Dental Tales


Under normal circumstances these bars of marzipan chocolate would last for a week and a half. But it has been three weeks since I bought these and I’m not done with even one bar.Β What happened?

Well .. I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago. My dentist made several tests and said to me that my tooth died and it needed a root canal therapy. I had several in the past and don’t dread the pain even though I don’t let the dentist use anesthesia. I very much dislike painkillers. I want to know what happens with me and when my situation gets better or worse.Β In cases like this, I like to make the best of the situation and experiment with pain. How much can I stand? What happens when I concentrate on something else? Can I make the pain move from one place to another? etc.

For years, I was thinking that dental problems are simply genetics related. That some people have strong teeth and some don’t … simple. After all I brush, I floss, I eat healthy (or so I thought), but still have problems with my teeth. And my dentists always would say that there is not much to do apart from that.

I’m wondering why that is so. Other doctors always look at you in a somewhat judging manner when you become ill, as if saying “what have you done to get sick like that, you are not a child anymore, you should know what is good for you”. But with dentists, this is different. They just drill and fill and say to come again in a few months. Not a word about effective prevention besides “brush your teeth after eating candy”.

Well, turns out it doesn’t matter much whether I brush my teeth after eating candy or not. The problem is how blood sugar levels fluctuate and affect the rest of the system. After all, our blood transports all the necessary minerals and vitamins to the various parts, including our teeth.

When we take a look at the common diet of todays people living in the ‘civilized’ world, we see that almost everything we eat raises our blood sugar levels, because they contain processed sugar and flour. High sugar levels in the blood cause the body to try to regain its balance, which takes time and during this time our immune system becomes vulnerable. Here a list of 146 reasons why sugar is ruining your health.

I always heard people saying that sugar and flour are bad. But they always talked about it in relation with body weight. And to be honest, I don’t mind  a kilo or two more on my bones, if it means that I can enjoy my ‘sensible’ daily portion of chocolate. If I knew that it affects the body (and the teeth of course), impairing its health from the inside, I would have stopped eating them a long time ago.

Better late than never, right? For more than three weeks now I don’t eat sugar and flour. And I am surprised how easy the transition was. Every two days I take a tiny bite of chocolate, though πŸ™‚ The immediate effects of my new diet, which contains no food from the shelves except milk and yoghurt, has been:

  • 1.5 kg weight loss in the first ten days without doing anything else
  • stronger teeth: I was very much surprised to see some results so fast

So now my challenge is to analyse my diet and look whether it contains the minerals and vitamins the body needs and then to adjust it to get the required daily amounts (not less and not more).

The second challenge is to find out how different elements of nutrition affect each other, so that I can add good combinations to my diet and avoid bad ones. For instance, calcium seems to affect the absorption of iron in a bad way.

Lots of research to be done on my side.

Calzone Recipe

Here comes my beloved calzone recipe. I just made a new batch and my folks aaah’d and hmmm’d a lot … so, here you go =)


… for the dough

1 kg flour
350 ml warm milk (= 1.8 cup)
200 ml warm water (= 1 cup)
2 teaspoons (1 package) dry yeast
9 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 teaspoons of salt

… for the filling

You are actually free to put whatever you want in it. Your favourite pizza topping will do.


Put some of the water in a cup and slightly mix in the yeast. Add a teaspoon of sugar and let it wait for 5 minutes.

Put the flour, milk, rest of the water, oil, salt, and the yeast+water mixture into a bowl and knead well. Put a cloth on top of the bowl and let it rest for about an hour.

After the dough has grown to approximately twice its size, make little balls (a little larger than a walnut) out of it and put aside.

Roll out each ball to approximately 14 cm in diameter (= 5.5 inch). Put 1,5 tablespoons of the filling on one half of the dough, fold over the other half and tightly secure the borders =)


Bake at 200 C (= 390 F) for about half an hour or till they look brown and crisp.


