Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Wonderful Greek Experience

[Maryanne]After a terrible two days to get my laundry done, I was pleased to take a day off to relax; I had Greek visitors planned for the day aboard Footprint. My favourite social network Couchsurfing enables me to locate interesting people nearby wherever I happen to be, and I’d invited Nantia to join me aboard Footprint. She would bring another Greek friend with her (I never could pronounce his name, and was too shy to keep asking – oops).

The day was hot and sunny, perfect for chatting with repeated dips into the water to cool off.

We updated ourselves on each others’ lives and goals, but soon were discussing food. I expressed frustration at the lack of ‘real’ Greek food available in the restaurants etc, and my new friends showered me with traditional Greek recipes to add to my repertoire – perfect. The primary herbs of Greek cooking are Parsley, and dill, here are some of the dishes they suggested I could cook:-

• Spanakorizo - Spinach and Rice dish
• Fasolakia – Green bean casserole.
• Briam – a Greek version of ratatouille
• Greek Vegetable Balls

I must have scared them off with even the though of English Cooking; they cried off “not hungry” when I offered them lunch, and once dinner was discussed they insisted I should just drive back with them to Nantia’s home (where her parents live in the apartment below her) and Nantia’s Mum would cook for us all – I was to have real Greek food at last.

The drive to Nantia’s home town of Korfos was spectacular, climbing up the mountain roads with the sea to our left providing fantastic views, and eventually leaving the main road to descend back down to sea level and arrive (on the only road into) Korfos. The small town is really a beautiful fishing harbor, fringed with fishing boats and taverns, and on the other side of the road, grocery stores, ice cream stores, fast food kiosks and bars – so much for a small and remote town (and much more than I was used to in Kalimaki). Her home was further inland, but built into the slope of a hill, so commanding a fantastic view of the beautifully protected harbor.

Nantia’s family were all there, including her sister’s family visiting from Athens for the holiday. All were very generous with their time and friendship, I was humbled.

But the food! We were served Tiropitakia (mini-cheese pies) as snacks, followed by an amazing roast lamb dish (cooked for 12 hours, beautifully tender) served with salad and roasted potatoes.

I was lucky enough to stay overnight with plans for an early bus back to the boat the following day; but during my stay the family continued to fuss over me and look after me. I was presented with a real aloe leaf to help ease my sunburn, some home remedy (honey-bee wax mixed with butter) to help heal any wound, and some Briam to feed Kyle with once he came home the following day. Amazing generosity, a wonderful family, I’m a very lucky lady! A million thank-yous to Nantia and her family.

1 comment:

kate said...

Yay! A perfect day with new friends, unstinting hospitality, a nice balm for your sunburn, and authentic Greek food! Even some for Kyle (no "snoze ya lose" here). Thrilled to hear you had a fabulous day!