Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I am so proud!

Today, I said NO without feeling guilty or ashamed or upset or
down...Just a plain no...It was incredible....even more incredible, I
got exactly what I wanted in less than two hours....This is awesome!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A fine dinner

with mama, senor jose and armando...candle lights, lots of gossip and
our festival salad with sprouted lentils, raw hummus and avocado-lime
dressing...Jose approved the raw hummus and could not believe it didnt
have any garbanzos, (had soaked cashews!)

if you eat only fruits during the day and take your large meal with a
salad and sprouted grains at night, you feel more energetic....per
jose....and it is really true! Mama is trying this tomorrow...will
report the progress...it is really hard for me to try it 100% as I am
testing most of the stuff we make and bake, but even with some cooked
food, I already have so much more energy...Just passing on a
tip...internet cafe is closed, so got to go to home!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Avocado Farm

I want to have an avocado farm...I told this to Jose last night and
this morning he called at 6 am, woke me up and picked us from our home
at 6:20 and we went to his land, somewhere between Cobano and
Montezuma...He showed me his avocado trees, mango trees, water apple
trees and baby palm trees...He has like 20 small avocado plants, they
will turn into ripe avocados some day...

Per Jose, avocado season starts in June-July...Now they are very
expensive, c 400...a little less than a dollar...Speaking of Jose, he
needs to have his own blog...He is like a walking blogger...Don't get
me wrong, he is not a sweet talker, he tells what he thinks and very
very strict...He is trying to convince mom that she should start
eating 100% raw, only fruits and nothing else for a week...She has
only cut meat from her diet so far...He can be very intense too...but
I truly like him.

Tomorrow is my day off!!! We are going to the beach. Mom hasn't seen
Montezuma yet. She has been working so hard, I am feeling really
guilty. She is definitely going to be the employee of this month. She
is so tired right now that she put her head on the table at this
internet cafe and taking a 5 min nap...I need to change the menu and
raise some of the prices. Mom also did some basic cost accounting and
found that I am not charging enough...Drink menu, food menu, dessert
menu and all of it in espanol....How fun!!!

p.s.

I did sell a bottle of Hot Sauce, Made with Love today!

Your's truly, Turkey Habenero

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wanted: Cocoa

No more cocoa left...I have cacao beans and my grinder broke down...No
cocoa in Cobano either, they only have coco with sugar...I tried to
call the supplier directly but no luck...I am sure there are tons of
people coming to Montezuma from somewhere with a supermarket...

I need organic cocoa....any brand, any size would be fantastic....Free
breakfast and our house special chocolate lover shake on me....

P.S. Jose was so happy to hear that I dont have any cocoa left. He is
a hard core raw foodist and is against anything that is bitter,
roasted, including cacao...I am not there yet...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Especial de Hoy!

Sopa de Amor

Mama's especial...Un sopa frio perke aki muy caliente:).Thats all for
my spanish for now...Don't laugh but I think I am learning
spanish...At least I can get away with basic conversation...Its been
only two months, so not that bad for a new comer...

I am so proud of my mother...She was so afraid of bugs last
night...Apparently she didnt even think about bugs before coming to
Costa Rica...helloooo tropics???? Anyway, we had a guest waiting for
us in the bathroom and I was so tired I went to sleep right away...She
bugged me to take the huge spider out from the sink, so she could go
to the bathroom, but I simply could not open my eyes...She tried to
scare the spider by sprinkling water from 100 m away, and of course
that didn't work...We had to bury the little guy...Then she went to
take a shower and there was another one..an amigo!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Looking for a tortilla and taco shell recipe

Any ideas?

Today is a good day...I started to have regulars and it is amazing to
see the same people come day after day, sometimes for breakfast, lunch
and snack...It also helps when they say "it is not only your pretty
face but the food is really good:))))

Mom is working so hard, I am so happy to have her...She has taken over
the finances and the books...Now the cash matches the bills....Such a
relief:))) I think about Minako in San Francisco often...It is an
amazing Japanese restaurant run by a mother and daughter....Here I do
more cooking/baking...

Avocado ice cream is getting popular...I made another batch today...

Homemade almond milk, frozen banana and raw cacao powder, creamier
than ice cream shake is going pretty well tooo!!! Happy!!!! I am
eating mostly raw these days...Trying to get rid of eggs pretty
soon...Now almost everything I bake is vegan, except for moms apple
tart...I will try to veganize it this week...

Going to eat for the first time...We didnt have a proper meal since we
came to Montezuma with mom....I am hungry....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

from flickr...

