local-kiwi-alien

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Sweet Squash Pies

 Glykia kolokythopita or sweet squash pie is an autumn and winter sweet which is not too sweet and is healthy too.  I reckon you could leave out the oil and halve the sugar without making much of a difference.  

Grating a kilo of squash is a tiresome affair but it gets done if you've got your mind on the finished 'pie'.

You can use a short pastry or even a puff pastry.  I used filo (phyllo) and my layers were too thin.  It needs a thicker pastry which is why I am making a second tray a few days later using handmade pastry.  I shall not mention that the first dish of these pies has already disappeared.



Grate yer squash


Plonk it nicely on the pastry


Roll em up and bake em

Filling -


-1 kilo of grated yellow squash or pumpkin
-1 small teacup of oil
(I used olive oil and the teacup was a greek coffee cup, probably about half the english teacup)
-3 tbsps of semolina (you could also use fine breadcrumbs or rice.  This is to absorb any moisture from the squash)
-1 small cup of sugar
-1 tbsp cinnamon
-1tsp cloves
-1tsp nutmeg 
- sm cup of raisins
-sm cup of chopped walnuts

Grate the squash and mix in all the other ingrdients. dont let it stand around too long or the squash will let out its juices and it may be too sloppy. So they say. Mine sat on the bench for a couple of hours and was fine

Roll out squares of pastry, fill as in the photo above, roll and place in a baking dish.  Brush the rolls with oil and bake for around 30 minutes till golden brown.  

Make sure your rolls are closed tightly at each end.  If the filling oozes out you'll have a sticky syrup to deal with which makes the baking dish hard to clean

Pastry used for my second try -

-1 water glass of...water
-1 small cup of oil
-3 tbsps of vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-400 - 450 grams of flour
-1 tsp baking powder

Mix together till you have a nice elastic dough.  Add the flour slowly till you have enough.    Leave it to rest for 20 minutes and then roll out into oblongs which fit your baking dish



Rolling up so the stuffing doesn't ooze out


All rolled


After an aesthetically pleasing dust of icing sugar it's all 'go' for eating





Monday, 10 May 2021

Out in Nature

 


My blue hydrangea is thriving in it's new clay pot.  The colour is getting darker and darker.  Almost purple





I think these are called medlars in english.  In greek they are mousmoula.  This tree is away down the road and I often pass it on my walks.  The house is empty and will be till July or August when the people come from Athens for their summer holidays.  I would go and pick the fruit but I'd have to scramble over a fence and down some uneven steps.  I'm not doing that.  Pity.  I saw some in the shops today.  3 euro a punnet


My last year's birthday present, thanks kids.  It is finally in the garden.  That's a small basil plant, in the planter


And here's another one for you gardeners.  What is the name of this tree?  I should know it.  I'm sure my father had one in our garden many, many years ago.  The flowers smell delightful

Summer Change

 


Freedom.  Cafes and tavernas are open.  We went out for morning coffee and a sesame roll, koulouri.  There weren't many people about which surprised me.  All the cafes had a few tables of people.  No overcrowding.

It was a bit different at night apparently. Young kids out for a good time


Tall Poppi came and scrubbed our small rugs.  It looks like she's enjoying herself.  She also re-arranged some breeze blocks to make a small garden, brought down our summer fans and garden cushions from the small space over the bathroom and took down the curtains in the living room so I can wash out the smoke from winter's fires.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

At Home


The grape vine is greening up.  The young leaves will have to be gathered for dolmathes before they get too big and tough.


Our grandaughter came and scrubbed small rugs a few days ago and here they are hanging out on the fence.  Thank goodness they are dry and can be brought in to be stored away.  That great tractor/digger thing spent all day digging up next door's driveway so they can bury their electric cable, from gate to house.  That's something new around here.  There was quite a bit of dust, to add to the Saharan dust already in the air.


A few stuffed tomatoes for a couple of lunches


Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Easter Sunday Fiesta

 So much fuss and bother for one day.  And another three days for me to recover


We had an easter egg, chocolate egg, hunt.  52 small, foil wrapped, eggs were strewn around the garden.  Fortunately they found them all.  The weather has turned hot.  It would have been 52 traps of melting chocolate.  


