Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING


 

LIVING                                                                            APR/ MAY 2016
  

ANOTHER EASTER AND A STAR STUDDED, NAMES-DAY

 

This year was our first Easter without all three children, so a little strange to begin with as we felt our way around this new experience.
Nevertheless, child number 2 arrived soon after our return trip to the UK. A rush to get his room ready, I like the children to come back to a fresh, tidy room, I placed lavender bags under his pillow ( just as my own mother continues to do for me ) to promote a clearer sleep and made sure that his favourite lemon yogurts were stacked in the fridge.
Had he not have been with us, I doubt we would have made the effort to go down town to watch the parade of the epitaphia or nip up to Kipseli to risk our lives among the firework throwing and dynamite that is launched once the priest announces that Christ has risen!!
We went to our usual friends for Easter lunch and ate the most aromatic pork cooked slowly in the oven, served with a fruit and savoury sauce. I had made a lemon and ginger cake which I iced on top and sandwiched together, the icing sharp and hot yet sweet.
Mr L and I left early in the evening though as we had lots of work to do in preparation for his names-day celebration the next day. All the garden furniture had to be scrubbed and hosed, the summer room containing a large fridge had to be cleaned, cutlery checked, napkins stocked, the barbecue cleaned and re- positioned.
The day was grey and overcast, more UK than Greece but nothing was going to stop the celebration and besides,there were several stars who made this evening shine.
My Greek friend, K, arrived in the morning and set about re -sweeping floors in a way that only a Greek woman could do, despite my insisting that I had already done it when to my embarrassment, she swept from beneath a cupboard, half a tea pot lid. "Oh that's the other half of the lid that smashed when it dropped to the floor a few days ago", I explained and I shamefully observed that she had also acquired at least another pile of dust.
She further demonstrated her housewifery skills by setting about turning 3 pan loads of peeled potatoes into something heavenly,adding garlic, olive oil, copious amounts of lemon juice and generous quantities of black pepper. Then she started cutting cheese into cubes so that I could later pin together the stilton with slices of orange and the graviera with pineapple. Later, she made the traditional marouli salad, with lettuce, spring onions and dill.
The second star was my sister in law A, who, like her brother, ( Mr L ) has an instinct for knowing which ingredients go together to create such divine tastes that you almost want to cry with pleasure. Well turned out, looking ten years younger than her actual age, she arrived with her home made spinach cheese pies. (These sell like gold dust at the women's bazaar from which she often has a table.) The mousaka was gigantic,not only in proportions but in the texture and delicacy of taste.
The pastichio too was excellent and she expertly sliced these into manageable proportions that could be easily slid onto plates.
Later she would shine more brightly as she sang solo, a gift to her dear brother.
Typically, men gathered around the barbecue to cook and pick the marinated meats, sausage, chicken breasts, pork and lamb chops. Personally, I think barbecues are over rated; they require attention and time but I think that there is definitely something primeval in men and barbecuing appeals to the hunter DNA that resides in their bones.
My contribution to the evening was my signature salad, a tombola of shredded cabbage,onion,apple and cashew nuts fried in curry spices, all,of which were brought together with a sweet, honey based dressing...oh and I almost forgot to mention that I also baked two cakes, one coffee and walnut and the other orange and ginger.. My own recipes!
The third star was our son. He had ferried his father on the back of his motor scooter and helped him to buy drinks, source ingredients, and buy a huge sheet of white tarpaulin that was to be used as a make shift shelter to prevent our guests from getting wet as they selected food from outside to be eaten at the tables we had arranged in the children's sitting room. Surprisingly though, our guests decided to sit outside in the back garden, warmed slightly by the barbecue and the body heat shared between 37 people and so child number 2 helped return the tables and chairs to the garden. He then demonstrated the skills he had acquired from waiting tables at a local,taverna during those past long school summer holidays that lasted 3 months. He made sure that everyone had a drink and he did so with a smile but he also had his own guests who brought with them youth, energy and beauty. Infact the evening turned into quite the talent show. One of his friends, a fourth star ,brought out the bouzouki and serenaded us with romantic melodies that inspired my sister in law to sing...and she has a voice...not quite Adele but a close runner, good enough to sing in the Aegina choir and to sing solos at municipal functions...good enough to sing without instrumental backing , excellent enough to become the voice that spellbinds 37 people into silence!
The talent continued when one of our Russian friends, our final star, a professional concert pianist was able to turn our tired grossly untuned piano into an instrument that emanated pure cultural musical beauty and it was this symphony of piano, bouzouki and voice that was able to bring the party of people together, to create the shared joy of celebrating Mr L's namesday, International style, on Aegina

 

Alison Lorentzos                                                             copyright 2016

 

 

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