slow-roast lamb, tsourekia, and galaktobouriko

Christos Anesti!  I had a beautiful weekend with my friends in Oxford, as we embraced the Greek Orthodox Easter.  Saturday night, we attended the Orthodox Church in North Oxford (near my old place on Winchester Road in my first year of DPhil).  Last year, this time - my mum was visiting.  We had a feast at Catherine Street with over 30 people in our backyard. Great memories.

After the church ('meta tin Anastash') my mate Eleni and George (not Magdis, but Trichas) booked a table at Santorini (formerly called Farat), a new Greek restaurant in the Cowley Rd. area run by a lovely Kurdish guy who studied engineering in Thessaloniki.  It's as if we walked into Greece as we entered the restaurant. Surreal.  Greeted by warm smiles, we were treated to home-made magiritsa (it was indeed wonderful), and then we all ate like pigs.  I loved the lamb kebab, and the soutzoukakia especially.  The red wine was lovely, and the service superb.  We danced until 2am after we ate.  And  alot of Mitropanos music, which brought me back to Thessaloniki.

Sunday was spent making two trays of galaktobouriko (courtesy of a filo pastry from the lovely Turkish guys at Bar Meze in Headington), and other random jobs in Eleni's kitchen.  Trichas was the head chef for the day, having prepared three shoulders of lamb, slow-roasted with potatoes and parsnips.  Our friend Abigail made her grandmother's rich baklava and also ice cream with mastic.    Did I forget she actually succeeded making tsoureki that was just like the kind you get from Terkenlh in Thessaloniki?  I was very impressed (and happy during the taste test). Our mate Andreas brought this beautiful spinach tart.

Our evening ended with the 'parea' (group of friends) huddled in Eleni's living room playing cards.  Well, everyone played except me.  I took a nap.

Happy and healthy Easter to all people on this beautiful planet.

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