As I am writing this post about my experience of baking galette, other TWD bakers are already done with the recipe due after the galette. This time, I have no serious excuse for being late. I am simply having a good time in Turkey and have put off writing this post even though I actually baked the galette on time.
Tonight, I am writing from a small town on the shore of the Aegean sea called Dikili. Growing up, I spent almost all my summer vacations here in this town. Since my mother was an elementary school teacher and had almost three months of summer break, we would spend a long time here in the summers. My dad would drop us after the schools close and come back to spend his vacation time with us and drive us back home at the end of the summer, my brother and me involuntarily and unrecognizably tanned from endless hours mindlessly playing in the sea.
Dikili has very specific food items engraved in my head. First and most important, there is the fresh cow’s milk that was brought to our house in the mornings by Zumrut Teyze, sky-blue eyed, always strong, always hardworking, and always quite sweaty as she squeezes you into her bosom the very first time she sees you in the summer. This is no ordinary milk I am talking about. I am talking about milk so fresh that you feel the warmth of the cow’s body through the big plastic coca cola bottles Zumrut Teyze used to bring the milk in. Milk so delicious that you can almost taste the fresh herbs and grass her cow has been munching on. Milk so sweet and so satisfying. Then, there is lor cheese, a very soft and milky cheese produced by a close by dairy farm. And of course, there are all the fresh fruits and vegetables hand-picked either by our neighbors or farmers in and around the town. Here, there is almost no single day when a neighbor does not show up with a big bag of fresh produce picked from her garden. Today, for instance, we got a bag of purple plums from the folks three houses down the road. Oh, I was about to forget…There is also the mastic ice-cream from Roma Dondurmacisi,an ice cream shop I do not know Dikili without.
Given all the wonderful fresh fruits here in town, I was very excited to try the fruity galette recipe for TWD this month. The recipe is quite simple and calls for very easy to find ingredients. I brought only one ingredient, cornmeal, from the US. Last year, David had wanted to bake corn bread for my parents here and he had to substitute cornmeal with corn flour. Even though his bread had turned out tasty, it was not as good as it typically is. Anyway, this time I brought a little bit of cornmeal for my recipe.
Preparing the dough for galette was very easy and took only 15 minutes or so. All I did was to process the ingredients in a food processor to prepare a rather sticky dough. I let the dough stay in the fridge overnight and rolled it out the next day. Even after waiting a whole night in the fridge, the dough was quite sticky and it kept melting in my hands as I was rolling it. After I managed to roll the dough I filled it with slices of fresh nectarines and plums, folded the edges to make a pizza crust like crust. As it was baking it, the galette smelled very promising. When I took it out of the oven it had a crusty crust and a buttery and fruity smell. I was done with my baking at around 2 pm and my parents, brother, David and I tried the galette after dinner at around 8:30pm. By the time we tried it, the crust had turned kind of soft. Thus, even though the flavor of the galette was good I did not care for the texture. I am guessing that it was not good to let the galette sit for such a long time post-baking. I should give this recipe another shot.
I should also note that my galette was unsurprisingly overshadowed by mom’s otherworldly Burma tatlisi (a baklava like desert) that night. During the day as she was baking, my mom was fasting for Ramadan, which means no food or drink from dusk to dawn. I am always stunned that her mastery in the kitchen never gets negatively affected by the fact that she can not even taste what she is cooking.