The photos are in the wrong order.  So here's the lamb just off the spit.  A perfection of fattiness


The table is set but the men are still tasting and appraising


Cracking the easter eggs.  The broken ones are peeled and eaten


Once the eating and drinking has begun (early morning for some) then the dancing begins.  As my traditional person says, a starving bear won't dance.


Tall grandson turned up for the dawn chorus this year.  Here he's looking after the three spits.  The easter lamb, the kondosouvli  (a roll of pork, tomatoes, onions and peppers), and the kokoretsi ( the roll of offal tied up with intestines).


 the easter loaf fresh out of the oven.

As usual a good time was had by all, especially the men.  My ears are still ringing from the endless loud (raucous) greek music. Everyone else (women and children)  retreated inside after the meal for icecream and brownies.  I snuck in for a quick lick of a bowl.  Then they all took off to the beach below to swim and enjoy a peaceful coffee and cigarette.  As I was the hostess, I stayed behind to referee.  

So its done and dusted for yet another year.  Half the lamb was left.  How much can we eat?  Not as much as a greek man imagines.  There are bags of roast lamb in the freezer for many more (male) get-togethers.  I tried to press all the leftovers on the children but even they were overwhelmed.

Baking dishes, greasy plates and a load of dangerously sharp knives were all washed on the day.   Sons-in-law were tremendously helpful.  One scrubbed the baking trays, the other cut all the meat off the bone and they both hauled away the overflowing rubbish bags.

Till next Year (at someone else's house)

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Saturday

 Lots of work to do today. Easter bread to bake, red eggs and koulourakia to be passed around, all yesterday's washing to be hung out, a house to be arranged for tomorrow's company, chairs and tables set out and most importantly, offal to be chopped and cooked for the evening breaking of the Lenten fast.



Today is also May Day
Uusally I would be out gathering wild flowers to make a wreath.  This year was just too chaotic so I collected what I could from the garden and put together an artistic bouquet to hang on the gate.
There is a lemon, some oregano, rosemary, a chive flower, nasturtiums, rose geranium and red geranium.
We should let this dry out and keep it to be burnt on the fire of St John at the end of June.  Midsummer elsewhere.


The Easter soup is under way.  Offal and fresh onions.  Later I will add lettuce, dill, rice, lemon juice and egg to thicken

The Holy Light has arrived from Jerusalem and will be at our local churches by now.  Usually the Saturday service is at midnight and the light is brought out so everyone can light their fancy easter candles and take it home to make the mark of the cross over the doorway and light their family candle to keep the flame going in the home.  


Smokey crosses from years gone by

Because of the virus the service this year will be held at 9pm so everyone can be home by the 10pm curfew.  So at 9pm we will be saying ' Christ Is Risen', kissing each other, cracking red eggs and then eating mageritsa, the soup made with the offal of the lamb, liver, kidney, heart, spleen and intestine. 


Fancy candles for the Holy Light.
Handmade by grandaughters




Friday, 30 April 2021

Friday

 Good Friday is a day of mourning. Shops do not open till 10 or 11am, after the church service when Christ is taken down from the cross.

Church bells sound the death knoll all day long.

No cleaning or cooking. Most people will fast today. We will be eating boiled potatoes, tomatoes and olives. And no wine.

Hallejulah. A simple meal for once. 

Usually there's a candlelight parade along the harbour at 9 pm. The four big churches all join together followed by almost  all the local population, plus visitors, holding candles. There was no parade last year and there won't be one this year. However  we are allowed to gather this year  outside the churches and the service is broadcast over a loud speaker.


We used to go up to the Monastery where there was not such a crush. However the monks have all had covid recently so I don't know what's happening there this year.


K watches the services on TV, as he did last year, broadcast live from the Patriarchal church in Istanbul .


Good Friday is also a day to clean the family graves, make sure the candle is lit and waft around a little incense.


Films showing on our TV channels tonight 

The Bible 

The Passion of Christ 

Jesus of Nazareth 

Close to Jesus 

Noah 

The Ten Commandments 

Regular programmes like MasterChef and Survivor are all put on hold till Monday after Easter.


I staked my tomatoes, washed the front terraces, tidied up the front garden which is my domain. I stripped the bed but can't wash the sheets till tomorrow. Actually I could have done some washing. Even K wouldn't have said anything but I left it, remembering years gone by when I was admonished by my mother in law and her elderly sister for doing some sewing.  Times have changed. 


I don't mind having one day when I can potter and not have that guilty feeling that I should be doing something else.