Then Xristos Anesti! Today is Orthodox Easter!
Easter is a huge celebration in my family, and I have always liked it better than Christmas so today is also a day that I really really miss big fat crazy Greek Family.
Although I am not particularly devout, I can’t let the day pass without making a big meal, and so we are having one of my husband’s colleagues over for dinner today. I’m making the traditional lamb (in the oven unfortunately, not on the spit), lemony potatoes, spanakopita, Greek salad, and then because I really like to mess with people, for dessert, Apple Pie. Only because I have never attempted Greek pastries yet and didn’t want to start now…
Anyhoo, I have been sitting here feeling nostalgic for my mom and my uncle because they epitomize all things Greek for me. Then I realized that although I am first generation Canadian, I have a whole lotta Greek villager in me… I looked around my home and found the following:
THINGS ALL PEOPLE OF GREEK DESCENT HAVE IN THEIR HOMES:
Padoflas (Slippers) Even the men wear some sort of slipper, but the women’s are typically used to threaten children aged 1 year to 45 with beatings.
Kootala (wooden spoon) A big one. For back up when the Padofla is not enough of a threat.
Garlic. Lots of Garlic. And it must be used copiously in cooking. If you don’t stink like garlic 3 days from now, you haven’t used enough
Olive Oil. Feta & Olives, preferably smuggled in from Greece in someone’s suitcase for authenticity
Oregano. Must be the stuff in the bag, still on the stalks and not that tasteless powdery stuff from the supermarket. If you can’t potentially gag on a twig, it’s not good enough
Lemons and the ability to make avgolemony soup. I always have lemons, but alas I don’t know how to make the soup. I am spoiled because my mom always made it so I never had to learn…
Greek Coffee and a brikie. Even if you gag at the thought of the stuff, even if your parents have long ago switched to ‘American coffee’ you must always have these on hand. Makes a great novelty at parties.
Koboloy beads. Regular sized or giant tourist beads. Must be prominently displayed somewhere in the kitchen or hanging from the rear view mirror.
A spot to store and roast an entire dead animal. Last year when house hunting I found myself carefully eyeing the cold rooms or garages of all the houses we looked at to see where we could potentially put the lamb…
At least one icon. I think I have 3, all still in the box. Shh, don’t tell my mother!
Half a dozen doilies. I was shocked when I didn’t get more as wedding presents.
A version of Zorba the Greek. Doesn’t matter if it’s on cassette, cd, mp3, 8 track or vinyl, you must have it. If your crazy uncle comes over in his vintage Trans Am and has it thumping on his 8 track, that just makes it better…
I’m sure anyone with an ounce of ouzo running in their veins has at least 3 items that I am missing from my list, i.e. Ouzo… But these are some of the things that remind me of my family that I will always have in my home.
Wishing you all the blessings of the season and better spring like weather!!