The Last Tomatoes, Green & Red

I know that for most of you fall, if not winter (was that a snowstorm in Boston last weekend??), is advancing rapidly, and your local, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes flower and plump in the memory alone. In our corner of the world, though, we still enjoy warm days and only somewhat chilly nights, so our tomato plants continue to produce fruit. We had a good harvest this summer — lots of dark red, pink, and orange fleshy heirloom tomatoes, as well as plenty of red cherry and tiny pear-shaped sweet yellow fruits, quite rare in Greece, that our guests admired enormously.


But while the last fruits of summer are still on our palates, the time has come to plant the winter and spring vegetables –lettuce, spinach, chicory, radishes, carrots, kardamo —the spicy Greek cress with feather-like leaves— and of course the fava seeds that will give us its tender green pods in the spring, right before Easter. That means uprooting the last tomato plants, and Costas, my husband, completed the task with fervor, ignoring my usual, nostalgic protests. Each year we go through the same argument, and although I know that he is right, and surely our poor garden soil needs a bit of rest, fed with compost and manure before we start planting again, I feel sad to remove tomato plants, that seem to jingle their fruit in protest, as we uproot them from the soil. (more…)

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Oxford’s Intellectual Feast

The select group of people who take part at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery expect to be intellectually stimulated, educated, and inspired, listening to lectures and taking part in discussions that dissect all sorts of food-related subjects according to each year’s theme. Ironically, however, they hardly expect to have a memorable gastronomic experience.

Last month, though, for the first time in its 30-year history, the record number of about 265 participants at the Symposium on “Food and Language” had the unprecedented and unexpected pleasure to taste amazing dishes prepared by Fergus Henderson and Raymond Blanc, among others READ MORE (at The Atlantic)

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The Pious Cake

Last week my hairdresser, Vagia, asked I if had a good recipe for fanouropita. I had known about St. Fanourios since childhood and his feast day, August 27, the day specially baked cakes were brought to the church. I thought the tradition was ago forgotten.

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“Oh. You cannot believe how many cakes were brought to the church last year.” Vagia said, filled with pride for her own special fanouropita. She then leaned over and whispered that she did cheat sightly by using real butter instead of olive oil which the tradition called for. The tradition also mandated that the fenouropita be made with either seven or nine ingredients. (more…)

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