my Aunt Litsa's rabbit in wine sauce with fresh bay leaves

Unannounced, I ended up coming to my Aunt Litsa's house last night in Athens. Yes, Athens. As in Athens, Greece.

I ended up coming to the Motherland for the weekend (the perks of living in Oxford, England, and not Seattle, USA). My cousin Dimitra is baptasing her daughter tomorrow, and I couldn't fathom missing a Mameletzis celebration. I've been so busy with things that only about two people knew I was even making a trip. I went straight from the airport to my Aunt Litsa's house (not before helping a BBC reporter who had locked his mobile phone in his rented car at the airport), where I was met with this beautiful rabbit stew. The meat was incredibly tender, and I was surprised at the uncharacteristically large and soft bay leaves. My auntie had picked them that morning from her backyard. Go figure. I tend to boast about having fresh Greek basil by my kitchen window in England. Not as impressive as fresh bay leaves, however. We sat outside on her balcony with my uncle George and the rest of the family, including my Aunt Vivi who had just arrived from the States. On a beautiful Mediterranean summer's night, we caught up on life, enjoyed the most satisfying meal, and drank a sweet red Greek wine as we engaged in a heavy debate about the pace of life in America versus that of Greece.

Tomorrow is the baptism. I can't wait. God I love this country.

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