Zoned Out – Zonars – a legend lost

While learning Greek, about a million years ago, my rather innovative teacher, Dimitris, ditched the standard translation texts – they were dreadfully turgid – and instead he gave me chunks of fiction to render into my faltering Greek. Usually they were excerpts from Agatha Christie ‘whodunnits’ – I blame Dimitri for my ongoing obsession with…

All Messed Up – Tourlou Tourlou

Some while back there was an advert on Greek TV for a brand of feta cheese. It showed a traditional village home with a man eyeing up a tray of freshly cooked stuffed vegetables – he calls  out to his wife to see if he can have some. A rather old-fashioned, elderly lady comes into…

Not Woke – Just Fasting. Cheat’s Chickpeas – Revithátha Efkoli

Apologies, just in case anyone has noticed, for my almost Trappist silence over the last few months. It’s not because I have lost interest in blogging, simply I have spent the second half of 2018 ‘on the move’. Kouzina was, for most of that time, literally without a kouzina (it’s Greek for kitchen). It’s all…

Blog-Pod – Arakás me Patátes – Braised Peas With Potatoes

  In Greece, a country where vegetable recipes rule supreme, you rarely hear food described as  ‘vegetarian’.   The naming of someone as a hortofágos (vegetarian) is a relatively modern phenomenon, despite the fact that traditionally Greeks, especially in villages and islands, ate very little meat. Regular meat-eating came with growing urbanisation and relative affluence. But explaining…

Myth, Memory and a Good Tomato Sauce

You know how it is, you’re flicking through an old recipe book, a piece of paper drops out and it’s like looking through a window into the past. There it was, stuffed into the back of my ‘Good Housekeeping Cookery Book’, a list of our favourites dishes. Just married, my husband, Mihalis, and I had…

Condensed Soup Not Required – Arnáki Frikasé

It was late 1975 and I was on a mission to impress my Greek boyfriend by learning how to cook some of his national dishes. This wasn’t easy then, apart from the dearth of some vital ingredients, there was really only one cookbook available and also, at that point, I had never been to Greece. …

My Mongrel Christmas Recipe – Mince Pies with Kourambié Pastry

As a Gree-nglish family we have become accustomed to segue fairly seamlessly between Greek and English culture. There is a remarkably even-handed choice between food, customs and idiosyncrasies of both countries. Favourite family meals could be moussaká or equally meat and potato pie; our kettle is absolutely indispensable but we never use a washing-up bowl. My…

Market Madness and ‘The Greek Kitchen’

There is something about a market that draws me like the proverbial bee to the honeypot- no matter where, the mere glimpse of fresh produce on a trestle table and I am totally ensnared. Of course, some markets are more memorable than others. High up on the list is Barcelona’s  La Boqueria, with its incredible…

Athens in autumn – with a souvláki on the side

Autumn in Greece arrives surreptitiously – it creeps stealthily through September and most of October with such a gradual readjustment of temperature and sunlight that summer feels almost endless. Spending this time in the southern Aegean we have been truly spoilt – swimming in warm seas well into the second week of this month – but…