The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, January 22, 2007

Vanilla

Sergio returned back to Montezuma today. He has been so supportive of
me when I first opened and he was the one who found my pipa guy on the
beach...Too bad the pipa guy got a full time job as a security guard
at the local supermarket and I had to take pipas off the menu...but I
know he needs money so can't complain about this too much...

Sergio came just in time with an excellent recommendation for
vanilla...I use vanilla in almost every recipe, but I ran out of the
bottle I brought from the US and the ones they sell here are really
crappy...it is not the real vanilla and has tons of chemicals in it...

Here is my future supplier...I will email them right now...

http://www.rainforestspices.com/learnaboutvanilla.htm

Vanilla

Sergio returned back to Montezuma today. He has been so supportive of
me when I first opened and he was the one who found my pipa guy on the
beach...Too bad the pipa guy got a full time job as a security guard
at the local supermarket and I had to take pipas off the menu...but I
know he needs money so can't complain about this too much...

Sergio came just in time with an excellent recommendation for
vanilla...I use vanilla in almost every recipe, but I ran out of the
bottle I brought from the US and the ones they sell here are really
crappy...it is not the real vanilla and has tons of chemicals in it...

Here is my future supplier...I will email them right now...

http://www.rainforestspices.com/learnaboutvanilla.htm

In cobano

We were at the bank today with my mom, now revising the menu again, probably the 111th time...but now I have a Spanish menu and mom helped with a kitchen menu...we both have a better understanding why Chinese restaurants have numbers....
 
Last night mom and I had a good laugh in bed...It was awesome. I missed laughing aloud and Montezuma is so full of characters it is impossible not to laugh...
 
Missing my sister very much...Her jewelry will sell really well here...Come on darling, move down here!!!!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

email

You can email me at ozlem@organicomontezuma.com

- I am sad today, it was Tom's last day. I am not sure how I will
find help, but here is my request from San Antonio...someone who is
vegetarian, vegan would be fantastic, has some experience with cafes,
restaurants and loves pink. Tom is such a funny guy, he said one day,
'you probably don't want any guys in this restaurant' since I have
everything in pink and hearts...:)))
- I got an email from Andres. He is in Nicaragua and started to learn
spanish. I am so jealous. I barely have time to learn any spanish...
- Water pipe broke down again...
- 2nd blender broke down again...
- We are out of chai, hummus, veggie burgers, tamales, chocolate ice-cream...
- I am making my own almond milk...I really don't want to have milk on
the menu...The best shake ever is Pina-Banana-Almond Milk...It is
fantastic!!!!

Manana no trabahar! Vacassion!!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

ups and downs

Here is a list...

I received a care package from Samantha with lots of cards and it was
really nice and very emotional!

Mom brought Lane's photos, so we are opening Lane Collins in Ladakh
exhibit by the end of next week...

A client came back from Santa Terasa to eat at Organico!!!! My veggie
burgers are a hit!

Larry came in today and showed me how to make my own almond milk...He
is so fantastic...He is on the menu with his crepe recipe...

Tamales sold out...ordered new ones for Monday...

Got a cake order for next week...

Made our own mustard from the plant mustard leaves...I had no idea
that stuff could be home made...

Here are some downs...

Many friends eat at next door neighbor...they eat dead animals....

I am tired...

I am mean to my mother when she is not fast enough with the
blender...I hate the damn blender, it is soo tired too...

We freeze the fruit to make fruit shakes but they are so damn frozen,
you need water to make it liquid again...then it looses its taste...I
tried to make fresh juice from the fruit today and people complained
it is not cold enough...no idea what to do....

Water pipe broke down...

No more avocados left...

We still can not manage the cash register. Cash doesnt add up to the
bills...Don't tell me how basic this is...I know...One day if you have
your own place, you will understand..or better, just dont go into the
restaurant business...

I miss Andres...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Turkish Delight...

Mom brought some Turkish Delight and I opened a pack to offer to my
beloved customers. I had more than a handful clients who wanted to buy
the whole pack....Does anyone know how to make Turkish Delight????

