Category Archives: Greece

TO-GA, TO-GA

  

Okay, so tonight we had our final Greek dinner and it was quite the party!  We all got dressed in our “official” Greek togas and sat down to the fabulous festivities.  

Yesterday, the kids made these super easy Olive Leaf Crowns, using a long strip of green paper and glued on leaves. (We had hoped to do a toga race, but only had time to make the crowns.)  Tonight, the kids wore their crowns along with their togas and there was excitement in the air.  

  

  

  

For our menu, I consulted an old friend who is Greek and whose mother makes the best baklava I think I’ve ever had.  It was a tradition for our family to receive a HUGE plate of this baklava every year and we gladly accepted this generous indulgence.  And while I didn’t make baklava tonight (saving that for Turkey week), I knew exactly who to consult with when it came to delicious traditional Greek food.  

Basically in Greece they begin with a first course, called a Meze.  This typically includes hot bread (pita for us) olives, feta… I found a meze plate recipe from my favorite recipe website that included a cucumber salad with a feta/yogurt sauce, humus (that I actually made from dried chick peas all by myself) a tomato-shrimp salad with olives (minus the shrimp for us) and artichoke hearts.  All the salads/sauces were arranged on a platter and placed in the center of the table for all to partake together.  I even used a special tablecloth I purchased in Greece years ago when I was young and fun and traveled the world more frequently.  

Meze Platter

 

Next comes a traditional avgolemono, and, as its name implies, it’s a soup with lots of “lemon”, rice, chicken broth, and a bit of dill and scallions.  Actually, it appears lemon is a staple ingredient in Greek cooking, which is nice as we do have a lemon tree, although ours produces massive amounts of lemons for about a month and then nothing for the rest of the year. At least we do quite enjoy lemons.  

  

I actually may have put just a tad too much lemon into the soup, but the great thing about the entire meal was that everything mixed so nicely together.  I added a bit of the cucumber salad to the soup, dipped some pita into it, and just let my palate enjoy the succulent combination of flavors.  The kids also did super well, as they usually do, trying new foods, even foods they don’t normally eat-tomatoes.  Tallinn told me I’m the best maker of different country foods tonight and I think that made all the effort worth it.  When I served the final course, Chicken with, you guessed it, lemon, Tallinn looked at me and said “Mom, they have the same food as us, how did you get this?”-in complete disbelief.  We explained to him how our climate is very similar to Greece and many foods are the same, but I was cracking up inside at how his mind was trying to figure out how our chicken tastes the same as Greek chicken.  These are things a mother cherishes.  

Greek Chicken with Lemon and Red Potatoes

 

Tonight’s chicken was definitely enjoyed by all, and also tasted great mixed in with the soup.  I adapted a recipe from epicurious for a Greek Mahi-mahi, using a feta/mayonnaise sauce with lemons and dill.  Next time I think I would add even more lemon and garlic as my sweet Greek friend, Christy, suggested.  

Lastly, we come to dessert, our family’s moment of the night, or just something we all enjoy very much.   

Caramelized Pistachio and Almond Tarte

 

Another hit from the site that rarely lets me down for recipes (see links).  

And now, it’s late and we have wrapped up our adventures in Greece.  I did have high hopes of converting some paper towel rolls into a Parthenon, and maybe will get to that someday, but at least we had fun and learned some new things and did not fail to take advantage of the chance to boldly wear a toga in pride.  

Thank  you, Greece for your rich culture, your theater, your delicious cuisine, but mostly I just thank you for my amazing husband. For without your nation he would not be and I would not have met and married such a wonderful man.  

Antio Greece, it’s been super fun!

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Drama, Drama, Drama

Greek Drama, that is.

Today we entered into the wonderful world of theater. The kids made Greek tragedy and comedy faces.  Addie chose the “happy” face and Tallinn chose the “sad”.  I found a great craft on Activity Village and, using paper plates, I cut out the frowns and smiles and eyes for the kids. Then we cut strips of black paper and the kids helped wrap them around pencils to make curly hair.  This was great because Tallinn was able to help cut strips and even Addie was able to curl them (or  at least shape them a bit).  (And notice Addie’s wearing her new Thai-dye shirt).

While they were drying we read “This is Greece” by M. Sasek and learned a bit more about Greek culture.  Wow, there is so much to learn. Even having been to Greece and studied the culture throughout high school and college, I feel like I have forgotten quite a bit.

One fun fact is that Brian’s grandfather was Greek, so he is 1/4 Greek, making Tallinn 1/8 Greek and Addie and Cardiff still 100 % Korean by blood, but 1/8 Greek, by adoption.

After learning more about Greece and a teeny bit about Greek Drama, I helped the kids get into makeshift togas and put on a little show.  This was their Greek drama debut and they are quite the amateurs at best, but pretty cute amateurs for sure.

Taking a Bow

The Omega!

Going Greek

Another day, another continent, such has this journey been. Full of adventure and new discoveries and here we are today, in Greece.  A nation that once ruled the world of its time.  One that established a way of government used in many countries today.  A nation full of beautiful islands and ancient ruins. A nation that knows how to celebrate!

This week we’re diving into Greece and we’re excited!  As we began our adventure today, we said goodbye to Thailand and traveled Northwest to this ancient nation on the Mediterranean Sea.  We colored maps and starred Athens and we made fun fingerprint flags using our fingertips and blue watercolor paint.

This Week’s Verse