Last week, we were part of one big happy Greek family. Our hosts were welcoming in every way and left us with an amazing taste of Greece. Upon arrival our host, Giannis, picked us up from the airport and I started asking all the questions, especially where to eat.
Giannis proceeded to tell us that all the food in the restaurants didn’t compare to his Grandmother’s home cooking. He told us how she cooked for her ten children and all their children and how she was the best cook on the island. Unfortunately his grandmother is no longer with us, but he learned from his Grandmother and taught his wife her tricks of the trade. Of course, I then asked how we could taste the best food on the island.
Two days later, they threw the guests of the house a dinner party. We sat outside at a long table filled with wine, greek salad, feta cheese, bread, tzatziki, vegetable patties, green beans, fava bean dip…the works. We stuffed ourselves and then realized the main dish, Pastitsio (a Greek pasta bake), was yet to come.
The food was delicious, as Giannis said it would be. But, after our meal I realized the meaning behind his sentiments about his family’s home cooking. A Greek meal isn’t the same if it isn’t cooked with love, and isn’t shared with loved ones.
Our restaurant meals on the island were good, maybe just as good, but they weren’t made with the love from a happy home. A little love put into food gives it an extra special flavor, have you noticed it?
I have. I love eating out for a change, but I’m always ready to get back to my kitchen. Eat what I’ve made with love for my family and friends. Or eat my dad’s BBQ that he enjoyed relaxing while cooking, or my grandma’s sauerbraten that she’s prepared for days. You don’t get that with takeout. Or at most restaurants. You don’t get that homemade goodness.
So, next time you are home, take a few minutes extra to make dinner and see how it compares. Make whatever your heart desires, or this Greek salad. It’s easy and tasty too, especially if made with your own two hands, or the hands of a loved one.
- 1 lb // 400 grams tomatoes of choice, chopped in bite size pieces
- (beefsteak and cherry work well)
- 1 cucumber, seeds removed and chopped in half moons
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Handful of olives
- 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Block of feta cheese
- Combine all ingredients except for the feta cheese. Place the feta cheese on top of the salad, or on a separate plate. Sprinkle the feta with a bit more oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.