Thursday, January 18, 2007

ananasli kek

Malzemeler:

  • 2 su bardağı un
  • 2 tatlı kaşığı karbonat
  • 1 tatlı kaşığı kabartma tozu
  • 1 tatlı kaşığı tuz
  • 2 tatlı kaşığı tarçın
  • 1 + dörtte üç su bardağı toz şeker
  • 1 su bardağı sıvı yağ
  • 3 yumurta
  • 1 tatlı kaşığı vanilya
  • 2 su bardağı rendelenmiş havuç
  • 1 su bardağı hindistan cevizi
  • 1 su bardağı dövülmüş ceviz
  • 1 kutu (~240gr) konserve ananas parçaları

Hazırlanması:

  1. Fırını 175C'ye getirin. 22x33cm boylarındaki fırın kabını yağlayın veya yağlı kağıt serin. (büyük boy dikdörtgen borcam da olur)
  2. Unu, karbonatı, kabartma tozunu, tuzu ve tarçını karıştırın. Ortasını havuz gibi açıp şekeri, yağı, yumurtayı ve vanilyayı ekleyin. Tahta bir kaşıkla hepsini karıştırın. (mikser kullanırsanız kek çökebilir.) Havucu, hindistan cevizini, dövülmüş cevizi ve ananasları ekleyip kaşıkla karıştırın.
  3. Karışımı kaba dökün. Fırında yaklaşık 45 dakika pişirin. Ilıtıp sade olarak veya dilerseniz krema ile servis yapın.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Organico Pictures!



More pictures are on Flickr!

in san jose

Mama arrived yesterday at 10:00 pm...It was so great to see her and hug her...I had tears and it is strange that all these years, she came to san francisco multiple times but I never felt this happy...after being here for two months, absolutely alone with no friends, family took a new meaning in my life. I got a new understanding and appreciation and can not wait to cherish it as much as I can. Good news, she got a visa good for 3 months, usually it is one month, so I will try to convince her to stay longer....but dont know if my living situation will be acceptable by her...

It is really small here in Costa Rica. I saw the taxi driver who gave me a ride when was in San Jose a month ago at the airport...People are in general very very friendly. But there are a ton of jerks, just like everywhere else so you better be careful not to smile too much...I've learned that really fast!

Right now we are in the hotel and chilling...it is so nice to browse the net and not to think about the cafe, though I am collecting new ideas for recipes and checking ingredients...We went out for a typical breakfast this morning and Mom thought, this part of San Jose reminded her the Mission in San Francisco...It reminds me of Istanbul more but she disagrees...

I am uploading some pictures to Flickr! Check back soon!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Introducing....

TAMALES! con banana papel! Tamales (with banana paper) are a Costa
Rican treat and I wanted to make myself since a vegetarian version is
unheard of here in Costa Rica. Some local friends even laughed at me
but oh well, I kept asking....Gilberto, he is the most friendly taxi
driver here, found me a lady, Teresa, and today she had them ready...I
asked Gilberto a week ago or so and we never talked since....Today, I
called Gilberto to take me back to Montezuma from Cobano, and he said
he has a surprise for me...We drove to the woman's house and I bought
18 tamales or 9 pinas (2 pairs). They are stuffed with garbanzo beans,
rice, green beans and carrots...she also has a boiled egg version...I
am so happy!!!

Tomorrow's special, Tamales de Teresa! and what a perfect timing...we
are almost out of the veggie burgers (the food processor broke down
twice, poor baby is so tired, we can not find a new belt anywhere
close by).....

Got to revise the menu again....

A postcard to share...

From Fritz, Andres' father....
 
 

Day off!

Today is my day off...it feels great to have time to get out from the cafe, but I need to go back and prepare things...This restaurant business is really crazy...You are either working with customers, or preparing stuff for the next days, or decorating, or revising the menu...Sooooooooo much work...
 
Business has been really good in the last couple of days though...People keep coming back...Our coffee is apparently very good and my homemade granola is getting lots of complements...
 
Tonight I am going to watch a movie, Motorcycle Diaries at Sano Banano and eat dinner....A friend of mine asked about my tan, sorry to disappoint you but I was more tan in San Francisco than here.....Oh well, sun is not very good for you anyways...
 
Tranquila!
 

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Montezuma

I got some emails and had no time to answer, so here is a post to
satify my curious readers. I am in Montezuma in Costa Rica. Stop by
anytime...

Life here is really different...It is not comparable to any of my
previous experiences, but it is also very hard to describe. You just
have to live here. I am sure it is also different around Costa
Rica...but Montezuma is very laid back, lots of foreigners, very rich
people and very poor people....New Yorkers are the easiest to
identify...They go like, I like the banana mora (berry) shake, no mora
but mango with soy milk with brown sugar and here is my protein
powder, 1 and 1/2 spoons please...PLEASEEEEEEEEE!!!! I thought I was
picky, with my soy lattes...

"We do not take custom orders anymore!"

