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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Once I was in Portugal and a lemon fell from a tree hitting  me on the head.  Given my real affection for lemon in and on everything, I thought it was quite appropriate that out of the foursome, 2 Jewish people and an Anglo,  the lemon hit me the Greek! If it had hit any of the others, nobody would be blogging about it tonight because it would have been a non-event!

I eat lots lemons; in my water, on my fish, on my salad, in my margaritas.  I grew up with lots of lemon!  But still today, my favorite Greek food is  egg lemon soup (avgo=egg and lemono=lemon).  You can’t go wrong with this recipe.  The trick to good, foamy avgolemono soup is to make sure you whip the eggs and then pour them into the broth off the stove, right before serving.

Avgolemono Soup

6 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup short grain rice

salt

3 eggs whipped

juice of 1 large lemon

white pepper

Bring stock to boil in large sauce pan and add rice; salt to taste. Stir until stock boils again. Allow rice to cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a bowl beat eggs until fluffy.  Beat in lemon juice.  Laddle about 1/4 of the boiling soup into eggs, whisking constantly.

Remove soup from heat and gradually add egg mixture, stirring gently.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6 of those people or 3 Greeks!

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Retsina-that Greek wine made with resin-really!!! I’ve trier to drink this stuff. I keep thinking if I can only get past the first 2 glasses, I might actually enjoy it.

I have a friend, Tom (not Greek but none the less credible) who says there are some fine Retsinas.  I always wonder if what Tom is saying is true, or is it that he only remembers his 3rd glass!

Sien!  To Your Health.

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When Dogs Get Old

My dog is at my feet. She’s not particularly fond of me, but I’m the only one home and she’s feeling like a little affection might be the way to go.

We all get old, but when your dog gets old it’s really sad.  My dog, yes the one I rented for my picture on the right, has such a hard time now-she can’t get up, she can’t hear and she just sleeps all the time.  It’s as if now that the kids are gone, she just doesn’t want to be with the old people, us! Should I tell her her “brother” is coming home, a young person, the one she grew up with! Then again she may still be traumatized from when he did live here.

And so we wait  with her, getting excited when she wags her tail and shows genuine affection  and felling bad when she just can’t get up the stairs like she used to.  Her mountain days are over;  the snow’s deep and the ground is cold. She just doesn’t like being out of her “bedroom.” And who can blame her; she’s been the protector, the trail blazer and the high energy dog  for years, now she just wants to be mellow-a word that only describes an elderly Dalmatian.

We rescued Carly 13 or 14 years ago.  She’s been with us a long time and for the most part, I think she’s enjoyed her journey.

Here’s to Carly.

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According to Cook’s Illustrated this month the top 3 olive oils are from  Spain and Greece!

I remember Greek olive oil growing up-it was really potent! I had a great Aunt Mary who made moussaka and it was always drenched in Greek olive oil.  It was quite inedible because it was served at room temperature (allowing it to be a bit congealed) and it was always some gigantic piece that would serve a family of 4. Yuck!  It took me years to acquire a taste for moussaka;  I was in my 20s.

The trick with moussaka is that you must slice the eggplant, salt it and let the brown liquid ooze out for a few hours.  It really makes a difference, in fact it makes it edible!

Eggplant Moussaka (ala Tess Mallos-The Greek Cookbook)

Serves 6-8, Cooking Time 2 hours, Oven temperature 350 degrees

1 eggplant

  • cut in slices, salt and let drain in colander
  • oil each side
  • place under broiler, turn when brown-do both sides

Meat Sauce: place all ingredients below in pan and let simmer for 30 minutes

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves (are you kidding-more like 10!)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (what a surprise!)
  • salt and pepper

Cream Sauce (let it be known, this cream sauce goes on everything!)

  • 3 tablespoons butter (that’s all)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (try closer to 1/2 cup to make it good)
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Melt butter in saucepan, stin in flour and cook gently about 2 minutes.  Add milk and bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Let sauce bubble gently for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in spice, cheese , salt & pepper. Just before spreading on moussaka, stir in egg.

Assembling:

  • Grease an oven dish (13 x 9 x 2)
  • Layer eggplant and meat (2 times)
  • spread cream sauce on top
  • Sprinkle with cheese
  • cook for about 1 hour
  • Let stand 10 minutes, so that you can cut it into squares to serve(it’s illegal to not serve moussaka in squares)

Yassou!

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