At this time of year, all Greek churches have a festival, usually over a weekend, starting late Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. Each one of these festivals celebrates the rich Hellenic culture that is not only historic but a culture that celebrates life! A culture that has spread over much of the world in Greek communities that are united in a common heritage and common faith, Orthodox Christianity. To most of you who have enjoyed attending a festival, it means FOOD!! Souvlaki (shish-kebabs), gyro(pita bread piled high with spicy, grilled beef and topped with tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce), lamb dinners, spanakopita, Greek salad with warm pita bread, kalamata olives and feta, calamari, loukaniko (Greek sausage made with beef, pork and orange zest), and sometimes mousaka (eggplant and meat casserole) and pastitsio (pasta, cheese and ground meat). Let’s not forget (oh, I didn’t) the delicious Greek pastry. The most well-known is baklava (filo pastry layered with nuts and butter, sweetened with a honey syrup), but go “beyond baklava” and try galactobouriko (filo pastry filled with a creamy custard and laced with honey), kourambiedes (butter cookies drenched in powdered sugar that melt in your mouth), melomakarona or feenikia (cake-like cookies soaked in honey) or karidopita (a walnut cake made moist by pouring honey over it). Did you notice that honey is the ‘star’ of all these incredible pastries? The main attraction is often the loukoumathes booth. These are light and airy donut holes drizzled with honey while still warm and topped with crushed walnuts and cinnamon. These are so popular, the line is always very long, but take heart, these are made fresh and each order has a pile of these little delectable balls on every plate. Keep in mind that all this food, pastries included, is authentic and made by the church members who have worked very hard to bring you this experience. While walking around the festival grounds enjoying the tantalizing aromas and sampling different foods, you will hear the haunting sounds of the bouzouki calling you to the dance floor. Follow that sound and join the line of dancers. You don’t have to know how to do it, just follow along and have fun. Feel a little Greek as you whirl around the dance floor and yell, ” Opa!!” If you have never attended a Greek Festival but know of one nearby, don’t miss it this time. A wonderful experience awaits you. Yassou! And see you next time.     Photo by Dan Songster of some of our cousins dancing at our villa in Greece for one glorious, unforgettable week compliments of our cousin Michael Giftos!!

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Such Awesome Reviews…

April 20, 2015
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Over the last few years, people who have bought our book have had wonderful comments about not only the recipes but the journal entries. I’m still not sure if the rest of you realize this book, A Greek Journey With Fork and Pen, Two Sisters Find Their Roots, is not your typical cookbook. Recipes…yes, we have […]

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Red Easter Eggs and the Magic of Onion Skins

April 10, 2015
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As we get ready for our Greek Orthodox Easter, a week after everyone else’s Easter, I was preparing to dye our eggs the traditional red/scarlet. Typically I have used Rit dye which is for fabrics, not food, because I never could find natural or food grade dye in our local markets. However, as I read […]

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Galactoboureko vs Bougatsa

January 30, 2015
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Both of these are sweet, delicate pies made with rich custard between crisp filo leaves. In most places in Greece it is known as Galactoboureko, while in Crete and in Northern Greece it is still called by its Turkish name, Bougatsa. We have had both and the main difference that I can see is the […]

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Kala Christougena – Merry Christmas

December 12, 2014
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As the 25th comes rushing towards us, everyone is in stress mode…when will I have time to shop? I don’t know what to get anyone this year!! What will I serve for dinner??? Oh, wait…that last one has never been a problem in this house! Our Christmas traditional dinner (in our family) is Roast Leg […]

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