Thursday, 28 April 2016
Today we dye the red eggs and make the koulourakia (easter cookies). I boiled 45 eggs yesterday. 5 were discarded because they were cracked. The remaining 40 I soaked in special red egg dye and then polished in olive oil. I will give 10 to my daughter's mother-in-law who gave us 25 of the eggs I dyed, fresh from her chooks. I will give away at least another 20 to other friends and neighbours along with a plate of cookies to each person. Some of them will also give us a small plate of their eggs and cookies in return so we'll probably end up with about 20 eggs. Plenty for playing 'conkers' after Saturday night mass and on Easter Sunday. We don't worry about cholesterol at this time of the year!
This year the grandchildren make the koulourakia. The smell wafting through our house was heavenly, hot orange butter cookies, which only the children can taste today because there are eggs and milk in the recipe and they are not Lenten fare. We made 4 big oven trays of cookies.
We always exchange eggs and cookies with those near and dear to us but also we make a little extra for those in mourning. It is not 'done' to dye eggs or make any sort of sweet biscuits and cakes until the first year of mourning is over and sometimes even longer.
red eggs ready to be shined
The church service tonight is rather longer than usual. It is the Holy Passion service and the reading of the Twelve Apostles.
After the service the local women stay behind and decorate with fresh flowers the bier of Christ, ready for Good Friday.
Thursday is the women's time to organize, give orders, gossip and quibble over the flowers. They stay till the early morning hours and when their church flowers are finished often they will go in a group to see what the women have done in the other two big churches, admire and pooh-pooh the others' efforts.