Saturday 18 May 2024

Before and After

 Spring clean-up. 

We've got visitors soon from the land down under.  We must  polish the brass and clean the silver. The fatted pig is ready for slaughter. 


Our front wall needed a good whitewash


The railings were well past their paint-by date and getting rusty



The eagle holding the bell over the front gate.
K have him a paint job.
I've just noticed the bell. That's one piece of brass that hasn't been polished, yet. 



The walls were whitewashed and the railings sanded down and painted. We thought the railings were painted white till the wall was finished. The railings are actually off-white. Never mind, they're look a damn sight better. 


A bit of pruning on our neighbours land.
These bushes are called 'pounari' and they're a damn nuisance. They are trimmed right down to the roots every year and regenerate even stronger, and they spread. To remove them the roots have to be bulldozed out. 
To continue....  they were growing too close for comfort to our BBQ and are a fire hazard. We are going to bbq a pig there soon so our friend cut a wide corridor with his handy little chainsaw. 


Shade cloth in place. It's got a few holes but will do the job for another summer. 



Now we need the council to get it's act together and fix up the road. The edges were dug up for new water pipes. After a 2 year wait. 
6 months ago they assured us the road would be tar sealed before Christmas. When the new Mayor was elected he assured us the road would be concreted before Easter. 
Now he says they'll come, sometime, and concrete the entrance way to everyone's house. There are only 5 houses in the road. 
So we wait. And hope. 

It's all part of the Poros experience. 
Ouzo, octopus and rustic 'charm'.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Early Morning Coffee

 Yesterday we had to go down, not into town, but as far as the bridge which separates the two islands which make up Poros. The bridge goes over a small canal, about 3 metres wide. Most visitors hardly realise they are driving from one island to another. Blink and you've missed the connection. 

So, to continue, it was only 9am and we had a 2 hour wait so we walked along to a coffee shop right on the water. 


Looking out towards the hills of the mainland and the quiet harbour in front of the Naval School where fishing boats tie up.


The new recruits were being quick marched along the quay. We could hear the officer yelling out orders. Then I heard church bells from the cathedral in  town ringing out a slow death knell. Both sounds used to be familiar when we lived in town in earshot of naval and church activities. 




The neo classical building that houses the headquarters of the Naval School. The base is a training school for navy conscripts




A line of majestic palm trees along the coast road


Sunflowers and bougainvillia




Fisherman, cousin Tasos, coming in with the morning catch
 



Tuesday 14 May 2024

Seasons

 


My garden
13th March
The greenery are nasturtiums and some sort of clover. I don't think it's oxalis. It looks like the pictures of wood sorrel found on Google. Clover-like leaves with yellow flowers. It grows like mad in winter, as do the nasturtiums, and dries up and completely disappears in summer.
As you can see below.


14th May

And this how it will stay till October/November depending when the first rains come.

If I'm lucky a few pumpkins may provide a bit of green ground cover . A few have sprouted in the enclosed plot on the right, so there's a chance we may have something to harvest at the end of summer.



Saturday 11 May 2024

Sotirakis

 So much has been going on  these last 2 weeks I haven't had time to post about our latest Poros Bazaar.  This one was in aid of another dog


Little Sotirakis
He has problems with his eyes and needs a slew of tests and an appointment with a specialist in Athens

                                                                 

Our 2 tireless Organisers. Waiting for the first customers on a warm Poros day.

Jan from England and Cecile from Belgium.  Both are very long time residents.   Local-aliens like me



Rudi
The boy who benefitted from the first bazaar.  He needed special medecine which the bazaar helped provide.  He has put on weight and become a happy healthy dog.  He lapped up lots of attention



Happy browsers


Jan sorting out the donated clothes.  Most were donated by another English resident.  Beautifully tailored, in excellent condition



My daughter Danae has an eye for a bargain and sorted out something for all of us. She found a dress for me which fitted perfectly. Only trouble is that I haven't worn a dress in years and although it looks great I feel oddly bare. I'm used to having my knees and legs covered by trousers or leggings. 


