Time for Tea

Welcome to GL!

I love collaborations. Put quite simply I enjoy supporting businesses that I admire and that provide a great product and service.

Greek Life CookbookI’m a proudly South Australian author whose book Greek Life has been embraced nationally and internationally. Greek Life celebrates much of the Mediterranean Lifestyle and one aspect is of course the medicinal value of food, spices, and herbs. Collaborating with T-Bar is more than meets the eye. It’s a shared appreciation that there’s nothing quite like a good cup of tea!

As a winter treat T-Bar Tea Salons, ‘the best tea in town’, have supplied two amazing teas especially for this chilly time of year. This gift with purchase means 12 lucky readers will be the recipients of some truly delicious teas, when ordering Greek Life direct from me.

T-bar the best tea in townGood tea is at the heart of what T-bar Salons do best. A proudly run South Australian family business (we have that in common), T-Bar offers 120 blends and varieties to be enjoyed year round.

Whether its an elegant tea for a fashionable tea party, a fortifying brew over a much needed tete-a-tete, or the magical and wonderfully medicinal benefits of herbal teas, it matters not.

What does matter however is that your favourite tea leaf is sourced direct from the growers, and that means authentic flavours from around the world, poured into your teapot!

Put the kettle on, and savour the moment as you curl up and take a journey through the pages of Greek Life, where by the way, you’ll find more on medicinal teas for health and wellness, plus so much more!

There’s only ONE way to win, and you will need to be quick.

Here’s how it goes…..

  1. Order your copy of Greek Life direct from at jeanie.pantahos@bigpond.com
  2. Australian orders only
  3. Offer ends midnight 31 July 2017
  4. And you’ll be the recipient of some truly delicious tea with your copy of Greek Life.

Spread the word, tell your family and friends, like and share this post, and lets enjoy a cuppa on T-Bar!

Eugenia xoxo

 

 

 

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Halcyon Days

Welcome to GL!

Just last week I was sitting at a cafe with my father enjoying a cup of coffee and sharing a galaktoboureko (Greek custard and pastry). We were sitting outside soaking up the sun on this late June day, being the end of the first month of an Australian winter. I was explaining to dad that when traveling in Greece a few years ago, I had learned some new words, one of which was Alcyonides.

Halcyon DaysIn Greece, the Alcyonides is the name for the two weeks in winter from just after Christmas to the middle of January, when the skies are clear, the sun shines, and the days are windless, beautiful and calm. This 14 day period takes place 7 days either side of the shortest day of the year.

We were indeed experiencing the Southern Hemisphere Alcyonides whilst sipping our coffee and enjoying our sweet. I was transported to the time when my family and I were staying in Ancient Olympia in the middle of January (northern Winter), and experienced first hand this exact phenomenon, sitting in t-shirts and soaking up the winter sun.

This morning I walked from my home to a cafe at a nearby suburb and again found myself thinking about our holiday, especially with the beautiful winter days that we are experiencing here at the moment. Whilst waiting in line to order my coffee, I thought fondly of our trip as the Halcyon Days. In that moment I had an epiphany that Halcyon was the English interpretation of the Greek word of Alkyonides. There it was, a flash of lightning, a moment of clarity and truth. It was the translation of the Greek word that had been on my mind for the last few days.

In Greek mythology, the Alkyonides were the seven daughters of Alcyoneus who was slain by Heracles. The daughters, in despair, threw themselves into the sea and were transformed into kingfisher birds.

Another myth tells the story of a devoted and loving couple Alcyone (kingfisher) and her husband Ceyx, who sacreligiously called each other ‘Zeus’ and ‘Hera’. This angered the gods, and Ceyx’s ship was struck with a thunderbolt. On learning this, Alcyone threw herself into the sea. The Gods  changed them both into Halcyon birds. It is believed that this two week period allowed Alcyone, now a kingfisher, to lay her eggs and make a nest on the beach safely, without wind and waves.

Walking back from the cafe on this beautiful winter’s day, I came across two little birds intertwined on the footpath, playing joyfully, and I thought, yes, these are indeed the Halcyon Days!

