Monday, October 3, 2011

Food! EM Blog Carnival

Topic: "Let's Talk About Food!"
The weather is cooling, Fall cooking season is 'round the corner. Tell us about some of your eating habits, philosophies, favorite foods and share a seasonal recipe!

Old time family picnic, I'm sure there
was a roast lamb there somewhere!

Food, one of my favorite topics! I'm Greek and growing up, food was a very important part of socialization. My father always had soda in our downstairs refrigerator in case 'company' came and my mother always had cookies in the freezer for those unexpected guests. I think it was a bit of a disgrace to have people come over and not have anything to serve them. And we always had a variety of serving trays to serve drinks and snacks.

We had acquired some homemade ouzo from  Greece from some friends who had just come back from there. I wanted a friend of mine to try it and  put some in a styrofoam cup to take to him across town. By the time I had gotten there the ouzo had eaten through the cup! Before I was born, my grandmother, that lived with us, had a still in the basement to make ouzo. I had asked my mother if she helped make it, but she said, "oh, no! I had to stand at the top of the steps and be the lookout!"

My dad, far left, a cook in the army
My grandparents had a restaurant called Hermes in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, way before I was born. My father worked in it since he was 5 years old. Because of that restaurant, we had acquired all the giant pots and pans and that was how my parents cooked. They always made tons of food. And my father cooked a lot too. I'd remember him in the mornings making sauce for spaghetti with chicken in it or he'd make us kids, 'box cars' (toast with the middle cut out in a square and an egg fried in it). We always said he cooked enough to feed an army, as a matter of fact, he was a cook in the army.

We also had a stove/oven in the basement, because sometime just one kitchen wasn't enough. Most of my mother's friends all had a 2nd kitchen in the basement too. It was especially handy when a wedding was coming up because there were about a million greek cookies to be made: baklava, courobedes, phoenikia, trigona, ...(please pardon the butchering of the spelling.)

I still make some of these foods, not very often, it's a lot of work and most of them are very fattening and I try to avoid wheat, corn, and dairy these days. (Except for ice cream!) Some of my favorites are spanakorizo (spinach and rice), roasted lamb, avgolemeno (chicken soup with lemon), and spanakopita. Spanakopita is made with spinach and feta cheese and eggs stuffed between filo (strudel leaves and lots of butter) I even made the filo myself a couple of times. Lots of work but fun. You have to stretch the dough over a pole to get it really thin. It's incredible tasty!

My mom helping at a church dinner
My mother used to make a simple variation of pita (spanakopita without the spinach.) We used to call it 'pita pizza' and here is my mother's recipe (you have to understand that she didn't measure anything):

Batter: 2 cups water; pinch of salt; 2 tsp yeast (add to the water)
            add flour until it's like a thick pancake batter
            spread it into a large pan with sides (I use like a cookie sheet that has low sides to it-I got them at

           Melt butter and put it on top of the batter, then crumble feta on top.
           Add some salt and pepper
           Actually you can add anything else you like, I've added mushrooms and peppers, but really I prefer
           the original recipe with just the feta

Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Check out what other Etsy Metal members eat:

1. Inbar Bareket -
2. Victoria Takahashi -
3. Cynthia Del Giudice -
4. kate jones -
5. Twigs and Heather-
6. nova of sweden -
7. Beth Cyr -
8. Nodeform -
9. Rebecca Bogan -
10. Panicmama Jewelry -
11. Evelyn Markasky
12. 2Roses:
13. Jenny Baughman (Gecko J):


  1. I learned some great things about you! Pita pizza sounds delicious.