I don’t know if you’ve watched old films with vine harvests and wine juice making or wine making but they always seem to contain plucky villagers without shoes stepping on the grapes. That’s all very well and dandy but apparently it hardly ever happens any more.
The team in Atalanti, Greece, went about finding out what actually does happen nowadays to get wine juice. This is effectively the process before one starts wine making. A lot of people in Greece with their own grapes will just take them to a patitiri (the place where the grapes are literally ‘stepped on’) to get wine juice. They then take the wine juice and make their own wine at home.
So this might seem a bit weird. Why would a Greek go to see The Real Greek chef make moussaka? “Isn’t it like your national dish?”, “Don’t you know how to make it from birth?” Yes, thank you I get the point, even though I learned how to make it when I was 23.
When I got the e-mail for a moussaka making experience from the lovely Megan I thought exactly that. However, I’m always learning so I really wanted to see this staple of the Greek family table done from a professional chef. Secondly, I had completely stopped going to The Real Greek three years ago so I was super curious.
Let’s get the scary stuff out of the way first. This is a post about soup with INTESTINES. (Wait! Come back!)
So, now that we are left with the brave folks here goes the story.
Mama Despoina (also my mum – she simply rocks) blogged the recipe for Magiritsa the other day, the Greek traditional soup eaten after the Resurrection. It’s incredibly yummy even though I know it sounds weird.
If you ever happen to be walking around a Greek town or village and it seems that there are BBQ smells everywhere chances are it’s probably Tsiknopempti. (It could also be Easter Sunday but in that case the smell is the roasting lamb on a spit so you’ll know quite quickly which is which).
Tsiknopempti comes from the words tsikna (the characteristic bbq meat smell) and Pempti (Thursday). It comes about once a year, about two weeks before Lent starts.
I’ve been watching Nigel Slater‘s (he really needs a new website) Simple Cooking on BBC lately. What actually made me watch it in the first place was the amazing title sequence. I want to bake something for the people who thought of having episode and recipe titles on food packages. So cute!
What kept me watching are the really interesting recipes. Even though in every single episode I marvel at the miles he has to walk in his kitchen to get from the cupboard to the fridge or from the oven to the garden. Seriously, this must be the biggest kitchen ever.
One of the most useful things – and nobody thinks to share this with you if you’re a newbie – is a list of what you should have in your fridge and your cupboard, especially when you’re busy and do not have time. Everybody kind of assumes that you know how to miracle food on the table or that you have time to stand over a stew. Let’s face it. You don’t.
Never ask your dear mother. Especially a Greek mother. Over the years they know all the tricks and they’ll tell you to have a lot more stuff than you actually need for quick lunches and dinners. The result will be that you’ll be throwing out about half of your fridge contents.