Here I am  with another Turkish traditional  recipe! Pumpkin Börek (pastry).  It's full with feta cheese and pumpkin mixture and garnished black cumin. You will love these crispy böreks which are made with paper thin pastry called Yufka. These cigar shaped rolls with cheese and pumpkin is very popular in my hometown. Traditionally the rolls are baked  in the oven; the result was very delicious with a bonus of being healthy.


500 gr pumpkin puree

Small sugar/pie pumpkins provide the most flavorful additions to any baked dish or baked good and are great as a soup. These  are more tender and less stringy than the larger variety. Sugar pumpkins also have firm, sweet flesh compared to their big ones. Heat the olive oil, and sauté the onions and garlic until softened.
Halve the pumpkin, de-seed, place halves face down in a big pan with approx 2-3 water glass of  water but I prefer using homemade beef broth instead of water and added 1 water glass of milk. Finally add black pepper.  Cook over low heat until all the ingredients  are softened. Scrape out the pumpkin “meat” and then mash or puree as needed with mixer.

6 fresh yufka sheets

350 gr feta cheese, crumbled

1 egg
Salt and  black pepper to taste
½ glass olive oil
1 glass milk
1 teaspoon black sesame


1 glass milk
1/4 glass olive oil
1 egg
Mix the olive oil, milk and egg in a bowl.


Preheat oven to 200C
Mash together the cheese and pumpkin. Season with salt and pepper.  However, if the feta cheese is already salty, you may wish not to add salt.

Layer the first layer of yufka  on flat dry surface  and brush with glaze which is  mix the olive oil, milk and egg.

Continue this for one another layers

Fold over the pastry from each side to seal in the mixture and then roll up like a cigar.

Wet the end of each pastry roll with water to seal. Grease the tray with a little olive oil. Brush the pastries with olive oil and egg mixture.

Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and bake until they are golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes.

Zucchini with olive oil is one of my favorite dishes in Turkish cuisine. Dishes with olive oil have their own place in my mom's recipes. I am from Mersin which is a port on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey. So, my mom’s  recipes are  an authentic Mediterranean experience.

When the name of a dish ends with “with olive oil”, it means that “olive oil” is not used just for describing the type of oil in such dishes, but it is more like cooking and serving methods.
This dishes can be served cold or hot, but mostly in my hometown cold is preferred.


  • 5 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onion,finely chopped, cut into 1/2" squares 
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium size carrot

  • 1 medium capia pepper, finely chopped

  • 4 ripe tomatoes cut in small chunks
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 5 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoon pepper paste
  • dill (in small quantities)


Heat the olive oil, and sauté the onions and garlic until softened.

Add tomato and pepper paste over onion and garlic.

Add the carrots and continue sautéing. 

Add the zucchini, finely chopped and continue sautéing.

Add the capia pepper , finely chopped and continue sautéing.

Finally add ,tomatoes,  salt, black pepper, small amount of dill  and water if using, cook over low heat until all the vegetables are softened.

Cook over low heat until all the vegetables are softened. Take off the heat and let cool completely. 

 Serve with small amount of uncooked dill.
I am doing experiments with tweets. For each tweet or each set of tweets, several APIs need to be called trough http protocol. This takes time. I often repeat the same experiment, which means issuing the same http request over and over again. Each request takes at least half a second. Considering a million tweets, one experiment takes half million seconds which makes over 5 days. And, this is the case for only one request per tweet.

In order to overcome this, I cache requests and responses. I made a library for php. Below I will be giving the codes. The library issues curl. But before issuing curl, if cache option is set, it first check if there is a cached content for this request. If there is, it simply returns the cache content. Otherwise, it requests the content over the network, and caches it for further requests.

Caching is done by saving the response to a file named by the md5 of the request url. Since the number of files in the cache directory is too high, I applied a two level strong mechanism which gets first two chracters of the md5 hash and saves the file in the directory named with those two chracters. This reduces the number of files in one directory, enabling a two level look-up in the file system.

Below is the simple code. It, for sure, needs further improvement but, for now, it works for me.

function curl_get($url, $cache=false)
                return file_get_contents($md5filename);
$defaults = array();
@$defaults[CURLOPT_URL] = $url;
@$defaults[CURLOPT_HEADER] = 0;
@$defaults[CURLOPT_TIMEOUT] = 0;
$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt_array($ch, $defaults);
if( ! $result = curl_exec($ch))
        $retry = 0;
        while($retry < 10){
            $result = curl_exec($ch);
return $result;

function getFileName($infix,$data)


return __DIR__."/../caches/$infix/".$md;

Located in 6 km away from Teşvikiye village province of Yalova's Çınarcık district, the Highland Erikli, that many campers visit especially in summer.
Erikli is an ideal camping spot for meeting nature and walking on hiking trails. Our camp on the Erikli highland was held in one of the hottest weekends of June. We started from İstanbul. We passed through Gebze to Yalova with Eskihisar ferry.

During your hiking and camping on the Erikli Highlands, you should visit the waterfalls and watercourse. The atmosphere here instantly grabs you and is really beyond comparison with any other places. Flora and water resources are remarkable. There is a rich variety of plants here such as Chestnut, elm, linden, fir and apple trees. Resting under the shadows of these trees is like a dream that we always want to live in by escaping from the pain of everyday life becoming tiresome.
Starting from the highland, we stoped by the waterfall region after hiking through the pathway nearby the watercourse. The region called as twin-waterfalls because waterfalls are one just after another.

We swam in the waterfalls zone and enjoyed the time. Cooling down on a hot day in this big natural swimming pool  made us feel hungry. So, we made picnic there. Sandwiches which we prepared before for our trip is the best and fancy members of our picnic basket. After finishing our picnic it is time to walk the boundaries of our campsite to identify the best spot for our tent, cooking, and eating. We found  the most suitable point for our tent in the campground belonging to national parks.

We set our tent area near the stream edge. We were lucky because we have a picnic table near our tent area. So. we put our food and necessaries on the picnic table.

We burned our campfire which is  indispensable for our camping pleasure, and placed it around our chairs.
The sparkling golden hues of the fire, the crackles of the wood popping, the bright constellations above, gathered around a central focus… We love campfires. At this point ,We have a tip for you about campfire: In order not to be concerned about looking for wood, buy from where you live, or on the way to your camp. We have bought woods from woodchopper in the city center.
Especially, sitting around the cozy campfire in this campground and spending time in this spot, made us feel happier.

Our campfire did not only warm us up, but it also was a practical solution for us to cook our food at the same time.

At night, our campfire routine is singing songs.

The Erikli is referred as a plateau, but it is not a cold region because it is not much higher than sea level.  It is a place that your can enjoy hours without getting cold nearby a gentle fire. We have woken up for a wonderful morning after a good night sleep.

In the morning the day began in the middle of birds chirping and bright blue helicopter insects' tours over the stream. After our breakfast, it is time hike. A short wander through the woods, we follow a footpath up the lane in front of us, which brings us to the waterfalls region.

After the lunch in the waterfall district, we gathered our tent and stuff to return to the city.

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