I was hoping K would attend an early morning memorial service for his cousin all by himself. But no, this time he expected his wife to be by his side. We were down there by 9, went into the church to light a candle. Then we went outside to sit on a wall. The church would get crowded later. The service is broadcast through a loud speaker for anyone preferring to stay out in the fresh air. K's sister joined us soon after and I got nudged every time I had to stand up or sit down. The services are mostly 'greek to me' though I do understand a little more now other than 'God have mercy' (Kyrie Eleison) and Amen
Thursday, 28 April 2022
Monday, 25 April 2022
A beautiful warm day for a classic Greek easter.
We went to our daughters place to eat. There were so many cars parked all along the route in a lot of places it was one way traffic. Up at our local rural taverna we only got through with difficulty. There were cars parked for 100 yards on either side of the road. Heaven knows how they fitted them all in and they must have spit roasted more than 20 sheep and goats.
Classic photos following.
Today we celebrate Saint George. It's usually on 23April but it falls during Lent, as happened this year, then the feast day is moved to the Monday after Easter.
Kronia polla to our grandson George/Giorgios plus numerous nephews, nieces and relatives.
Today is also Anzac Day in NZ and Australia. Remembrance Day. I watched live broadcasts of services in Dunedin NZ and Cairns in Australia. Very moving. I haven't seen a remembrance ceremony in many many years. The national anthems brought a few tears.
Thursday, 21 April 2022
The red eggs are dyed and polished, ready to be cracked and eaten after the midnight mass on Saturday
Wednesday, 20 April 2022
Today I finally got around to baking my hotcross buns. I made the dough yesterday and after a couple of rises and punching it down I left it in the fridge overnight for a long cold rise. This morning I divided the dough into 12 pieces, roughly formed them into balls and baked them. Oh boy, that smell of baking buns is devine. They came out soft and spicy and incredibly fluffy. I know from experience that when they cool down they also become far less fluffy so I just tore one apart and savoured every bite.
I was going to make hot-without-the-cross-buns but had a look at Nigella Lawson's recipe. She always goes for ease. Every other recipe says to pipe the cross on to the buns. She says dribble the mix on with a spoon. Splendid. Looks good I think.
Unfortunately when I took some down for my daughter I was reminded that today, Holy Wednesday, is a day of strict fast and no-one can eat them because they have eggs and butter. Hadn't considered that. Never mind. They're even better toasted and spread with butter and jam.
Yesterday was Holy Tuesday, the tradiontal day to make easter cookies, called koulourakia. So the kids gathered and they baked about 80 koulourakia. Enough for 4 families.
Monday, 18 April 2022
What's Up. Bombay Duck and More
It's Holy week leading up to Orthodox Good Friday, the candlelight parade, Saturday midnight mass and soup made from sheep's guts (to put it literally) and then on Sunday the huge celebration of the resurrection with spit roasting of lambs, or a goat in our case, drinking, dancing and cracking of red eggs.
K will not be eating fish or meat this week but has decided he will eat cheese, but not eggs. A moderated fast. Unusual for him. However, on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday he will follow the strict rules with no dairy or olive oil either. Today he's having spaghetti with a tomato sauce, grated cheese on top, greek salad and taramasalata which is made from fish roe.
This morning he phoned the pharmacy and we have an appointment for our 4th virus shot. We'll be getting the vaccination Tuesday after Easter.
Prices are rising but not enough to cause panic and there is no panic buying in the supermarket. Everyone is simply checking the price of goat and offal and the cost of a lettuce for the weekend celebrations. Lettuce is one of the main ingredients in the soup that we eat at midnight on Saturday. It's 50cents a lettuce or thereabouts which is fine. Freezing weather affected lettuces for a while but that was ages ago.
Lamb and goat meat has risen from last years price of around 9 euros per kilo to 12 euros and is expected to rise to at least 15 euros a kilo. I haven't checked petrol prices. We put 20 euros of petrol in the car and it lasts a week or more for our shopping trips. Otherwise K goes out on his motorbike which is much cheaper to run. As long as there are no more trips into the city for hospital appointments petrol is not a problem.
There has been a price rise for vegetable oils, sugar and flour. There were limits on what you could buy in the Athens supermarkets but here prices aren't that more expensive and there is no shortage. The big German supermarket Lidl has had massive fines for unnecessary price rises.
I have stocked up on noodles. I read in an online NZ paper that their instant noodles come from the Ukraine and there will be a big shortage soon. Instant noodles are the only taste of Asian cuisine that are available to me so I bought the last 6 packets in our supermarket. I hope they've been able to re-stock. I will stock pile a dozen or so packets of noodles, noodles with spicy shrimp, noodles with wild mushrooms, noodles with oriental chicken flavour or asian spicy pork. They all taste more or less the same but I pretend I'm eating won ton from the Pearl of the East or bombay duck from an authentic noodle bar. Dream on
Souvlaki has gone up in the last 2 years from 2 euros for pita bread wrapped around gyro with lashings of tzatziki, tomato, sliced onion and fried potatoes to 2.20, then 2.50, now to 3 euros and it will be 4 euros by the summer, It's still a cheap meal in your hand. I haven't had a souvlaki for almost a year but the grandkids eat them now and again. Its the most popular fast food.
Winter has suddenly re-appeared. The last two days have been cold and wet. I had cleaned up the fireplace and taken up the small rugs. Fortunately we bought a last load of wood a few weeks ago so we had a supply for the beginning of next winter. Yesterday we lit the fire and again today. Weather clearing from Wednesday, so they say.
It's a nasty red rain covering us with a layer of Saharan dust which has turned into sticky mess. I had just cleaned the last lot off the car. Now I'll have to do it all over again, when the sun shines.
I have been following a series on TV presented by actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales. Really interesting and their accents and english manners are charming. First of all they were in a narrowboat cruising England's canals, then the Broads. They popped over to cruise the French canals, taking time to sample local wines, onto the River Douro in Portugal where they supped marvellous Port (wine) then to Italy where they sailed into Milan. I have an idea they were going to South America but missed today's episode. On Sunday I watched Timothy West playing a Vicar in a Hercule Poirot mystery. He made an excellent Vicar.
On Youtube I'm watching an Australian series called The Extraordinary. They are true life tales and supernatural experiences. Right up my alley. Thank goodness its raining today and I can sit and enjoy a good show, even if it is on the small screen.
Sunday, 17 April 2022
It's Palm Sunday in the Orthodox world.
This year the Orthodox church celebrates Easter one week behind the Western Christian churches.
Yesterday was the Saturday of Lazarus.
Saturday, 16 April 2022
Thursday, 14 April 2022
Famous in our family. One of our rowing grandaughters won a gold in the national competition.
Wednesday, 13 April 2022
Photos on a Walk
Tuesday, 12 April 2022
Eating well without meat. During the 6 weeks of Lent you're not supposed to eat meat, fish (except on certain fiesta days), eggs, cheese, milk and on Wednesdays and Fridays no olive oil. Allowed are shellfish, octopus, squid and cuttlefish
We are not fasting this Lent but K will probably follow the Orthodox rules during the last week of Lent, called Holy Week.
However, a lot of the food we eat falls into the fasting description. Some of these photos have appeared in other posts but these are a few of the dishes we eat that are approved by the church
Monday, 11 April 2022
Coff coff coff Coffee Time
After many weeks, maybe months we visited a harbourside coffee shop for a coffee and some people watching. The weather was sunny and warm but we sat in the shade as one does here, wrapped up in our jackets. April is not summer unless you're a visitor from the frozen north.
Saturday, 9 April 2022