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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lavender Bath Salts and Turkish Food. Life's Little Pleasures

Lavender. Source: Wikipedia
Two little things pleased me a lot recently: Lavender Bath Salts and Toros Restaurant.

I received an email from one Oleg Kitashin asking me to try a free sample of his Lavender bath salts and post a review on Amazon. I tried them and I loved them. The scent really brought me back:

…When I was a little girl, my mother had a flower garden: roses, irises, bergamot, and lilies. The luxurious roses were the stars, of course, but they were never my favorite. Maybe their blowsy, rich red blooms were just too obvious. Lavender grew off by itself, against the fence, in poor soil near the road. Its dusty grey leaves and tiny purple flowers were my favorites in the garden.

In high summer, I would pick a bit of lavender leaf between my fingertips, crush it, and sniff. Oooo. That scent of lavender brought me into a different world than my small New Jersey town. The fragrance just swept me away. Many sensuous scents we women love, like frangipani, invite us to sit back, relax, let down our inhibitions. But, oh, ho, ho, not so with lavender. The scent of lavender invigorates. It demands that you be your best self. It is the Katherine Hepburn of flower scents…

If you want to give Oleg's bath salts a try, the Amazon page for his product is here.

Sedef (mother of pearl) inlay. Source
My beautiful and talented student took me out to lunch at Toros Restaurant in Clifton. The street had the grim, littered, possibly dangerous look of so much of this corner of post-industrial New Jersey.

We entered Toros and a different world. You immediately encounter beautiful and intricate inlaid furniture. We ate next to red walls, under a stained glass ceiling. Turkish artwork – real sabers, a painting of a costumed woman and her goat – and lamps with beaded shades festooned the walls.

I'm not a foodie, and to me writing about food is like dancing about architecture, but I loved the food, and I wasn't hungry again for the next twenty-four hours. I was especially intrigued by kazandibi, a desert not quite like anything I'd ever had before.

It was the kind of place that, even before my dish arrived, I couldn't wait for the next time I'd visit. I phoned HIM while I was there, telling him we had to go together.

Here's the Toros website.

You can see the inlaid couch and table to the lower left. 

Kazandibi, a dessert unlike others I've tried. Recipe


  1. Ok, so now I'm pretty darn sure we have to go to Toros the next time we hang out. The Unidentified desert and the posh layout look awesome.