Monday, 12 February 2018

Cheese Week

Third and final week of carnival culminating in the great (seafood, beans and unleavened bread) feast of Clean Monday and the first day of the great 7 week Lenten fast.

Cheese week, Tyrini, is also called white week.  Meat is forbidden and instead people eat a lot of cheese, milk and eggs.   Women are not supposed to wash their hair this week as it may turn white.  Can't say I know anyone who follows these old rules, except perhaps my very religious neighbour  (not Vaso).  

This (now devout) elderly neighbour became exceedingly pious when her second husband abandoned her for a younger woman.  Note that she had already abandoned her first husband for this second much younger one.  She must have felt she had brought down on herself the wrath of a angry God.  Her life now consists of church services, wherever they may be, all nighters (service till the wee hours) and very strict adherence to the  code of the Orthodox church.  No hanging out of washing, doing housework or darning her socks on Sundays or Saints days for her.  No meat, dairy or eggs on Wednesdays or Fridays.

She comes now and again on a quick visit with homemade biscuits, a bar of  chocolate or a plate of tomatoes and gives us all the island news.  The local church or a doctor's waiting room are the best places to learn all the latest 'gossip'.  Mind you , most of her news is of funerals, memorials and illnesses.  She is 'of a certain age'.

She and her sisters go on overseas coach trip to Monasteries in Romania, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria and she always brings back very large bars of the best chocolate she can find as presents for her many neices and nephews, and us.

Not much to say about Cheese week.  

Here is a recipe for very easy cheese buns given to me by my neighbour, Fani.  She and her sisters are excellent cooks.  They always bring trays of cakes and biscuits for memorial services, All Souls and church fiestas.

Feta Cheese 'Pies'  .. more like heavy buns.  

Put in a bowl  ......
450 self raising flour
1 carton of plain yoghurt - 200 grams, Full fat, 2%, sheep or goats, whatever

Using the same 200 gram container, measure out and add.......
1 carton of oil (olive or vegetable oil)
1 carton of crumbled feta cheese
1 carton of some other grated cheese

2 eggs

Mix well.  Form into small bun shapes, put on baking paper on a baking tray and cook about half an hour in a medium oven till golden brown.

Eat warm with a glass of wine

Kali Orexi
Bon Appetit
Good appetite
Buon Appetito

Tomorrow is Tuesday 13th
the equivalent of Friday 13th for the rest of the western world


  1. So that is where I went wrong, I washed my hair during Tyrini! I could do with one of those heavy cheese buns right now.

    Good luck for tomorrow!

    1. Oooops you turned white overnight did you? I can't imagine not shampooing for a whole week. I'll take the risk!!

    2. Not really, but it probably looked as though I had. I used to have my grey hair dyed, got fed up with all the palaver and expense, so about six weeks after the last colour session I had it cut very short so that the natural 'colour' showed through - almost instantly I had white hair. I was 29 years old!

    3. I had the same problem with my beard. I wish someone had told me earlier!

    4. Well, as youre both white now you have no excuse not to be clean!

  2. So many traditions. Wpnder what started the strange beliefs; my mother-in-law would never cut her nails on a Thursday.
    I am saving your cheese pie recipe!
    Greetings Maria x

    1. Very few people take any notice of these any more but when I first arrived in the 70's they certainly did follow this age old folk law. And then I cam along to break all the rules he he

  3. I shall make the cheese pie tomorrow.

    1. When Fani makes them they are ligth and cheesy. Mine turn out a little too oily. Maybe you should use 3/4 cup of oil. Although maybe you have a 'good hand' and yours will turn out perfectly.

  4. Said it before LA. You have got a recipe book there. You should write it and send it to book publishers.