What do you mean you didn’t make the sourdough starter I told you about? What were you waiting for? A shortcut? Oh.
They are humble, plain, and sometimes less-than-attractive when cooked, but humans have been cultivating and consuming legumes for thousands of years. In fact peas and lentils have been used in Greek cooking since ancient times. You don’t get a much better example of “withstanding the tests of time” than that.
Take everything you thought you knew about the taste of fresh strawberries and throw it out the window. You know nothing! Nothing at all!! Not until you have tasted an Alpine Strawberry can you speak to me about the amazing goodness of strawberry flavor. They’re like candy, but so much better. It’s strawberry, but like strawberry flavor on steroids. There is just no comparison.
Our church holds a Greek “food festival” at the end of summer each year. It has grown in epic proportions over the past few years, but during its smaller days our community would wrap up all the festivities (and work) with a relaxing luncheon on Sunday after church.
Most gardening blogs don’t relate to me. I don’t have deer, I have snails. I don’t have 10 feet of snow in November, it’s sunny and the windows are open. I can’t start spinach in April, it’s too dang hot.
I hate mushrooms. Absolutely detest them. My parents love them, so of course they were put into whatever meal they could be. I would pretend to chew them, and then spit them into my napkin as I pretended to wipe my mouth. Yes, I was that kid.
One of the treats I looked forward to during summer vacation was the sandwiches my mom would make that she called Greek Tost (pronounced like toast, but with a Greek accent). It started with slightly toasted and buttered bread, layered with cheese and then broiled until the cheese started to melt. Put the gooey slices together and voila! Greek Tost! Hold your horses, I know what you’re thinking.
Let me start by saying everyone is okay. Thank God. Every parent will know that dread when their kids get their driver’s license that someday they may get that phone call filled with the shaken voice. The one that says, “Mom, I’m so sorry, but I’ve had an accident.”
Turkeys are some pretty big birds. Roast one, and you’ve got yourself enough turkey to last until you start gobbling. Or maybe crying. Yep, probably crying. Don’t despair, help is here in the form of a modern twist on an old recipe.
Breakfast in Greece can be a very rustic meal wih cheese pies, olives and feta, and crusty bread with honey or marmalade, to fare more familiar to the American palette like scrambled eggs and omelets. Whatever it is, it will be tasty and reflective of what is available from the local area. This includes a variety of grains that can be cooked up and served as a wholesome hot cereal.
Over the river and through the woods to grandfather’s house, we go. Actually it was grandfather’s cabin in the nearby foothills on a parcel of land the Old Man’s parents purchased several decades ago. The family built the rough cabin by hand and visited on occasion when the Old Man and his siblings were growing up.
One of the few good things about living in a place with ridiculously hot summers is that the growing season for summer vegetables lasts a good, long time. The latest I ever pulled eggplant from the garden or tomatoes off the vine was a couple of days before Thanksgiving. The plants may not be in full production mode this late in the year, but there’s still enough to do something with.
I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go. In fact, I didn’t even make up my mind until that morning and I was still convincing myself as I was telling the Old Man we needed to get ready.
In the Eastern Orthodox faith, days that commemorate a particular saint, holy event, or the angels are called feast days. Is it called a feast day because there is a feast? No. Can food be part of the equation? Yes.
So here’s an idea: take an already bland-ish food and cook it by submersing it in plain hot water. Did I miss something here? I love eggs, but really, they need some help in the seasoning department.
Gaura also goes by bee blossom, wand flower, and whirling butterflies, and if you see it growing you totally understand where these fanciful names come from. Dainty pink flowers dance on long sprays of thin stems that shoot up from the ground. The flowers start in early spring and continue on until winter comes.
We grow three varieties of plums in our yard. Needless to say, when we have a good year we are swimming in plums. This was a good year.
As the name implies, Cinnamon Basil has a slight cinnamon-y taste to it. I wouldn’t start making cinnamon rolls with it, but there are certain savory dishes that it is a perfect compliment to. Many Greek and Middle Eastern meat-based recipes actually use cinnamon for flavor, and so Cinnamon Basil would also be an excellent addition. Give your pesto a bit of a twist by using this basil along with your Sweet Basil. I’ve even used it in my Basil Jelly recipe. Throw it in salads, or season vegetables with it.
If you’re not from California, especially Central California, you can be forgiven for not knowing about beef tri-tip. What was once considered a sub-par cut of meat mostly reserved for ground beef has now become a highly sought after slab of tastiness, but only if you know how to prepare it.