Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chritos Anesti: Greek Easter Celebrations

Zena, Goddess of Fire, is only half Greek. That should explain everything.

As a rotten kid I would gloat when Easter and Greek Easter were on different Sundays, because then I got more chocolate. Even on a solemn, religious holiday and all I could think about was food. Nothing's changed.

So my big, wonderful, loud, crazy extended family gathered this past weekend to be together, laugh, love, drink and eat too much. We always start with about two hours of appetizers, this year featuring Humbolt Fog cheese (creamy, delightful), wild caught U.S. shrimp from the Korean market (jumbos, with cocktail sauce), taramasolata from somewhere near Pleasantville (whipped and light, not too salty), and more. I tried not to overdo it, but, of course, I did.

At top, eggplant, taramasalata and hummus. Below - a lovely selection of cheeses, shrimp, nuts and salami. 
Then the loukaniko hits the grill - pork and lamb sausage laced with orange and fennel - served straight up or with a hit of hot mustard - this is always such a treat.

Loukaniko sausages - made with lamb and pork - amazing
Then a load of grass fed lamb ordered direct from a farm in PA - loins and lollis - marinated simply in olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano, burned on the grill (controlling the heat with a spray of beer) and finished with fresh lemon. The best lamb I've ever had.

This is just one tray of the lamb

The fire went out. It was an emergency so we called the Fire Chief to start it up again.

This is an action shot. Beer nicely controlled the flames. Really.
After a mad scramble to clean up the first round (I didn't help) dinner is served - spanakopita, green beans, a Greek style salad with sweet peppers and cuke and feta and tomatoes (dee-lish), bread from the store because I burnt what I made to bring (typical), grilled veg, orzo, sliced ham, and lots and lots of lamb. A feast!!!
A feast!!! Lamb not shown for some reason...
Then we bop eggs - butt to butt and pointy end to pointy end - something to do with the resurrection - and s/he with the last intact egg gets good luck. Me, I lost and ate the egg. It was good.

Time for dessert - sesame cookies, baklava, fruit salad, and even "extra dessert" - one wonderful cuz had his 50th birthday. That's a Napolean cake - the entire thing. Amazing. I skipped the fruit....

Happy birthday, Cuz!!!  
This is not a selfie
It was and always is wonderful to share a special day with those I love, and so I share my love of food and family with the rest of you. Christos Anesti!!!

Zena, Goddess of Fire

Everyone is smiling, even Cooper the dog, who kept the carpet clean of crumbs

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