Bodies of water: Lake Doxa in autumn

IMG_4448IMG_4476-copyThe obligatory shoe shot

IMG_4501-copy IMG_4529-copy IMG_4540 IMG_4544 IMG_4553 IMG_4573 IMG_4590-copy IMG_4632-copy-3 IMG_4715 IMG_4733-copy-3 IMG_4474-copyLake Doxa is in the Northern Peloponnese. It is a small lake surrounded by mountains and fir trees. In the middle, there is a little church and just opposite the lake, a monastery.

I listened to the leaves rustling, I saw water ripples before the sun went down. I smelled the scent of the moist earth. I touched the mushrooms and the reeds. This is autumn.

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Autumn: A preview

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sea

Around early September each year, I go to my mum’s summer house, near the sea, and that’s when autumn strikes me first. She gives me red grapes and the sweetest figs. The sea is cloudy but warm.

grapesalad figs

Then, a few days later there is the first drizzle and the earth smells heavenly, so I make my first hot cup of coffee in months.

IMG_9748 cafe

As it gets colder, I go to the open market on Saturday and buy quinces and pomegranates. I love baked potatoes with quinces and later on, I also add chestnuts. pomsmountains There is always a trip to the countryside in October. Lakes in autumn, there is nothing calmer or prettier when the golden trees are mirrored in them. I just walk without any purpose other than to crush the yellow leaves under my feet. On the way home, farmers sell pumpkins on the side of the road. lakelakeIoanninaforestmushroom end-of-summer-8 benchThen, there comes an evening when I watch a silly movie and I need a blanket, for the first time. Some cinnamon tea too. On Sunday evenings I make pumpkin soup with saffron. I know that in my dad’s village, olive harvest has begun.

 

(all photos are mine)

From the Greek kitchen

tessakirosVassilopitta “New Year Wish Cake” from Tessa Kiros’ book “Food From Many Greek Kitchens”, photos by Manos Chatzikonstantisvefaskitchen

Gigantes (giant beans) and doladakia (stuffed vine leaves) from the book Vefa’s Kitchen, photos by Edward Park

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Traditional Greek coffee with loukoumi sweet (my photo)
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Saganaki=fried cheese (my photo)
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Cretan salad (my photo)1111_cabbage_rolls_001

Cabbage Rolls- Lahanodolmades from the excellent blog Souvlaki for the Soul
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Fruit with Greek yogurt, the simplest dessert ever (my photo)

kolliasSeafood at Kollias restaurant (my photo)

I wanted to start off 2013 with some photos of Greek food because to me, it captures the essence of my country. I belong to the rare species of the Greek Vegetarian but I find it easy to eat in restaurants no matter what you may have heard. It’s the abundance of vegetables and fruit that makes it so.

As far as food is concerned, my wish for the New Year is that all people in my country and all all over the world, have enough nutritious, comforting food. Happy New Year!

Metaxourgeio: Where ugly things are beautiful

I found this garden in a parking lot

This poster says “Fascists keep out of our neighbourhoods”. It advertises an event against the threat of fascism in many poor (and  sometimes not poor) neighbourhoods of Athens

I went to Metaxourgeio, an “up-and-coming” area of Athens, but very different (until now) from Gazi or Psyrri. It’s where you see many ugly things that are beautiful and sometimes beautiful things that are ugly. What made me happy was that many people were outside, eating in cheap, small places and discussing how they can make their neighbourhood a better place.

 

Not just blue and white

I’ve been away for a while because there was a lot of travelling, some for work and some for pleasure. These photos are from this past weekend. I went to one of my favourite places, Lake Plastira. I’ve been there before in earlier autumn but this time the fog and the rain were constant.

I wanted to post these photos to show that Greece is not just blue and white. There’s some green and red, yellow and gold in it too. These above are my favourite colours. I love autumn. It makes magic.