I hate to make generalizations, but a post about Italians is coming soon! Sorry!

Today, we had our first yoga group come for breakfast and they were
all so happy to be here, loved the town, the cafe and kept telling me
how lucky I am to live HERE! Oh yes, thats exactly what I thought a
couple months ago. Needless to say, I just dont listen to my parents
and have to learn everything the hard way....

Today's hits are chocolate banana shakes with Almond Milk and Platanos
con Queso de Tica con Marmalade Pina o Miel Organico....homemade
marmalade from Angela! It is baked and sooooooooooooo good!!!

Also, I realize it was stupid not to make a list before buying this
place...I will make sure to do it when I sell it....Any interest????

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Introducing very banana split...

Super sweet organic bananas with homemade banana ice-cream (non-dairy,
non-soy, no sugar, but totally not a sorbet) with our own Hersley's
SUCK chocolate sauce, Tom's special!

Today was a good day, i got to laugh a lot and we made a killer new
drink...Starfruit Gallactica! Marakuya (passionfruit) is still my
favorite but starfruit is pretty good too...will see how it goes
tomorrow...

Tom also made a watermelon-tomato gazpacho from the Raw Food bible. It
is soooo good. We used Jose's trick and added 3 cubes of beets and it
is my favorite color...PURPLE!

At the internet cafe, typing the menu....It is so hard to keep up with
the menu, changes, prices, new items, stuff that doesnt sell...a.k.a I
LOVE GREEN and PURPLE Salad:))) Purple and green cabbage.....It is
really good but these people don't get it...I am not going to fuss
over it:)))

We are selling iced chai and frosty ice coffee the most...

p.s.
Andres, no worries, you are on the drink menu already with your Sandia
Milk Shake and I miss you very much:((((

Friday, January 12, 2007

Papaya Ice Cream!

Sooooooooo good! and icy!!! Ice cream is selling well and I am adding organic banana split to the menu with homemade banana ice-cream. We ran out of cacao though....So need to figure out a way to make chocolate sauce.
 
Best part of this job is to meet really nice people! Patty, she is a vegan chef from Reno, promised me to send some recipes, so if you are reading this, don't forget!
 
A yoga group is coming for breakfast everyday next week. I need to type a menu for them. All is good! I sold a tiramisu and a berrymisu to a restaurant and they loved it. But since they didnt even negotiate on the price, Tom's wife Carol told me that I asked for too little. $9 for a big cake...Uggghghhghg! Learning, learning, learning....
 
 
 

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Missing El Chino!

El Chino, aka Andres left today. He is en route to Nicaragua. He thinks he is half Swiss and half Tibetian, but he looks half Chinese and half Japanese. We had a great day yesterday and made really good money and celebrated with a fine dining experience. Now I appreciate eating out so much. It is such a pleasure to be served, to eat while sitting, to have a conversation other than how many avocados do we have left, ect...
 
Today it was empty and lonely in the cafe. Plus I got yelled by a customer who thought "i am a locco" (crazy) to say no smoking outside. Apparently, I can not ask people not to smoke and blow their smoke inside through the windows.. I am really crazy to stay here and we will see how long this will last.
 
The old owner of the place came again, to pick up some more stuff from the cafe. Since I didnt sign a list of equipment that I bought, she is coming in as she pleases and taking things...Today, I told her not to enter to MY premises!!!
 
Tom is working at one of the best restaurants in Montezuma and today he can not come..I had help in the morning but between 2 and 4, I was alone and it got so crazy...which is a good thing but it gets hectic with no clean glasses, running between the kitchen and the cafe....SCRATCH THAT...TOM JUST GOT HERE AND SAID HE QUIT HIS JOB AND WE ARE OPEN AGAIN!!! Got to go and work!!!!
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Going up and down...

I was off yesterday and spent most of the day on the beach...I love
water, I love to swim and just hang out on the beach on the sand...It
just harder now to get back to the 6 am 8pm work days...there is so
much to do...today my beloved mixer broke down...twice...while making
hummus and while making a Berrymisu..Expenses, expenses, expenses....

I am trying to sell desserts to a small restaurant. I made one
tiramisu and one costa rican twist, berrymisu..Now, someone needs to
figure out how much they costed and how much I will sell...

We run out of things constantly...I guess that is a good thing, but
also having too many ingredients is also not a good idea. Last week, I
ran out of bread (wholewheat and seeds) and bought so much and this
week the town is empty and we have tons of bread...Bread pudding is on
the way:))) I miss Tartine's in San Francisco...

