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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 1 October 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER 2016 13 Hrisafi INGREDIENTS • 1 kg sultanas • 4 tablespoons sugar • 2 tablespoons ground cloves • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon • 2 cinnamon sticks • 6 whole cloves • 5-6 cups water METHOD 1. Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan with enough water to cover the sultanas and spices. 2. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved and the spices mixed through. 3. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the syrup thickens. * Shared Tips Served warm or cold in small dishes. Avoid overcooking the sultanas as they should hold their shape when being served. The Kastellorizian sweet hrisafi is one that has celebrated the coming of a New Year for many generations. Prepared on New Year’s Eve and served warm, the tradition provides reflection for the year that has passed. It is then eaten in the morning of the first day of the New Year, usually accompanied with vasilopita, representing the many new golden promises for the coming 12 months. The name of this sweet alludes to the notion of gold and its main ingredient, sultanas. What makes this recipe most memorable is that accompanied with the sweetly-spiced hrisafi was the prospect of boat building and coin collecting for young boys. Prior to the celebration on New Year’s Day, young boys across the island would collect decorative papers in order to design and construct their boat. On New Year’s Eve, the boys, armed with their creations, would knock on the doors of their neighbours, sing New Year’s songs (kalanta), and receive as a token of thanks coins from family, friends and the greater island community. Great-grandparents, from a time before world wars and foreign occupations, would celebrate this custom, with many bringing it with them to foreign lands and sharing it with new generations of Kastellorizian children. For me, the aromas of this recipe have sweetened the scent of our home on New Year’s Eve for as long as can be remembered. My father, Antonios Koufos, continued the tradition of building the boat each year, with door-knocking confined to immediate families and coins shared among the children. Allow yourself the opportunity to remember the days of old, where golden promises were only ever one day away and in the bow of a child’s paper boat. Eva Magripilis A first generation ‘Kazzie’ mum (and now a grandmother herself), Eva’s knowledge of the Kastellorizian sweet hrisafi comes from memories of her childhood, and the ancient customs her parents brought from the island in the late 1950s. FOOD RECIPE Nifi’s halva - a unique Kastellorizian traditional sweet made by a wedding couple’s relatives in the lead up to the happy day. Helen Anastasas’ version was learned from her mother Eva. PHOTOGRAPHY: RACHEL CLAIRE. FOOD STYLIST: EMMA LINDEGAARD.
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