Saturday 31 December 2022

Instagram, WhatsApp, Blog

 These winter photos have been posted on my other social media pages .

So here's the blog version.

An empty square for a coffee in the winter sun. 

Still and empty harbour under a cloudy sky

Fishing boats tied up
Piles of nets bundled up safely till spring

Green mossy steps. They'll be whitewashed for Easter 

Ancient pieces of marble outside the museum

Trees full of bitter oranges
They decorate streets and pavements all over Poros

Neorion Bay
No longer full of sunbeds and noisy visitors

Sunday 25 December 2022

Santa Came

 Santa came to our house 

He and his little helper had presents for us all

We had a merry old time 

Hope you did too.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Fire Away

 Our Christmas Eve 

Firing up the wood oven for tomorrow's meats

Boiling the goats feet and tripe for Christmas morning soup
Not for me I might add.

Keeping warm and baking a spinach pie
Or burning the darn thing. That fire is hot

I hope this one doesn't get burnt . K has prepared his favourite pitta made with slices of a very spicy meat called pastourma

Traditional Greek

My traditional Greek husband baked traditional Greek sweets

Honey cakes on the left, almond biscuits on the right

He's done the Xmas and Easter baking for the last five years, at least.
That way he can make sure it really is traditional and I'm not sneaking in any foreign ingredients

Thursday 22 December 2022

Xmas Trimmings

 Xmas preparation is well underway. I've made 4 Christmas cakes. I call them Xmas cakes but they're really just fruit cakes, the ones where you boil the fruit. Easy and delicious. I add lots of dried fruit, figs  soaked in raki, preserved cherries, dates, whatever I can lay my hands on. Then I douse them all liberally in some sort the f alcohol.

Paté has been made and given away, except for a small pot for us.

Chicken livers . 
Cutting these up is not my favourite job.  They come attached to hearts and kidneys. I fry those up and use them in an omelette.
Then I wash my hands really well! Can't stand the smell.

The finished product was tasty this year. I don't always like it. There was plenty of bacon and whisky in it.
Whisky has been poured liberally into quite a few Xmas recipes

The supermarket is full of exotic goodies. One of them were these blackberries. I have never ever seen blackberries on sale here and I certainly won't be buying these for over 7 euros for  few hundred grams.

I made four Xmas cakes. Three of them are for giving away.

Almost half a bottle of Grants Whisky was poured over these.   I haven't tried any of the Xmas sweets, English or Greek because I've cut sugar out of my life.
So far so good.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Memories of Xmas Past

 Christmas cards are a thing of the past.  This year I sent four. To England. Ones sent to NZ don't arrive till February. I have received one and maybe I'll get another two. 

But I have saved cards from years gone by. I hang up a few strings of these old cards although I'm told by my English friend it's cheating and not quite British. I like the old cards. They're jolly with robins and sleighs and children carolling.  And if I look inside I find greetings from friends often forgotten or no longer around.

This string is from grandchildren, some homemade, most with a sweet message 

And these cards are from NZ with Santa's in shorts or arriving on a surfboard, the native pohutakawa tree bursting with red blossoms and greetings in Maori

These are permanent decorations, angels and roosters, good to go for Xmas or Easter 

And the very old Happy Birthday sign.  The kids tried to take it down when they put up the greenery. The tacks wouldn't come out. Must have been up there for over ten years and seems to have become a permanent fixture.
It's always someone's birthday around here anyway

Monday 19 December 2022

Sunny Sunday

The sun was shining, it was Sunday. So we went down to the harbour and enjoyed the day's warmth and peace.

The mornings have been so damp you'd think it had rained overnight. In the sun it's almost too hot but in the shade it's damp and chilly.
We chose a square where the sun had dried the paving stones, and sat half in the sun and half in the shade.

First of all coffee and then a glass of wine.
This is one of Ks watering holes. K and his two friends asked for a 'koupa' of white wine . It comes in a huge glass, larger than the water glass.
Koupa is loosely translated as mug.  A generous mug.
I asked for a glass of rosé. Mine was served in a nice long stem glass.

Here is the first meze.
Tomato and cucumber, a piece of fried cheese and a couple of slices of sausage on bread 
Some of our company were hungry. Along came meatballs, fried pork pieces and boiled potatoes tossed in olive oil and fresh onion. 