Eugenia xx

 

 

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Taste of Greece Dinner

TASTE OF GREECE DINNER

TOGI’ve had an overwhelming response to my Taste of Greece Dinner….and that means we are ‘sold out’!

Thanks to all those who have booked and secured their places at the table. I very much look forward to catching up over a glass of wine, some amazing food and lots of stories. Thanks for connecting 🙂

GLx

 

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Welcome to Greek Lifestyle

GREEK LIFESTYLE

To the Hellenes and Philhellenes around the world. Greek Lifestyle welcomes you to join the celebration of Greek culture, history and traditions.

Greek collage home page

Greek Lifestyle is the perfect place to share, explore, learn and partake in the inimitable Greek way of life.

Greece is known for its beautiful churches, pebbled beaches, sparkling waters, seaside tavernas, amazing architecture, delicious cuisine, ancient sites, statues and temples.

It is the jewel of Europe cradled between the sparkling waters of the Aegean and Ionian seas where east meets west. The cradle of western civilization, the birthplace of democracy, the Olympic Games, drama, literature, philosophy, science and mathematical principles.

All these wonderful gifts to society from the people we affectionately and respectfully call Hellenes, the Greeks.

I welcome you to the Greek Lifestyle blog and would love for you to share your customs, traditions and recipes with us here at Greek Lifestyle.

Come, and let’s celebrate our wonderful Greek traditions and the inimitable Greek Lifestyle!

GL x

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Hellenism

Greek Lifestyle is about Greek culture – modern, contemporary and ancient.

It’s about sharing wisdom and continued learning.

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Having a place for Hellensim to be truly celebrated not just by the Greeks but also by those who have been touched spiritually, emotionally and intellectually by the diverse and enriched culture of Greece.

Hellenism

Pronounced hel’e-nizemNoun

  • An idiom or custom peculiar to the Greeks.
  • The civilization and culture of ancient Greece.
  • Admiration for and adoption of Greek ideas, style, or culture.

Share with us what Greek Lifestyle means to you.

GL x

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Fasting

I know that we are in the midst of celebrations….but I thought this might be useful.

Fasting

During the Orthodox calendar year there are fasting periods observed that provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and cleansing.

Many traditional Greek recipes can be converted to fasting meals and are equally delicious without meat and poultry. It makes for creative cooking and the use of a wonderful assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables.

Weekly Fast 

Traditionally fasting occurs on a weekly basis on every Wednesday (betrayal by Judas) and Friday (the commemoration of the suffering of Christ on the Cross).  The following foods are avoided:

  • Meat and meat products
  • Fish with backbones, although shellfish and calamari are permitted.
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Wine and alcohol

Easter Fast (movable date)

The 40-day Lenten Fast prior to Easter Sunday is observed.

During Holy Week, usually the Thursday evening meal is the last full meal taken until Easter.  Wine and oil are permitted at this meal.

Good Friday is the strictest fasting day of the Orthodox calendar, and it is customary to not partake of food on this day. Even those who have not observed the 40-day Lent fast usually respectfully observe this day of fasting.

After the Easter Saturday morning church service, when communion is taken, it is permissible to have a little wine, fruit juice and fruit as part of a very simple meal. This provides a little sustenance before breaking the fast completely at the Saturday night Resurrection Service.

Dormition of the Theotokos Fast

The falling asleep of Mary, Mother of God

1-14 August

The feast day for this important day takes place on the 15th August, and in Greece it also marks a national holiday.

The fast period takes place from 1- 14 August, and this two-week fast is similar to the fast of Great Lent.

From Monday through to Friday a strict fast is observed, however both wine and olive oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays, and fish may be eaten on the 6th August for the Transfiguration of Christ.

Nativity Fast

15 November to 24 December

The Feast Day is on Christmas Day.

Throughout the Nativity Fast strict fasting is observed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

On Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday oil, wine and fish are permitted, until 13th December when fish is no longer permitted.

Individual Fasting Days

The following are important fasting dates in the Greek Orthodox Calendar, however wine and olive oil are permitted.

January 5th – Eve of the Theophany (Epiphany),

August 29th – the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

September 14th – the Elevation of the Holy Cross

 

I hope this is helpful!