Great news, mom is coming next week. That means I get to go to the
CITY!!!!!!!!! I am not going to fly, instead I want the long bus ride
so I can listen to music, sleep and just do nothing...I will also see
Daniel...An amazing healer I met in San Jose. Something to look
forward to...

Larry's Crepes are selling really well...They are vegan and very easy
to make. Wholewheat flour, salt, olive oil, water and a little syrup.

This weeks special drink is Passion Fruit Lemonade. Hmmm, what
else....The other night at dinner with Gina, Jon, Niko and Andres, our
waiter came up to me and said, aren't you the owner of Organico???? It
was a fine moment....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Goodnight!

Andreas is leaving Thursday. It sucks, the hard part now is I meet great people and they leave...These backpackers:((( Tom is leaving by the 20th....In the meantime the local tico girl doesnt want to do cooking, she only wants to serve, but she doesnt speak any English. The tica boy who is on school break, takes days off without telling me...Something new comes up everyday but today my mother and Cenk would have been proud of our progress since I started organizing. I still havent written down my expenses but Tom is on my case with that. I also changed the locks as the old owner and her employee still have the keys...
 
New on the menu....We started to make crepes. Larry, who worked as a celebrity raw chef showed me a super easy vegan wholewheat crepe recipe and we started to make them for breakfast and lunch. Avocado/Tomato with cilantro lime is very good and also we have a jam version. Come and taste some...
 
Another new shake, avocado/mango...it is soooooooooooooooo good!!! I get organic mango juice from a mango farm. I have never had mangos this sweet...I wish you could have tasted some.
 
I also made some coconut milk...and made vegan french toast with it. Added to the specials as tropical french toast...
 
Nothing is going smooth but i learn so much everyday. Like not to order 10 bags of bread because I dont sell that much bread, hence the french toast:))))
 
I am grateful to life and grateful to good hearted people, angles...They really exist...And as always, the snakes and the monkeys are everywhere and they drink nasty things!
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Veggie Burger Success!

We figured it today. Oats are a must in veggie burgers as a binding agent...I am very happy with this recipe. Platanos are full of protein and very good for you...Just mix whatever veggies you have and make sure to add beets (raw) and add spices like cumin, cardamom, chili, salt, pepper...a little bit of honey...A trick Sutter thought me and it works great...
 
Latest additions to the team are Tom and Andreas..They are amazing. Tom is from Belgium and Andreas is half Swiss and half Sikkin..He looks like asian...Tom is the master chef, he figured to make fresh spring rolls after one try...They are helping me everyday, working more than I do with no breaks...I could not have asked for anything more...They are here only for two more weeks. It kills me that they will be leaving soon but I am just enjoying working with people who understand what I am trying to do and have ideas and are as excited as I am....
 
We made a 5 gallon lemonade, 2 trays of granola and they convinced me that I have to close one day a week....Monday it is....It is so hard not to think about the cafe...but I need to take time to get organized, to order stuff, do flyers, and go to the beach. I haven´t been to beach in the last month...It sucks!
 
 

Monday, January 01, 2007

Feliz Anyos!

It is 40 degrees and hot outside. The town is very very very busy. There is no vacancy anywhere...and I am closed for today, a decision made late night thanks to Andreas and his father. I was so tired and ready to go home but they asked me to eat dinner with them and since its been a while since I ate in a social environment, I said yes. We ate at this little argentinians place, italian food, very good vegetarian lasagna and best papaya juice (later I learn they add sugar!)....Then we watched the people scream like crazy, dance, celebrate...I dont know why...what are we celebrating? Right after midnight, I was lucky and got a safe ride back home.
 
I made only one New Year's resolution this year and that is to get organized. I am tired of clutter and it is following me everywhere I go!!!! I had an orange, a mango, cash, coins, letters, postcard, cell phone, batteries, tooth brush, business cards from various people I met, calculator, emergency C, 3 pens...you get the idea...
 
Today a group of 8 is coming for dinner at 7pm. We are doing walnut-lentil pate, organico salad, thai curry and brown rice and avocado ice-cream. I also have a lemonade special with passion fruit, marakuya...it is fantastic! Also I met a food photographer, Charlie and he showed up right when I finished a special order cake and he took some amazing photos. He is coming today to take pictures of the food.
 
I managed to get fresh coconuts from the beach and we are selling it in the shell. I am buying 5 a day and it is going really well.
 
May all beings be happy and in peace. There is a 40 day silent retreat that is starting in January 4th. I miss to be silent...