happy & healthy 2009

Turkey is almost in the oven.  And a new year almost upon us.  My father just ran out to Whole Foods to get haloumi cheese for the stuffing (which consists of chestnuts as well).....

I'm reflecting on the wonderfully turbulent, busy, and overall good year we had in 2008.  I am looking forward to sharing with everyone even more recipes and thoughts on my experiences in and out of the kitchen.  



Merry Christmas

So incredibly belated.  But better late than ever.  I spent the majority of my time in Athens after my friend Elena's glorious wedding with a fever and the flu.  Thankfully, I had the attention and care of my friend and housemate from England, Lydia - and her mother.  I can't say enough about my friend Stelina, who in the process of keeping me company as I was passed out in bed, caught my bug.

I don't know where to begin and where to end.  Greece was complex.  But beautiful as always. Time with relatives and friends is always precious.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to take a train trip up to my beloved Thessaloniki to see the rest of the family and my archery teammates. 

And despite the social climate and political unrest in Athens, I still managed to enjoy kourabiedes, souvlakia, melomakarona kai paidakia (not necessarily all in that order).


Αλέξανδρος Γρηγορόπουλος

It is with sadness that I have to post about the death of a 15-year old son of Greece this morning.  Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot by a police officer in the area of Exarchia in Athens on late Saturday night.  A senseless loss of life, and a vulnerable period for my beloved Motherland.  The protests and riots that have followed the news of this young man's killing reflect a passion and anger that touches upon something much deeper in the Greek psyche.  I would have rather posted about the wonderfullness of baklava, but I cannot ignore this cowardly act. 

Agaphte mou file Alexandre, kalo taxidi.....


can cassava save Africa?

I got my latest Nature News alert email, and this week, there's a very interesting piece on crop researchers out to tackle the food crisis. Of particular interest is the work done by Richard Sayre, who's the Director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, Missouri.

Sayre is heading a consortium of researchers aiming to enrich cassava, which is a staple food consumed by over 250 million sub-Saharan Africans. Although it grows relatively well in bad soil, it tends to be low in nutritional content. It makes an interesting case for the potential of genetically modified crops. Thoughts?

melomakarona and baklava bake-off this Saturday

Courtesy of the Oxford Gastronomy Society, I wanted to let everyone know about a wonderful event coming up this Saturday in Oxford.  The event will be led by the illustrious Filitsa Douroupi.

Decadent layers of fyllo pastry packed with crushed pistachios, sweet almonds, sumptuousspices and aromatic syrup … food fit for the Gods. You’ve probably tasted Baklava, but nothing like Filitsa’s, OGS’s very own Greek Goddess. This Saturday, OGS has persuaded Filitsa to divulge her wonderful wizardry from behind the apron, and seduce us with her pastry prowess (afterall, tis the season of good will). We will bake trays of the much celebrated Greek Baklava as well as her auntie’s legendary ‘Melomakarona’ (devastatingly good). Melomakarona are traditional Greek Christmas cookies fragrant with cinnamon, orange and cloves, kissed with warm sticky honey and dusted with walnuts. Enough to bring Ramsay to his knees. £5 per person. 8 places with priority given to members. Email maria_kyriacou@yahoo.co.uk asap to book your place. Advance payment required. 

And I apologize for not having given you an update of what went down in London last Thursday at our Thanksgiving feast.  It was divine.  More to come (with recipes of course).