GL x

 

 

 

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Ouzo and Meze

Ouzo and meze

Drinking ouzo is a favourite pastime of Greeks both in Greece and abroad. Locals and tourists can be seen leisurely sipping the clear coloured aniseed flavoured aperitif, either neat, over ice, or with a little water added.

Ouzo and mezedes are a lovely way for family and friends to meet up casually and enjoy one another’s company, philosophy, story telling, laughter and lively discussion. Mezedes are made for sharing with people that you love to be with and people you care for. There is a certain intimacy in partaking in mezedes since the only way to enjoy them, is to place the plates at the centre of the table for all to partake.

A simple meze consists of a few olives, a piece of cheese, cucumber and tomato.  More satisfying mezedes include mouth-watering taramasalata (caviar dip), dolmades (rice wrapped in vine leaves), or fresh calamari or whitebait that has been lightly floured and cooked in olive oil and drizzled with lemon juice, octopus that has been pickled or chargrilled or prawn saganaki (prawns in rich tomato salsa) are all favourite mezedes.

Whether you prefer No 12, Plomari, Mini or Metaxa it matters not. Simply pour the ouzo and take sips as you prepare the meze, and then pour another ouzo and sit back and enjoy with your friends and family.

I’m off to have a glass of Plomari!

Stin iyeia mas! (Cheers or to our health!)

GL x

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The essence of Greek cuisine

The essence of Greek cuisine is simple; good quality fresh ingredients, lovingly prepared, rustic, authentic and flavorsome.

Greek cooking varies from region to region however it is always extremely healthy and delicious. Most dishes that include meat or poultry can be made equally delicious in a vegetarian version of that recipe. This is essential for the many days of fasting throughout the Orthodox calendar.

Essential to Greek cuisine is olive oil, lemon, rigani, tomato, pulses, feta, yoghurt, olives and a range of seafood, poultry and meat. Dishes are seasoned with spices including cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, black and white pepper, cumin, and pimento to name a few.

Growing herbs whether on a balcony or in an herb patch allows cooks to infuse their dishes with freshly picked ingredients that provide optimal flavors. Popular herbs include dill, basil, fennel, mint, oregano and parsley.

Sweets are made for special occasions. Most recipes call for nuts, honey, citrus, cloves and cinnamon. Usually Greeks enjoy fresh seasonal fruit, nuts or yoghurt after a meal.

Greek cooks expertly preserve fruits and vegetables to be used throughout the year including fruit for spoon sweets, tomato paste, pickled vegetables and olives.

Of course it is customary to enjoy a Greek coffee after a meal, served as either vari (strong), metrio (medium), or glyko (sweet).

How do you like to take your coffee? What is your ritual?

GL x

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Greeks – loving life!

Greeks are known for their love of life, their love of family and the rich traditions that form part of important and every day events. The Greek lifestyle is a unique way of living. Greeks have a certain enthusiasm and zest for life. They are passionate, warm-hearted and endearing, and would usually go out of their way to offer help. This is known as Philoxenia, and is an underlying element of the inimitable Greek way of living and what we warmly refer to as the Greek Lifestyle.

The people of Greece and the diaspora go about their daily life embracing the unique culture that is made up of family, orthodoxy and traditions. These are intrinsically intertwined to form the basis of the the traditional Greek Lifestyle  and the essence to living Greek.

Share you stories with us here at Greek Lifestyle.

 

GL xx

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Celebration Food

Greeks love to entertain and celebrate.  Certain dishes are usually made at a particular times of the year. At New Years loukoumades (do noughts drizzled in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon) are prepared as is the vasilopita (new year bread). Eastertime is busy for homemakers baking koulourakia (biscuits) and lampropsomo (Easter bread), and preparing kokkina avgo (red dyed eggs).  At Christmas time the home is filled with the spicy aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and honey as freshly baked melamacarona (honey walnut biscuits) are taken out of the oven and dipped in a warm honey syrup. What would a traditional Christmas be without the delicate and exquisite kourmbiedes (crescent shaped biscuits).

Happy baking!

 

GL x

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