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February 28, 2012

CLEAN MONDAY - KATHARA THEFTERA



             CLEAN MONDAY - "KATHARA THEFTERA"

       Clean Monday, the first day of the Greek Orthodox Great Lent, is a day of celebration. In villages around Greece, tables are set and stocked with the traditional foods of the day to welcome visiting friends and family. Greeks gather - as families, friends, or entire communities - to enjoy a day of picnics at the beach or the countryside with traditional foods, music, kite-flying and dancing. Kite-flying is a traditional part of this day. Then they join for a feast enjoying the allowed foods and special Lenten dishes.

      The whole weekend preceding "Clean Monday" offers vigorous parties, parades, and traditional events due to the "Apokries-Carnival".

February 21, 2012

WINTER VACATION IN GREECE?!

                     
WINTER VACATION IN GREECE?!

(Arachova)
   Greece is universally considered ideal for summer vacations with its sandy beaches, crystal clear seas and wonderful sunny days BUT it can also be an exciting winter destination!
(Mt. Parnassos)


    Who would have ever imagined that skiing or snowboarding or even snowmobiling in Greece is quite common activity during winter season!


February 18, 2012

VERY CREATIVE MOTHER

                           
VERY CREATIVE MOTHER


It is fascinating what one's creativity and imagination can do. Here's what a mother did at home to make some extra money! Some may disagree with the idea but still one cannot deny that the photos are fantastic!!!

The mother of this little girl is a computer scientist from Helsinki, Finland. While her daughter is sleeping, she creates a completely different world with any item she can find available! Both mother and daughter have become famous! It is truly the work of great imagination and creativity!


February 16, 2012

TSEKNOPEMPTE (SMOKED THURSDAY)

             

TSEKNOPEMPTE
 
     Today is Thursday, in Greece it's Tseknopempte, Smoked Thursday or as they call it elsewhere Fat Thursday -- (Germany: Fetter Donnerstag, Italy: Giovedì Grasso, Poland: Tłusty czwartek, Spain: Jueves lardero. It is similar to, (but should not to be confused with), the French festival of Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday" which is also celebrated in New Orleans, USA).
     Tseknopémptẽ is a feast associated with the celebration of Carnival (Apokries) when Greeks enjoy meat dinners at taverns, their homes or friends' homes just ten days before the beginning of the Great Lent (40day fasting) which begins on Clean Monday. Because Lent is a time of fasting, the next opportunity to feast will not be until Easter!

February 15, 2012

"DON'T CRY FOR ME, GREECE"

                 

     I need to say that a lot of my friends ask me how come I don't comment on what's happening in Greece. I call myself the Greek housewife but I don't write anything about current events in Greece. I talk about all kinds of other stuff, daily life, celebrations etc. just as if nothing happens in my life apart from the doilies and explaining the celebrations, writing about the carnival, giving ideas for romantic valentine's day, etc. Just as if I'm in a bliss of happiness!

     Well, let me tell you: I'm far from it but I'm not going to whine about it.

February 11, 2012

LOVE SONGS



"...LOVE IS IN THE AIR..."


Here's a compilation of some of my favorite love songs. I hope it can help you to set the mood for your Valentine's Day celebration !!!
-- I Will Always Love You -Whitney Houston ( The Bodyguard)
-- At Last - Etta James
-- Unforgettable - Nat King Cole (duet with Natalie Cole)
-- When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge
-- Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers


-- Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley


February 7, 2012

APOKRIES-CARNIVAL

                  

                         APOKRIES - CARNIVAL

     Last Sunday was the beginning of the festivities for the Treotheo-Apokries. It is a time (3 weeks) when the christian orthodox prepare for the fasting of the 40-day Lent before Easter (40 days recalling the Gospel accounts of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness). Every Sunday has its own christian and spiritual meaning with stories taken from the Bible.

(Traditional costumes for Apokries/local customs)
    Apokries, which in Greek means "saying goodbye to meat" is, (apart from its spiritual meaning) a time of fun and carefreeness. It is our Carnival!

February 5, 2012

CHICKEN &POTATOES WITH LEMON AND OREGANO

                  
CHICKEN AND POTATOES WITH LEMON AND OREGANO
     Well, today being a Sunday the day calls for a meal with meat. This is a common and easy dish and I thought I'd share the recipe with you!


Ingredients:


a whole chicken or pieces (f.e. thighs and breasts) depends
on how many will eat
some potatoes (again it depends on the number of
people)
a couple or more of garlic cloves (we love our garlic in
Greece!)
oregano
salt/pepper
lemon juice (from two or three lemons)
olive oil about a cup
(Try not to use the extra virgin olive oil, it misses
richness of taste. We use good quality olive oil,
rarely the virgin kind, never the extra virgin!)


Execution


Start by cleaning the meat from excess fat (as you see I have removed the skin, too, even though it's sooooo tasty. Occasionally I leave it on).


Peel and cut the potatoes into small wedges. Throw them in the oven dish and season them with salt, pepper and oregano. Add the olive oil. Mix them using your hands, yes, cooking means getting your hands dirty, feeling the food.


Then add one by one the pieces of meat getting oil on both their sides and seasoning them with salt, pepper and oregano (on both sides).


Finally, add the garlic cloves thinly sliced and scattered in the oven dish and pour over it the lemon juice. I tend to add 1/2 cup of water, as well. It's ready for the oven!




      I baked it (or roasted?) for about 45 minutes to an hour at 180 degrees Celsius (that's 356 degrees Fahrenheit).


    Also, I cooked some rice as well. I used the yellow parboiled kind and for one cup of rice you need to use two cups of water and so on (and some oil). I usually use vegetable or chicken broth that I have saved in the freezer, it makes rice so much tastier. You could also use chicken,beef or vegetable bouillon cubes as well. Bring to a boil and then put the lid on and simmer for about 20 minutes. You shouldn't need to strain the rice.