Walnut is one of the ingredients I love and use most. I put it in several dishes as I adore its flavor. I sometimes add it in cake with carrot, I sometimes mix it with yogurt to make a savory food like celery root salad, I use it in most of the desserts like semolina halvah, or fig dessert. And this time I used it in this so easy dairy dessert. As you understand walnut is one of the main ingredients in my pantry. This may be beacuse I was taught in my childhood that walnut was a very valuable food.
We used to live in a village when I was a child because of my dad’s job. I was one of those lucky children as I had the chance of eating everything natural. As children of the village, we enjoyed a lot. When we visited some elderlies together, they would give us some walnuts either fresh or dried, but both with shells. There weren’t any markets or shops in villages those times (there still aren’t any of these in several villages of Turkey), so people didn’t have candies or chocolate bars to please children. They would use walnuts instead. As soon as we were given some walnuts, we would kiss their hands, put them in our pockets and went out. Fresh walnuts were our favorite because it was so enjoyable to carve its inside out with a knife and eat that white young and tender part. This wasn’t something easy, but we would love to work on it although this turned our hands into a dark brown color. When they gave dried walnuts, we would break them with the help of a stone in the yard and eat together.
Walnut is so precious for people in villages as it is a source of their incomes. They pick walnuts with a special method. There must be at least three people to pick them. The strrongest of them climb the tree. The rest hold a large piece of cloth just under the tree. The one on the tree shake boughs of it one by one to drop the walnuts on the cloth which the others are holding under tree. Then they dry these walnuts under sun and then sell them to bazaar owners or markets in cities. That’s why it has a great importance and we would be so happy whenever we had them in our pockets.
Therefore, I have had a love for walnut since my childhood and that’s why I use it in my dishes in several ways.
I made this pudding to welcome my parents who visited us two days ago. Originally, the bottom layer is crumbled biscuits, but as I know that my parents have the same love for walnut, I used crumbled walnuts instead.
Uc Katlı Puding
Ingredients (servings: 6)
- 4 tbsp rice flour
- 1lt milk (5 ½ cups)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp butter
- ½ cup crumbled walnuts
- 3 tbsp cocoa
- Grated coconut
- 6 hazelnuts
Mix milk, rice flour, vanilla and sugar together until all combined. Put it on medium heat and stir occasionally. Bring it to boil and keep mixing when it boil until it reaches the right consistency. It lasts about 8 or 10 minutes after it boils. Add butter to make it brighter. Take it from heat.
Put crumbled walnuts as the bottom layer in 6 pudding cups. Then pour this pudding as the second layer in the cups evenly, but do not fill the cups yet. Leave a little pudding in the pot. Mix cocoa with this pudding and put it back on heat. Mix it continually and bring it to boil. Then pour this cocoa pudding as the third layer. Let them cool and then wait them in refrigerator at least 6 hours. Garnish them with grated coconut and a hazelnut on top.
We took the photo of this pudding with dad, he decided on the background color and gave me some directions. However, he couldn’t wait more and grabbed the pudding and asked for a dessert spoon to taste it. He had one full spoon and another and another and when he reached the bottom layer, he realized the walnut surprise which doubled his pleasure.
Kissing hands in Turkish culture is totally different from other cultures. We kiss hands of elderlies to show our respect. When children visit their grandparents especially on specail days, they kiss their hands and the grandparents hug them and kiss their cheeks. If they are generous enough, they give some pocket money to their grandchildren. There is a special style of kissing hands in our culture. You first kiss and then put hand on your forehead. If you just kiss and leave the hand, it means you don’t know how to kiss hands. This is a part of our culture just as a sign of respect, but there are some people abusing this tradition. They kiss hands of people to flatter them and to have make benefit from them in someways. Originally, we just kiss our grandparents hands. That’s it, nothing more.(image source)