I was always surrounded by gardens when I was growing up.  On my dad’s side (the non-Greeks, but still loved!) almost everyone had some section of their garden devoted to various fruits and veggies.  My parents had fruit trees and grape-vines.  When I went to Greece to visit my mom’s family, we would go to my Yiayia’s (grandmother’s) village on the island of Lesvos and I remember her yard being lush with plants.

grapes on ladder
Just some of our grape harvest.

Lucky me, I was also surrounded by great cooks!  Pre-packaged food was not the norm.  I learned the basics of old-fashioned baking, preserving what harvest we had, and Greek cooking.  The best, however, was the regular tradition of sitting down together as a family.  Every holiday, every gathering of family and friends involved a set table and plenty of food regardless of where we were.

baked pears
Improvised baked pears with luscious whipped cream.

I think all of this shaped so much of my personality.  Even my favorite childhood stories revolved around characters that lived on farms or homesteads, where life seemed less hectic and complex.  Think Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, E. B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web”, and “Strawberry Girl” by Lois Lenski.  From an early age I dreamed of having a home with a garden where I could grow all the delicious produce I grew up with and practice those same time-honored traditions used by my grandmothers.  I am fortunate to have realized those dreams, and now I get to share them with you!


(Read my very first post about starting mostly-greek.com here: In the Beginning.)

purple poppy
“Lauren’s Purple Grape” Poppy