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Blog - It's all Greek to me!!!!

Life in Greece with a Jewish twist


We have a tradition at our Shabbat dinner, to go around the table and each guest introduces him/herself… this often spurs a lot of laughter and many times is the occasion to find unexpected connections between the guests. The world is small, and the Jewish world… even smaller!

People have discovered that they are second cousins, that they work in the same field, that they studied in the same universities and knew the same people, one lady recognized a visiting girl as the daughter of an old friend… And many many more such “coincidences”.

I remember, Rosh Hashana a few years ago, a family from Australia introduced themselves and told us they were cruising the Greek islands. I have no idea why they decided to mention as well that they had to give regards to an Italian waiter in Santorini, but could not find the guy. From the other end of the table, a man spoke up: “I’m the Italian waiter from Santorini!!!” Unbelievable, isn’t it?

Well, this Friday evening, among all the teachers (formal and informal) present for dinner, Margot told us that she works in an ecologic farm in Israel, Adam and Hava, and is involved with a special educational program… Young Canadian Karly, sitting right next to Margo, could not hold back her excitement: she had been trying to reach this program for weeks, and was desperate to join this exact farm!! What a coincidence! Or should we say a “G-d incidence” another one of these situations where G-d arranges us to be exactly where we need to be and to meet the people we need to see…

In Hebrew, the word for “by chance” – “Mikre”, has the same letter as “Me-Hashem Kara”, it happened from G-d”… and this is not by chance!

The more we are in tune with these little signs of G-d-s intervention in our lives, the more we see them and can appreciate them….

Have you ever encountered such “coincidences”?

Spanish Purim

Purim came and passed so quickly… The children wish it would last at least a week! Purim is the Jewish carnival, but it’s more than dressing up and having fun… We celebrate the miraculous salvation of the Jews of Persia from the plot of the evil Haman, thanks to pretty Queen Esther and her righteous uncle Mordechai… so Purim is about celebrating our survival and unity: we send each other gifts of food, we give money to the poor, we listen to the Meguila and of course…. we eat a festive meal. This is after all the summary of pretty much every Jewish holiday: “They tried to kill us, we won! Let’s eat!!!!“

So Purim was a lot of fun: we held a big party on Monday evening with Sefardi style, ladino songs, sefardi traditional menu… Mendel and I dressed up as a Spanish couple… Rita Gabai Tazartes told us a little bit about the history of the Jews of Spain, and Alberto Gabai impressed us all with his musical talent playing the harmonica and the piano… Leon Gavrilidis sang a few songs, leaving us with a taste for more… Let’s not forget the quiz game animated by the wonderful M. Halegoua, which elicited a lot of laughter: “Who want to be a millionaire?” . My own question is: “Who doesn’t?!!!” J. I will put up pictures in our photo gallery this week, b”n. Then on Tuesday, we visited the old age home Resteion, where Mendel read the Meguila and then we sang and danced with the residents….

Here are 2 recipes of typical Sefardi delicacies:

Eggs Haminados:

10 eggs

Onion peels (a lot, you can get them from the market at the end of their day)

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp coffee

1/2 tbsp salt

½ tbsp pepper

Bring eggs to a boil, in a deep pot. Add all other ingredients and lower the fire. Let it simmer for at least 6 hours. The eggs will take a brown color as well as a delicious taste.

Leek cutlets (prasokeftedes):

2 kg leek

1-2 eggs

50 gr of bread crumbs or Matzah meal

Salt, Pepper

Optional: baking powder

Clean and cut the leek, discarding the ends.

Boil the leek, drain and grind it in mixer (if you have a meat grinder to make it very small, it’s even better).

Mix in a bowl with the eggs, the bread crumbs, season to taste. The mixture should not be too dense.

Form round cutlets and fry in oil, from both sides. Dry on absorbing paper.

They can be served warm or cold.

Variation: You can bake the mixture as a pie in the oven.

Bon appetit!!!!
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