Saturday, 29 December 2018

It Came, It Went

Hristouyenna, Christmas
an annual religious and cultural celebration which takes place on December 25th, unless you're a follower of the old calendar.   They'll be celebrating on January 8th

Christmas Day is a holiday here and so is the day after.  It is also the name day for those named Christos, Christina or variations thereof.  

In days gone by it was simply a day off work.  All the family ate together and then ours would walk up the steps with a box of cakes to celebrate the rest of the day with cousin Christina and later at the house next door with cousin Christos.  Presents were only given by St Nik to our own 'foreign' offspring.  

Nowadays it is a time to eat too much,  to spend money and for families to get together whether they like it or not, usually for the sake of small children, just like the rest of the western world

Our day was 'fraught'.  Small underlying tensions remained 'mostly' underlying but everything else that could go wrong, did.

The weather was warm and dry at 7am says my daughter.  I wouldn't know.  By 9 it was pouring with rain and it rained all day

Half of the presents I ordered are mid-Pacific, still haven't turned up.  Looks like I'll be keeping them for summer name days, when they arrive.

There were various pieces of meat.  The roast pork was delicious and the crackling crisp and fatty

The brussels sprouts were enjoyed by brussel sprout enthusiasts
Half were boiled and half were roasted
There were roast spuds, sweet potato (kumara) and squash

A pair of tarantula slippers and a neon flashing keyboard

The Christopsomo (Christ Bread) was a little tinged but just as fresh baked bread should be.  Most food including the bread was baked in the outside wood fired oven

The chicken was cooked in our electric oven along with a nasty smell of burning plastic.  About half way through cooking I discovered the smell was coming from the plastic handle of a bread knife which had been left inside the oven. It had melted all over the bottom of the stove and had to be cleaned up quickly before the chicken started tasting of burnt plastic as well

Fresh mushrooms gathered locally and kindly given to us by a friend.  Unfortunately they were extremely bitter and went on the compost heap instead

Australian chardonnay helped save the day
And shots of Baileys

The banoffee pie was a disaster.  The base didn't set, the caramel burnt and left a smoky taste and the cream wouldn't whip.  The bananas were perfect.  No one ate any, not even the bananas

St Nik arrived on time and spread some cheer



  1. I so adore your posts!. Only a year until i come to Athens and Poros!.xx Kirrie xx

  2. Sounds like a day everyone will remember. "ohhh remember that Christmas when the knife melted in the oven with the dinner? ha ha ha oh those were the days"

    1. We shall not forget!
      Thank goodness my hero son inlaw managed to clear the mess and we opened up all the house to get rid of the smell.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi wisp o words. Hope your Xmas was peaceful and enjoyable

  4. My main disaster was the Sprouts (which I love). I had to search around for some, and eventually found some in the 4th shop I visited; they came pre-packed in a sealed plastic bag. When I opened the bag there was a dreadful smell of rotting veg', so they went straight to the compost. 2018 was the first ever year without Christmas Sprouts. Woe is me!

    1. We almost ended up sproutless but asked a greengrocer if he could find some and he brought a few bags from Athens...late on Xmas Eve. Usually we can find frozen but even those weren't in any of the shops

  5. Oh how this post resonates with me - these gatherings are exhausting and stressful. Difficult enough dealing with a monster cooking session, but it is those 'small' family tensions which can really pile on the stress as we try to keep things jolly while dealing with culinary failures - my roast potatoes were charred, the sprouts soggy. I love all my family, but collectively they are a nightmare, not that anyone else would be aware of it.

    I raise a toast to you Linda, we survived another one. (I am seriously wondering whether I could persuade them all to settle for a sandwich next time...)xx

  6. Aha, you hit the nail on the head. Collectively the family is hard work and much of the hard work involves the food. Not only food of course but without all that cooking, clearing and washing up we might actually enjoy ourselves a little.
    Every time I say 'never again' and there we all are again, Easter, Xmas and many many times in-between.
    We did survive another one. By God, we are strong women! I spit on us!!!!

    1. Ps but that was the LAST time, you hear everyone?

    2. Linda and Elaine, my family started a new rule that we eat at my parents, but everyone else has to bring 1 or 2 parts of the dinner. Everything goes in the oven. Sprouts, pumpkin, carrots. Sprouts are surprisingly nice roasted. and everyone takes their pot home. lol it works really well.

    3. I have suggested that but k is horrified that guests should bring food. Greek culture

  7. Book a restaurant next year and tell them you'll be collecting from September or take it in turn to host. Happy 2019.

    1. Tried that too but the only place everyone would agree on is closed on Xmas day! Sods law

  8. Sounds like someone gave you the mati
    Get the holy water and incense going to clear it all
    Happy new year.