Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In Greece

The sky is bluer than you can possibly imagine; and so is the sea. The sun is shining bright on your face, arms, legs.
Walking down the streets, the smell of jasmine, honeysuckle and lemon tree blossoms penetrates your nostrils, filling you with the most intense, sweet aromas.
The birds are singing loud, chirping beautifully their harmonious melodies.
The streets are lined with trees so full, so green, glistening under the spring sun.
The evenings are cool and your sun-kissed shoulders welcome the breeze that comes in through the open windows.
The sky is filled with stars and a luminous blanket of moonlight covers the buildings, making the nights magical, making you feel like anything and everything is possible.

I’m in Greece. I’m home.
I arrived with S some days ago, after a short stay in Paris.

We were excited and couldn’t wait to get home to Athens where we will be spending the next couple of weeks, enjoying the Greek Orthodox Easter, seeing our families and friends. We love being home, with all the familiar places, faces, sounds, smells, foods.

Home; with foods that taste so different, so incredibly delicious, so vibrant. Vegetables, fruits, fish. My mom’s cooking, my grandmother’s touch. Every bite I savor I want to cherish.

Going to the bakery every morning for my horiatiki fratzola / χωριάτικη φρατζόλα (Greek peasant bread) with sesame seeds. Seeing the trays of traditional cookies makes me want to eat each and every one. Buying a tyropita, the corner piece as always, to sustain me until lunchtime.

The vegetables are in abundance this time of year. Artichokes / αγκινάρες and fasolakia/ φασολάκια (green beans), juicy tomatoes and green bell peppers.

Τo make artichokes ala Polita (Aginares ala Polita / Αγκινάρες αλα Πολίτα), stewed artichokes cooked in the Politiki cuisine style.

Fasolakia, stewed green beans cooked with olive oil, tomatoes and parsley.

Gemista, stuffed tomatoes and thin-skinned, green bell peppers with rice and herbs, cooked in the oven along with potatoes in an olive oil and tomato sauce.

Lent was broken during Palm Sunday (Kyriaki ton Vaion / Κυριακή των Βαΐων) when fish is allowed and is cooked in various ways.

Mediterranean tuna (tonaki / τονάκι) and mackerel (kolios / κολιός) fished from the Greek Aegean sea. Cooked simply with olive oil and lemon, served with fresh parsley. Heaven. on. earth.

I made spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) with homemade phyllo. Everyone loved it and I was smiling non-stop.

Strawberries, redder than I have ever seen and so delicious. A sorbet was made. Sorry, no photograph, it was eaten in a flash.

A lot more food awaits.

I hope you are all well. I’ll be back here soon.

P.S. I’m more active on instagram lately, it’s easier to post photos on the go. If you want to see what I’m up to between blog posts, this is my username @mylittleexpatkitchen


  1. I'm so happy you are at your home!....I wish I can eat as fresh as yo are doing!. Enjoy!.....Abrazotes, Marcela

  2. Dearest Magda,

    I'm so happy for you!!! I'm going to Lefkada and Ithaca in the end June and can't wait this day to come! I traveled to Greece in February (Aegina island) but I'm already missing the country, the nature, the people, the food... So I do understand how happy you are!!!

    I wish you and S the best of time at home! And I wish happy Flowers' Day and happy Easter to you and all your family!!!

    I cooked gemista yesterday and it was marvellous! Everytime I cook some Greek dish using your recipes I think of you!

    Sincerely yours,

  3. And I remember my first after 5 months' absence authentic GREEK tyropita bought at Mitropoleos street in Athens... God... It was Heaven.On.Earth - you're so right...

  4. I have always wanted to recreate that green bean dish-- is it as simple as just olive oil + tomato + parsley or is there something special to the technique? All looks so delicious, thank you !!

    1. I will have to share the recipe. Nothing special to the technique but then again it is a Greek technique so it may be different to the one you are used to. I will share at some point, I promise!

  5. Such beautiful photos - making us both hungry at 6:00am! Καλό Πάσχα! Wishing you, S. and all your family a wonderful, sun-filled day. ~ David

  6. Magda, it sounds like you are having a wonderful time. I know how good it is to be "home" with loved ones. Enjoy every minute of it!

  7. Oh what a beautiful story Magda! It brings a tear to my eye. I am Greek but born and grew up in Australia. I visit Greece when I can - it is a long way from Australia - but I feel the same emotions every time I go there. I feel as though Greece is where I belong, where my roots are and where I should have been born. I grew up in a non-traditional family which makes me yearn for all things Greek even more.. I will be back there in August and I can't wait to feel the warm sunshine and smell the aromas, eat the food and enjoy everything about Greece you describe. I am so happy for you and look forward to hearing more about your wonderful time over there..

  8. Beautiful! Enjoy your stay and a pre Kalo Pascha to you!

  9. Hello all and thank you for your nice comments! To my fellow Greeks, ahev a Good Easter!! kali Anastasi and Kalo Pascha!!!

  10. Oh my goodness, Magda. Everything looks fabulous! Enjoy the rest of your stay.

  11. Such a beautiful post! It makes me pine for Greece. I visited a month ago (during the UK Easter break, which unfortunately didn't coincide with the Orthodox calendar!) and I still dream about it now... in fact, it would mean to me if you could check out my post about it! I'm eager to see what you think of my interpretation of your country :) Kalo Pascha!

  12. I understand you! I also love being home and seeing family and friends!

  13. Home. Good for you. Enjoy all you can! xx. Myriam