigoferae tinctoria) and sometimes cassia (cassia auriculata) in them and are 100% natural. These three plants appear in different amounts to achieve different colors. I use the color called "Medium Brown" which only has henna and indigo.

Whatever brand you choose, please read the ingredients carefully to make sure the dye has only henna and other natural plants. Quality of the product can be understood after you use it. If your hair looks shiny and healthy that means the henna and other plants in the brand you have chosen are good quality (of course and if you applied the dye correctly)...

Here is my mixing recipe for Light Mountain Medium Brown:

* I brew a strong black tea in a porcelain pot using distilled water, if available at home I throw a few pods of cardamom while the tea is brewing (never use metal spoons, metal pots, metal bowls etc. dealing with henna),
* I follow the instructions of Light Mountain on how much liquid is needed: I replace half of the required liquid with freshly squeezed lemon juice and the other half the black tea that I have brewed,
* To the Light Mountaint henna mixture I add spices (if one is missing at home, add it the next time): 1tsp cinnamon, 1tsp nutmeg, 1tsp clove, 1tsp allspice, 1tsp ginger, 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp paprika,
* I mix the henna mixture & spices with liquids (lemon juice & warm tea) in a glass or porcelain bowl,
* I cut a hole large enough for my head in a garbage bag. I wear the garbage bag and sit in the tub,
* Wearing gloves, I apply the mixture to my hair,
* I wrap my hair tightly with plastic wrap and then wrap on it an old towel (a towel that you won't mind getting dyed),
* I usually wait for 6 hours before washing my hair with warm water (don't use shampoo in the first wash),
* I repeat this once a month.

The color settles in a few days and usually starts to wash off in 4-6 weeks that is why I do it once a month.

Please find below photo of the Light Mountain I use, photo of henna leaf and photo of indigo leaf (from left to right). ]

Light MountainHennaIndigo


Noni (Morinda citrifolia) seeds

 After soaking the noni seeds in water for two days. I clipped the narrow ends for faster germination. I'm a bit worried that I clipped too much, but we'll see. 

Then I placed my 5 noni seeds into single pots that are filled with Vermiculite. Now I have to wait for 4-6 weeks to see if they will germinate. 

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Writer's Block: Breaking the food chain

Which one food would you choose to ban from existence, and why?

Coke... I have a love and hate relationship with it. I know it is so bad for me but I love Diet Lime Coke. The reason is obvious anything that has this many un-natural ingredients can't be good for us. We are simply kidding ourselves by drinking "diet".

Noni (Morinda citrifolia) seeds

Noni seeds came today. I started soaking them in pm hours. Plan to soak them for 2 days.

Interesting note: Noni seeds tend to float, so I put another glass as a weight to keep seeds under water while soaking.

Noni (Morinda citrifolia) seeds

So my noni seeds are on the way as well. Therefore some info on noni...

Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as great morinda, Indian mulberry or noni (from Hawaiian) is a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Morinda citrifolia is native from Southeast Asia to Australia and is now distributed throughout the tropics.

Noni grows in shady forests as well as on open rocky or sandy shores. It reaches maturity in about 18 months and then yields between 4–8 kilograms (8.8–18 lb) of fruit every month throughout the year. It can grow up to 9 metres (30 ft) tall, and has large, simple, dark green, shiny and deeply veined leaves.

Noni prefers temperatures of 68–95°F (20–35°C), and can tolerate a minimum temperature of about 40°F (5°C).

I share with you below photos of noni fruit and flowers...

Noni fruitNoni flower

Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) seeds

I am doing a happy dance; after cashew seeds, my cocoa seeds are coming as well! So let me give some information on cocoa....

Cocoa (somestimes written as cacao) tree is a small (4–8 m or 15–26 ft tall) evergreen tree native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Its seeds are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate.

The tree is today found growing wild in the low foothills of the Andes at elevations of around 200–400 m (650–1300 ft) in the Amazon river basins. It requires a humid climate (18-32 °C or 65-90F) with regular rainfall and good soil.

The scientific name Theobroma means "food of the gods". The word cacao itself derives from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word cacahuatl, learned at the time of the conquest when it was first encountered by the Spanish. Mayas and Aztec attributed divine origin to the cocoa tree (brought by god Quetzacoatl). The precious cocoa beans were used as a currency. The sacred beverage called "chocolatl" was consumed from golden cups.

The fruit, called a cacao pod, ripening yellow to orange, and weighs about 500 g (1 lb) when ripe. The pod contains 20 to 60 seeds, usually called "beans", embedded in a white pulp. These beans go through several stages to end up as cocoa powder or chocolate.

I read in many posts that growing cocoa tree from seed is quite tricky. So, we'll see how my little experiment will go.

As always I leave you with beautiful pictures of mature cocoa tree with a pod on it and cocoa flowers.

Cocoa TreeCocoa Flower