Vienna Meeting

Here is the report of our meeting with Swee and Vadjutka upon request from several EST members:

A while ago Swee informed me that she was planning to come to Vienna for her 23th ( !! ) birthday. As KreativLink is living nearby and I’m already here, we thought a meeting would be lovely. Vadjutka was going to join the party from Budapest (3 hours by train). Unfortunately KreativLink got ill the day before and couldn’t come.

On that day it was cold. I picked up Swee from her hotel and we headed to the Mariahilferstrasse (major shopping street), which we had to walk all the way up to the train station to meet Vadjutka.

As the train rolled into the platform, I was concerned whether I would be able to recognise her or not. The train stopped and in the wagon that stopped right in front of us, a girl … waving and smiling … with a camera hanging from her neck πŸ™‚ She started to take photos right away, giving me an excuse not to take many pictures and leave that to the professionals.

From the day it was certain that Swee would come, I wanted to take her to Bortolotti. My favourite ice cream parlor on the planet. When we settled on our reserved places, it was pressies time. Vad and I brought along some birthday presents for Swee and she surprised us with gifts as well. Her workmanship and eye for detail is just amazing.


After those lovely moments we ate sandwiches with Italian names …


… but in reality I wanted to skip that part to order ice cream. I showed the girls the pics in the menu card to get them drooling. But in the end they said that they are full. Unbelievable! I mean there has to be always space for some ice cream … it melts into nothingness after all.


I ended up being the only one eating ice cream, while the others waited for me to finish. Hopefully I can go back with KreativLink one day to enjoy a big cup each πŸ™‚

After that it was time for me to go, because the time for midday prayer was about to run out and I had to reach home before that. Then I thought I could stay a little longer and guide them at least to the Naschmarkt, if only I could go to a clothing shop with changing rooms to pray there, secretly.

Unfortunately there are not that many shops at this end of the Mariahilferstrasse and Vadjutka wanted to go get some beer for someone as a present from a special brewery nearby. She didn’t know the exact address, so we didn’t know how long that would take. We had to make decisions.

She, a Jew, said “first the prayer, it is important”.

Me, a Muslim, said “let’s go get the beer”, because I didn’t want her to get lost.

Finally we decided to split up. She went by herself and we went to find a suitable shop with a changing room. The first one we found was for men clothing only, so no chance for me to pretend trying out something. The next one was ok, we went in, I picked up a cardigan, said “oh that’s nice, let’s try that out” and headed right to the changing room.

We met Vadjutka again at the Museumsquartier and went to a small shop with very diverse items, such as the “giant microbes“. After that I lead them to the Naschmarkt and left them with a hand drawn map of the places they had to go next. I hope it was helpful πŸ™‚

To sum it all up: it was a lovely day. I hope we can meet again some time, some place …

Project “EST Granny Square Blanket”


Some time ago, ArtMind from the European Street Team (EST) on Etsy blogged about her dream in progress, referring to a granny square blanket she was working on.

Back then I mentioned the idea that we, as the EST members, could make a collaborative granny square blanket for the team, where all participating members would send a square or two for me to put together as a blanket. The response from many a EST member was convincing enough to announce this project now.

How to participate:

  • send me a convo over my Etsy shop
  • with your participation you will commit yourself to send me at least one granny square by the end of November 2009
  • it would be highly appreciated if the squares would be 7 cm x 7 cm, made out of mercerized cotton yarn.
  • as for the yarn: I’m using regular crafty yarn with which 26 stitches amount to 10 cm. Washable at 40 degrees (see picture below)
  • 3 sized crochet hook should be ideal for the yarn
  • You can use this tutorial to make your squares.

As you can see, I already started by crcoheting two squares πŸ™‚

Happy crocheting !! πŸ™‚

Walnut-Apple Dessert


Every time I make this dessert I decide to make it more often. Much, much more often. But then something happens and I wait till the next time when I expect guests.

This recipe will serve 8-10 people.


… for the apple layer
2 ground apples
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
100 gr ground walnuts

… for the biscuit layer
50 gr ground petit beur biscuits

… for the pudding layer
1 lt milk
50 gr cornstarch
7 tablespoons sugar

… the apple layer
Put the ground apples in a pan and let it cook over a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Add the sugar and cook till the mixture gets dry. Add cinnamon powder and walnuts. Mix well and remove from heat.