K had good wine, good company and good weather.
A happy man

There were large 'puddles' all along the waterfront. The sea level has risen and the sea is gushing up over the road

Today winds from the north have blown away the mist and damp. Temperatures have dropped from 20oC to 14o. Colder but healthier. 
Cold for us. Probably not for you. Greeks are wrapped up in jackets. The scattering of tourists stick
 out in short sleeves and sandals

Saturday 17 December 2022

Xmas Decos


Xmas decorations are up and ready for a holly, jolly Christmas this year.

Some of the decorations have memories. This is a star cousin Rosie put in with a CD of her music

Many many years ago it was hard to find anything xmassy here. I couldn't find a star but came up with this poinsettia flower. It has topped our tree for over 30  years. Every year it's placed on the top by a different grandchild.
This year the grandchild in line for the honour wasn't available so I did the honour, helped carefully onto a small IKEA step by a granddaughter.

A star from a friend in South Africa. A piece of  native art

The Christmas tree in all it's glory

The decorated window sill

Big red balls hanging from the rafters
Put up by young athletic grandchildren leaping up onto tables and benches. 

Santa's official suit.
Including his beard 

Monday 12 December 2022


 I haven't made a Christmas cake yet so I'm enriching my latest batch of Christmas mincemeat with whisky. Don't want it go mouldy do I.

And better that the mincemeat drinks the whisky than certain others. Now if it was gin, well that wouldn't happen. The gin doesn't sit around long enough for it to be mixed into anything other than tonic

Single serve Christmas pud.
Given to me back in summer by an English girl clearing out her Mum's flat. 
I bought loads of things, money going to strays. Another expat gone. 
This Xmas pud will not be a single serve. There are 3 maybe 4 who will be around our Xmas table and enjoy a taste of this. Just a taste, with loads of, Greek, custard. 
I might just take this out of the package and feed it with whisky too

One of my birthday presents
Lots of bottles of good wine, the oldest from 2013 
And many kilos of apples
Apple crumble on the menu today.  Apple and beetroot chutney in the pot yesterday.  Thanks kids

Pickled onions
Made by K this year, under my strict supervision. 
He gets bored on these long nights so I'm finding him projects to keep him from getting restless

Friday 9 December 2022

British Food

 Bird's custard.  A British tradition it appears.  Like Watties tomato sauce in New Zealand or vegemite in Australia.  You can't live without it.  Well, you can, but you dream of it's taste, and miss the comforting familiarity

I was discussing these things over coffee last week with an english friend and it occured to me that xmas is coming and Santa delivers in different ways these days.

I googled 'Bird's Custard Greece'.  Of course there are half dozen places, in Athens , that will very happily courier the delicacy to me to xmas wrap for my friend.

I ordered the custard and the owner of the business phoned me and told me in his soft burrrr (english, scottish??) about his site and all the goodies he provides.  Including he said, fresh parsnips.  He had just returned with a few kilos after a trip to the UK.  I declined the parsnips.  Not my favourite vegetable.

I thought I had better take a closer look at the site. OMG he has real sausages and pies, christmas crackers, hob-nobs, cheeses, mince pies and puddings.  At a price, but not an exorbitant price. 

I shan't be ordering more just now.  Xmas is expensive enough already but early next year I'll be getting some of those sausages, for me and my kiwi-greek daughters.

Just thought, Easter!  He will have real hot cross buns.  Crumpets!

I'll be like a kid in a toy store, or a chocolate factory.

The original powdered, egg free, imitation custard powder.  Created by Alfred Bird in Birmingham, England.  Ingredients, cornflour, salt, colouring, flavouring.

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Greek Island Sights

 Just more photos . Quiet times.

Looking over the morning catch. Men in deep discussion

If you ask him nicely he'll scale and gut them for you

Line up of water taxis

Son in law's boat the Socrates is back in the water.
His engine blew up a few months ago. The boat has a new engine and he's taking passengers across the strait between the island and the mainland 

Looking up from the harbour

Thursday 1 December 2022

Small Steps to Xmas

 It's getting closer .... and closer

A Christmas 'Welcome' mat

The traditional Greek kaïki is lit up at night. It's on a timer, thanks to traditional husband who knows all about electrics

Here he is lighting up our second boat

We decorate a Xmas tree and these boats

And here it is lighting up our window

First mince pies just out of the oven

Knitting a hat for an exotiko (elf)