Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING


 

LIVING                                                                       APRIL/MAY 2014    

 

ANOTHER EASTER



 My parents, both now in their 80s, still enjoy coming to Aegina to experience a truly authentic Easter celebration. My dad refers to the British Easter as A Supermarket Easter and the Greek as a religious one.

 They came to spend it with us this year which was fortunate as  children numbers 1 and 2 were both at university in the UK and hadn't time to come to Greece, so the house was still quite full which is how we like it. I went to meet them from the airport and used the journey as an opportunity to catch up on some sleep

 

 

On Easter Friday, we took them to visit my mother in law's grave. This was an interesting experience as Greek cemeteries are like marble villages, with photos of loved ones personifying dates of birth and death, some tragic, others expected. The cemetery though seemed very alive with families milling around doing as we were doing, placing flowers on a grave, the same old family names popping up, (lots of Lorentzos’s bones lying idle) That evening, we went to town to observe the procession of the epitaphia.It was very windy and only after 30 minutes of persistent hunting did we finally find space to sit down at a cafe. Aegina was heaving with visitors for Easter.

 

Easter Saturday was an opportunity for them to go shopping, along with everyone else who was out to get those final ingredients, a decorated white candle or a pair of shoes for God children. Mr. L busied himself at home, cooking chicken and lemon soup to eat after midnight on our return home from church.

That night, at 11.15, we made our way down to church, to catch the end of the evening liturgy. Our first stop was at Mitropolis. This really is a beautiful church, more so because of its large courtyard garden which set a beautiful scene for all the locals dressed up in their good clothes, each holding a white candle, waiting patiently for the priest to announce that Christ had risen. The liturgy inside resounded from the megaphones placed outside so that everyone could hear what was being said. A bad decision, we left Mitropolis and wound our way to Agia Panagitsa, the church in which number 2 had been baptized 19 years ago. No garden but a stretch of grass to the left, excited young men used this as a base from which to launch their fireworks. This tradition is one which makes me nervous for my family's safety. In addition, there was no tannoy system to bring us the liturgy so I regretted my idea of church hopping. It was at Agia Panagitsa where we heard and saw Easter arrive but it actually felt slightly lonely because this isn't our local church, Kipseli is but we were not prepared to put ourselves through a simulated war zone!

Mr. L’s chicken soup was delicious although slightly oily if I am honest but I persuaded my parents to consider it a meaty night cap as we sat down to eat it at 00.30. At 02.00 hours, number 2 went out to meet her friends, the plan being to party until breakfast time.

 

We had all been invited to have Easter lunch with friends. Mr. L had offered to roast a couple of legs of lamb which he had pre prepared the day before. He likes to stab the legs until he creates a series of fleshy channels which he then packs with fresh garlic and stems of rosemary from the garden. He then shakes half a container of black pepper over the legs and plenty of salt. Finally, he pours a generous quantity of olive oil over and then adds around 1 cm of water. What he doesn't do at this stage is add lemon and more annoyingly, doesn't get up to put it in the oven!

09.30 I believed was a good time to get the lamb out of the fridge and put it in the oven. On top of the oven though was a huge pan of lemony water from where I had been boiling lemon skins (I like to make my own lotions). I decided that a ladle of this solution could only enhance the  slow cooking of the meat and so I poured this on liberally, gingerly placed it in the oven at temp 250 degrees for 45 minutes then reduced the temperature to 130 degrees' covered it with foil and left it to slowly sweat and roast. Job done! And then he arrived....Mr. L..eave me alone in the mornings because I hate life and particularly anyone that helps me. “Did you put the lamb in the oven?” he asked accusingly “Yes”, was to be the wrong answer and admitting that I had added dilute lemon juice was the recipe that caused a disaster. “It’s MY lamb”, he whined “and you have ruined it! Now I want NOTHING to do with it!”

I reminded him that Epidaurus was his stage and the world is continuously being denied his thespian talents  ( he hates that ) Later, at our friend's home, the lamb, covered with foil, in a large earthenware pot, sat among a plethora of culinary creations. P had prepared chicken with pesto sauce and had baked wonderful potatoes, large proud new potatoes that he'd brushed with olive oil; they were exquisite! L had brought eggs dyed with onion skins that discoloured the egg shell around dried flowers that had been secured onto the shell in a tightly wound sock, a traditional method of decorating eggs.

Glossy tomato and curly green salads, potato salad too, all enhanced the landscape of food........and then it was time to cut the lamb! The flesh FELL off the bones, hot succulent meat with a tinge of herbs and garlic, all the better I am sure because it had been doused in oily lemon juice!

Orgasmic sounds emanated from mouths immobilised with lamb. Later, when the meat had passed down the oesophagus, people were able to express their delight and compliments over the pleasure of eating my lamb. I appreciated their compliments. Mr. L for once, said nothing!


 

Alison Lorentzos                                                             copyright 2013

 

 

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