… the pudding
Mix cornstarch and 100 ml of the milk in a separate cup and set aside. Mix the sugar with the rest of the milk in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add the milk+cornstarch mixture and stir well till the mixture thickens (appr. 3 minutes). Remove from heat.

Now put a layer of pudding in your serving cup.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of the ground biscuits.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of the apple mixture.
Add another layer of pudding.
Done !!

Let it cool in the fridge and serve with cinnamon on top. Bon appetite !!

Bugs in writing

So, you finished your masters … you feel smart and are proud of yourself for having had the determination and will power to do it? Well, enjoy the feeling while it lasts !! If you are going to write a dissertation as well, you will feel different … soon !!

All will start with the endless amount of books and papers you have to read. The more you read the more you will wonder if there is maybe one major publication you missed that could turn out to report the exact thing you are working on, making your work redundant and useless.

You will start asking yourself why am I doing this? what if somebody else already did this? Am I wasting my time? Will my dissertation even be readable, let alone contribute to the field? But most of all you will constantly ask: now, what was I doing?

If a fairy would come to you at this phase to grant you a wish, you would most likely wish for a life in a small village, far far away to herd sheep. What a beautiful, calm, relaxed way of life that would be …


You have to shake off those feelings and carry on. To get it over with will be your main motivation.

To ease the whole process of writing your dissertation you will need the following:

– A ‘good’ supervisor: S/he should be good as a person in general and also good in the field you are working on. You need someone you can trust, someone you can be sure that s/he will not let you down if some conflict of interest arise, someone who knows what is going on in the field in order to prevent you from doing redundant work, someone you cannot fool even if you managed to fool yourself (which is veeeeery easy) …

– A documentation policy: Make notes during every meeting with your supervisor and send them as an email afterwards to her/him. This will make sure that both of you were talking about the same thing and understood each other correctly. It will prevent misunderstandings regarding the content of the meetings, deadlines, scope of work, etc …

– At least one person who can listen to your ‘ occasional ‘ speeches about the thesis, your self pity and skepticism without smacking you on the head -> best is an anti-social brother who doesn’t talk much and can look at you as if he listens, even though he is somewhere else with his thoughts saving the world or something.

– A book like ‘Bugs in Writing’ by Lyn Dupre:  This book can guide you through the whole writing process, giving you strength during tough times with priceless advices like: “tell yourself that nobody ever reads dissertations anyway, that the dissertation requirement is just an archaic form of torture, a rite of passage”.

Best of luck mate!!

Walnut Fig Dessert


I wanted my first blog entry to be something appealing and sweet. What better than sharing a recipe of one of my favourite desserts, right ? πŸ™‚

This recipe is originally from the Turkish blog β€œ Portakal Agaci ”. However, I adjusted it a little bit.


… for the cake
3 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of grind walnuts
1 cup of flour
1/2 package baking powder (appr. 10 gram)
6-7 dried figs (steeped in warm water for 10 minutes and finely diced)

… for the syrup
550 ml warm water
50 ml milk
1/2 cup of sugar

… for the topping
40 gr cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
800 ml milk


… for the cake
Beat eggs with sugar thoroughly. Add flour + baking powder + walnuts and mix well. Finally add the figs and mix again. Pour the batter in a baking pan and bake at 160 C.
Stab the cake with a fork in order to get little holes so that the syrup is being immersed better in the next step.

… for the syrup
Mix everything well and pour on the cake 5 minutes after the cake has been removed from the oven.

… for the topping
Mix cornstarch and 100 ml of the milk in a separate cup and set aside. Mix the sugar with the rest of the milk in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add the milk+cornstarch mixture and stir well till the mixture thickens (appr. 3 minutes). Remove from heat and pour over the cake 5 minutes after you poured the syrup on the cake.

Serve with cinnamon on top. Bon appetite !!