IT IS HERE! STIRRING SLOWLY IS OUT IN THE WORLD!
Greek Lent is almost here! I normally just give up one thing (coffee, cheese, chocolate…) but this year I’m going to do it properly, I’m going to basically be vegan for 50 days. OK, so it’s not as straight forward as that, there are some days you can eat fish, and some days you can’t eat olive oil, but I’ll turn to my yiayia for guidance. I still find it quite confusing. Anyway, I’m going to try, and I’ll share my progress with you all and hopefully find and create some exciting recipes in the process
So, the bread. The inspiration for this recipe, tahinopita, is one of my favourite things about Greek Easter. Traditionally eating during times of lent and fasting, you can buy individual ones all year round from Greek and Turkish bakers (or make it yourself of course). But growing up it was always eaten around Easter time, due to its lack of animal products, and I just love it. The soft dough, caramelised crispy edges, and gooey middle (a bit like frangipane)… insanely moreish.
Most commonly known for its addition to houmous, savoury dishes and dressings, tahini is brilliant for baking with. Sweetened, like in this recipe, it has a peanut butter vibe, and works wonderfully with honey, maple syrup or brown sugars. (Also a little bit in a smoothie with banana, honey, milk and cinnamon is ridiculously good). The most complicated thing about this recipe is making the bread, which isn’t difficult at all, I promise. The filling and ring part is even easier, and is perfect for a rainy day at home. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Xristos anesti! Today is Orthodox Easter, the biggest celebration in the Greek Orthodox church, and my favourite time of year – there really is nothing like it for for epic feasting. Last week we started preparations by baking about 25 flaounes (yiayia needed to do a test batch with a new starter her friend had given her), and this week she made 100 more. I’ve been baking today and I can guarantee she’ll have made a million biscuits too. And of course there are the daily church services (I did all the 5am ones one year, killer).
The last few weeks have been a bit mad, hence the lack of recipe writing and posting – I’ve really missed it. I’m back at work a bit more, been doing more in the kitchen, there have been a lot of appointments and a few trips, and for some reason it seems like we’ve gone from 0 – 60 in a short space of time. Also I’m really missing Archie at the moment too, I think specific occasions and days highlight his absence. Don’t take me wrong, I always miss him, but I was having some better days. On the way home from work the other day I become inconsolable as I walked through the (very sunny) park by my house, it was swarmed with families and buggies and the realisation that I shouldn’t be back at work yet and that should be me in the park was like a punch in stomach, face and heart. Some days its manageable, others not so much. But I guess celebrations and holidays you just notice the absence of a loved one that little bit more. Today would’ve been his first Greek Easter.
So, I’m taking it easy today. Church in the morning, lunch with my wonderful, gorgeous and crazy family and I’m going to eat everything that is put in front of me and just let it all hang out. I will start my Mexico diet on Monday?!