Monday, 20 February 2017

Smokey Thursday

Tsiknopempti - smokey Thursday

In the second week before Lent, this is one of the bigger celebrations during Carnival.  A tradition which probably goes back hundreds of years.  The custom is to grill meat on the BBQ and the day gets its name from that flavoursome smell of the smoke from the grill (tsikna).

Even today as I went down town and into the back streets that strong cooking smell was wafting from every house and courtyard.  At the petrol station their big BBQ was out and skewers of pork were being shared with the clients along with a glass of wine.

On the waterfront there were at least half a dozen grills along the quay as the butchers shop by the supermarket and a couple of cafeterias and other shops got ready to grill their lamb chops and souvlaki to share with friends and passersby.

At the primary school a local business had donated a few hundred skewers of pork which were grilled in the school yard and the kids filled up with souvlaki and bread and a small drink before going home.

Carnival - time to dress up and party. 
 In days gone by everyone would dress up, put on a mask or a funny hat and go out to a taverna to eat grilled lamb chops, dance, sing, throw confetti and streamers and party till the wee hours.  The tavernas would be full of revellers and tables had to be booked in advance.

  Now we buy a kilo of pork chops and light our own BBQ, though still with the dancing and music and the children at least will be in masquerade.

Ready for grilling.

There was a terrific gale so we just lit a small BBQ in a protected corner of the balcony

Juicy pork chops and underneath a few pieces of chicken and Papou's famous handmade beefburgers 

Time to celebrate.  Lots of grilled pitta bread, lashings of very garlicky tzatziki, grilled meat, a lettuce salad with lemon and olive oil dressing and some of Yianni's broccoli/cauliflower special

And to finish off 
slices of apple sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with local honey


  1. I did dare look at my BBQ recently, but it won't come out from its Winter quarters for a while yet. I can't wait!

    1. I love the BBQ because someone else does the cooking! On mild winter days we use our small one but the other day was not being weather. Very windy
      As you say. Won't be long before it's a permanent fixture

  2. It seems there is a celebration every week (though that's likely not really true). What I like about this, is how the community shares and gathers together. -Jenn

    1. No celebration can take place without the company of friends and family. The more the merrier!

  3. How do you ever find time to read, never mind do your writing? It all sounds wonderfully sociable, but a lot of hard work. Having said that, I wouldn't mind joining in. I reckon you and your family really know how to have a great party.

  4. It is hard work. I am always the first to silently leave or disappear off to bed. Everyone expects it now so it's not rude. Can't take all the noise and hassle anymore.
    Often it means I have to clean up the house the next day as everything may be left on the table at the end. Thank goodness we have a dishwasher!!
    I dream of a nunnery lol