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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 April 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek our local Greek Orthodox Church, so at around 11 o'clock about 50 of us, young and old, meet at the top of the street and walk up to church together. After the Anastasi service, we walk back - some with lanterns and others with cups around our candles - all in the hope of a) not burning each other and b) bringing back the holy flame to the street and into each home - so we can burn a cross into the doorway and bless our home for the year. My parents host post-midnight mass dinner for all the aunties, uncles and cousins. We sit around the table, with the holy candle flame always forming the centrepiece and red eggs, tsourekia, koulourakia and bowls of magiritsa, avgolemono and glasses of red wine filling up the rest of the space. There is lots of eating, chatting, laughing and cracking of the eggs, which is most enjoyed by the younger members of the family. Then, after a good night sleep, we wake up in the morning and do it all again. As a child I remember my pappou, my Dad and uncles waking up at 6.00 am and gathering in my grandparents’ backyard. The men would get the lamb spit fire going early and they would manually spin the lamb around, so it would cook evenly. All of the cousins would also line up to have a turn at spinning the lamb - this was part of our Easter fun. Nowadays the lamb gets cooked in an electric spit roaster and Easter Sunday is at my aunties’ house, as my grandparents have passed away. Even though times have changed, my fond memories of Easter time will never be forgotten - especially those surrounding my pappou and yiayia - they are very vivid, and around this time of year is when I miss them most. Vegan Easter tsoureki A different holiday version with lactose free dark chocolate and slivered almonds Ingredients: 14 grams of dry yeast 240 grams of coconut milk, lukewarm 240 grams of freshly squeezed orange juice 120 grams vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon mastic, grated 800 grams all purpose flour 200 grams lactose free dark chocolate, grated 100 grams white sugar slivered almonds to sprinkle Method: 1. In your mixer add sugar, vegetable oil, coconut milk, orange juice, mastic and yeast and mix for a few minutes. Add the flour and mix on high speed for about five minutes or until dough is soft and fluffy. 2. Place in a large bowl and cover well with cling wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour and a half, or until it has tripled in size. 3. Knead again gently with hands and divide into six even pieces. 4. Roll out each dough piece into a rectangular sheet and sprinkle each with grated dark chocolate. Wrap it in to a tight roll and repeat the procedure for each piece. 5. Using three pieces, form the tsoureki into a braid and transfer onto a large baking tray layered with parchment paper. 6. Repeat the same procedure with the second tsoureki. 7. Allow them to sit for about 40 minutes to inflate and then sprinkle with slivered almonds. 8. Place in a preheated oven at 180°C and cook for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Going to church with my pappou every day during Holy Week, making koulouria and tsourekia with my yiayia, and singing and dancing with them on Easter Sunday - these are the beautiful Greek Easter memories and traditions they gave and taught their children and grandchildren. So I am slowly coming to understand the meaning of ‘the circle of life’. As now it's our parents’ and our generation’s turn to try and continue these beautiful Greek traditions, customs and values to pass on to our children. This Sunday there will be a huge THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 APRIL 2015 21 FOOD feast of lamb, kodosouvli, pites, galatopita, sikotia, red eggs, tsourekia, koulouria and more to eat. Mostly there will be lots of laughs, Greek music and a celebration of life, love, family and faith. Wishing you all Kalo Pasxa and Kali Anastasi - from my family, to yours. * For more recipes, style advice for mums and bubs, decoration tips, places to be and lots of fitness guides, go to mummyslifeandstyle.com Three generations of Greek women living in Australia, holding on to the Easter traditions. Penny Zalalas, her mother Niki and her daughter Nikoleta. An Easter tsoureki no-one can resist. Penny’s Easter eggs.
18 April 2015