A friend of ours doing a clean out donated half a dozen paintings
K wanted this one.  We have no free wall space.  Thank goodness someone else snapped it up


Refreshments
Coffee
Sangria and mint water 



And the main items
Books. English and a few greek and dutch

It wouldn't be a bazaar without a raffle.  And the perfect prize/s. Free haircuts and nail care.  
I've won a free haircut and boy do I need one. I'm like a shaggy sheep dog ­čśä

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Ekmek Kataïfi - A Turkish Delight

 

 

             EKMEK KATA├ĆFI OR KADAYIFI

INGREDIENTS


Syrup

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp honey
Kataïfi Base
  • 350 grams kata├»fi pastry
  • 250 grams melted butter
Custard
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 100 grams cornflour
  • 100 grams plain flour
  • 1.5 liters milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Cream

  • 600 ml thick cream
  • vanilla
  • 20 grams icing sugar

Instructions 

SYRUP - In a saucepan, make the syrup by adding the water, sugar, lemon, cinnamon, and honey. Bring to the boil and after 2 minutes, set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 180Oc

 

PASTRY - Add the kataifi pastry to a deep dish and separate it out evenly. Pull the clumps of pastry apart. Pour over the melted butter. Mix the pastry around till it is all covered in butter. Press down.   Place into the oven until golden brown and crispy,  20-30 mins at 180oC.

While the pastry is hot pour over the cooler syrup. Hot pastry, cool syrup

 

CUSTARD -

Make the custard by putting the eggs and 100g of caster sugar into a bowl, beat until creamy and set aside.

In a saucepan, add the milk, cornflour, plain flour, 100g caster sugar and vanilla essence. Whisk all together until it’s warm (not too hot).

Using a ladle scoop a spoonful of the warm milk mixture and put it into the egg mixture. Mix it together and add the egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Mix thoroughly over the heat until the custard thickens. Let it cool. Don't let it boil or the eggs will set.  If this does happen just whisk till combined.

 Pour the custard over the top of the pastry and spread it out.  Place in the fridge for an hour to set.

WHIPPED CREAM - Add the cream, vanilla and icing sugar to a bowl and beat until whipped thickly. Then add to the top of the custard.  When evenly spread, decorate the top with a sprinkle of finely chopped nuts.

My sis in law in NZ, Bev, puts crushed toffee on the top.  That sounds more to my taste! A little bit of chocolate wouldn't be bad either. Who cares if it's not the traditional fistikia, pistachio nuts. 


Bev's ekmek

This is my Greek sister in laws speciality and she makes it for every family fiesta. 

I've never made this so if anyone has a comment, advice, then add it down below. 

After writing and rewriting the damn recipe 3 times, I couldn't save it at first, I've decided it's actually quite easy. I'll try making it for Ks name day towards the end of the month. Yes, there's still another celebration this month. Kosta, Elli, Nels, Dina all share a name day and Poppi and I have ours the day before. 








Tuesday 7 May 2024

Easter Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

Easter Monday.
 St George's Day in Greece.
Happy Name Day all the celebrants in our family
George, Georgia and Djordje



Midnight fireworks over Poros Naval School
The (ex) king of Greece, the old Queen Mum and all the family were at the Naval Base for the midnight service and fireworks on Saturday. They must have stayed inside the church surrounded by their security guards because no one knew till the next day when photos appeared on the Poros News site.

The Big Day
Easter Sunday



Two of the boys
Patriarch and s in law Yiannis with the lamb just off the spit 


Family and friends gathered to feast on the easter lamb and all the trimmings. Held at our daughter's home this year. Not ours thank goodness 


Boy no3, S in law Kyriako, showing his love for the lambs head before daughter Elli devoured the brains and tongue.  No-one wanted the eyeballs.  Yuk was the general opinion. Even K doesn't touch them


I made a loaf of bread with the traditional red egg in the centre.
There were a few salads, traditional greek and lettuce.  Lots of tzatziki of course.  Danae fried potatoes and we all had a red egg to crack with our fellow feasters.
The boys had fried liver, spleen, heart and kidneys very early in the morning to give them strength to look after the spit.  That had completely disappeared by the time I turned up.



And there was icecream and ekmek for dessert.  The ekmek is a syrupy middle eastern sweet made in a baking tray.  Underneath is a layer of  straw-like kataifi pastry soaked in honey syrup, custard and cream on top.
This was made by English neighbour Caroline. 

We need something sweet after a meal of lamb, pork and chicken (kontosouvli ) and offal (kokoretsi).

Because May Day, otherwise known as Labour Day,fell during Holy week, today,Tuesday, is another holiday for the workers.

And that is the end of this year's Easter story.

I think.....


Sunday 5 May 2024

The Easter Lamb

 From start to finish


Lucky Danae. She has the lamb, uncooked and bloody, propped up in her sink all night.

I remember when we lived on the island of Salamina and my brother R and sister in law Joan came to share a Greek Easter with us. The boys got the lamb wired onto the spit and it spent the night in the bath tub.

It's stinky. And it drips blood. Seriously stomach upsetting.


Not so stinky once it's cooked


The boys do the cooking at Easter. 

Except for the salads, potatoes, tzatziki.. 
And all the other preparation



To be continued....