Tuesday, 20 February 2018
7 weeks of Fasting
Another one's down ..
another feasting day, over and done with for another year
Clean Monday, the beginning of Lent
A national holiday
After today there are
7 weeks of fasting before Easter Sunday lamb on the spit and offal soup
No meat, no fish, no eggs, cheese or milk except on certain religious holidays when fish can be eaten
Octopus, cuttlefish and kalamari are ok. They have no red blood
Wednesdays and Fridays, no olive oil either
Who follows these rules of the Orthodox church?
Our god-fearing neighbour
A surprising number of the younger generation and most of the elderly. As you get older you get to fear the wrath of god
Every little bit helps
Us? K stops eating meat for the duration. Because we don't cook meat I don't eat much meat either but the wrath of god is not going to stop me enjoying a ham sandwich or a spicy meatball
Lagana, unleavened bread, just out of the oven
Clean Monday, Kathara Deftera
The day was overcast and chilly but still we sat outside for a very rustic impromptu picnic
It is traditionally a day for picnics and flying kites
I set the big table inside, with the good tablecloth, but we didn't move indoors till 4pm when the rain started and the chill turned to a freeze
On the table all the traditional Lenten goodies, taramasalata (fish roe dip), salted vegetables, steamed mussels, lettuce and halvas
Only five of us today. A good number to feed and amuse. K lit the outdoor wood oven for the bread and lit the BBQ for the shellfish. We sat around outside with a glass of wine keeping him company while he cooked and it turned into an outdoor picnic on the old cracked table surrounded by a stack of dry olive branches which were periodically pushed into the fire
A few shrimps, oysters and pieces of octopus on the BBQ
Lemon juice in everything
My english friend J always takes part in our celebrations
Nothing fazes her. Peel the shrimp, throw the peelings in the old yellow bucket, take a sip of rough red, grab the bread and twist off a manageable corner, dip it in the taramasalata. Greek heaven.
The octopus has been hanging up drying. Soon on its way to the coals
No time to lay a tablecloth out here
Cutting up the grilled octopus tentacles into thin slices
Dirty hands? We hung an old pink (pyjamas?) rag on the table to 'delicately' wipe our greasy fingers
Today the remaining mussels have been taken out of the shell and made into mussels and rice.
The weather has turned cold and rainy once again. We lit the fire at midday. We were lucky to have a dry day yesterday. Winter continues.