Sunday, June 20, 2010


Are you sensing a theme?  I love food.

We were supposed to go to Greece in April.  And Italy, Croatia, and Turkey.  I knew the volcanic ash was over northern Europe, but up until the moment we walked into the terminal at Dulles I never really thought we'd need a Plan B.  In the blink of an eye Steve and I shifted gears and scrambled to come up with an alternative destination for our week of childcare.  I loved our time in Charleston and Savannah and pushed thoughts of the cruise out of my head, but since then it has hit me and I am really sad about not going to the Mediterranean.  I thought about the trip for so long that sometimes I'll forget it passed and start mentally picturing how high the city wall in Dubrovnik will be or what the food in Ephesus will taste like, and then I'll catch myself and get a lump in my throat.  And circumstances prevail, so we probably won't go next year either, plus my parents are going on a Mediterranean cruise (we both planned our trips without knowing that the other was planning the same - just a coincidence) so that makes it a little harder, too.  I asked them to bring back some wine from Santorini, but Steve and I since found some at Wegmans.  (The island is volcanic, so there's a lot of minerals in the soil which translates into really interesting wine -- something Santorini is known for.)  I don't normally share like this on here, so I'm retreating to stiff-upper-lip and happy-thoughts mode now.

Our friend Pam learned to make certain Greek foods from her Greek friend, and she offered to teach me how to make it.  That's very much in line with how I do food: 1. Try something delicious (at the Greek festival), 2. Obsess about the next time I can have it, 3. Discover that I -- a mere mortal -- can make it at home.  Earlier this year Pam had made a wonderful Greek dinner for the women in our small group: Greek salad, moussaka, dolmas, tzatziki, spanakopita, baklava.  I've taken Thai cooking classes before, which were really fun and delicious, but I never made anything at home (although I did buy a wok).  Perhaps it's just overwhelming for me to learn several different dishes in one sitting, so when Pam offered to teach me how to make Greek food I suggested we start with just spanakopita.

I'm not sure how unusual Pam's version of the filling is (it's similar to this), but I stress that it is important to squeeze out the moisture from the spinach. We made individual spanakopitas -- like mini burritos -- as opposed to a large pie cut into pieces like lasagna.  Cut the phyllo pack in half so you have smaller rectangles.  Place two spoonfuls of filling on a double layer of phyllo, fold in the sides burrito-style and start to roll.  Then brush EVOO or melted butter on the end to seal it, and place it seam-side down on a baking sheet, and brush the top with butter. 

I had to go home right after these finished baking and didn't even make it out of Pam's neighborhood before I grabbed one and ate it.  So good!  Pam says that depending on your taste, you can adjust the ingredient ratios to your liking.  We used extra feta.

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