During the month of May, Kali Orexi ran a social media campaign called the “Meri Month of May.” Meri in Greek means “region.” People often say when talking about food, traditions, anything from their region of Greece << είναι από τα μέρη μας>> (ine apo ta MERI mas) meaning “That’s from our REGION”!
Each day during the entire month of May, I posted unique regional Greek dishes to the Kali Orexi social media platforms. The dishes were divided into 4 categories and each week I focused on one of the categories. Week 1 I focused on Desserts. Week 2 I focused on Greek pies “pites” and celebrated a Greek Pie Drive! Week 3 we learned about trahana and I shared lots of new recipes with trahana. For Week 4 we shared recipes that include Flour and/or Feta as one of their main ingredients! Some of the recipes were shared by my beautiful Greek-Melbourne co-bloggers; some were shared by members of the Hellenic diaspora around the world; and some were my family recipes.
It was a celebration of both the incredible depth and breadth of Greek cuisine and the unity of the global Hellenic community.
Katoumari is the “Queen of all Kazzie Sweets”! It’s a most revered celebration sweet, from the island of Kastellorizo, that is made for special occasions such as weddings, engagements and christenings – celebrations that are called Chares (‘Joys’) in Greek.
Warm, flakey, butter-laden layers of pan-fried fillo pastry are sprinkled generously with sugar and ground cloves and are served to celebrate “Chares” in Kastellorizo and across the globe by the Kazzie diaspora.
Wonderful Ros Kazacos expertly takes us step by step through the process of making this sweet. Watch the full video on YouTube and make this decadent and delicious Kazzie sweet now to celebrate life!!!
When I was 22 years of age, I went on an extended back-packing trip around the world. While I was away, Eugene (my mostly good man) asked my mum to teach him how to make fillo pasty. He was 23 years of age and already concerned that this skill would be lost to future generations due to changing priorities and shifting life-styles. When I returned from my trip and heard this, I decided I needed to learn too. I am actually not a competitive person, but it didn’t feel right that I hadn’t taken the time to learn this skill from my mother and that it really was my responsibility to maintain this skill and one day pass it on to the next generation.
Since that time 30 years ago, I have made mostly one type of pita – prasopita – leek pie. It really is my favourite. Leeks are so sweet and juicy when cooked in olive oil and their flavour is so morish!! I can’t get enough of them.
The video created for this recipe gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make this delicious pita, including how to roll your own fillo pastry. Rolling your own fillo pastry is a skill that can be developed with patience and perseverance. Your first two or three sheets of fillo may be a little holy and odd shaped, but before you know it, you will understand how much pressure you need to apply to the fillo to stretch it out and when it needs to be dusted with extra flour, because it’s getting too tacky to work with. Layer by layer your pita will come to life, and the joy and satisfaction you experience when you sit down with friends and family to share the fruits of your labour, will be enormous.
The day Lucia filmed me making the prasopita, Ilyana was at home, and without discussion or warning, she joined me in the kitchen and had a go at making fillo. I hope you will be as curious and courageous as her and have a go too!
How Kali Orexi began…
A few years ago, I offered some of my mum Antigoni’s ntomatofai (tomato-eat dish) to my friend Sara. Sara enjoyed the ntomatofai so much, she asked if my mum would teach her how to make it. As it was also one of my favourite dishes and I had yet to learn it, I organised a cooking lesson for both of us. When other friends heard about this cooking lesson, they also wanted to join. The numbers grew, so the venue changed from my mum’s kitchen to my kitchen (now the kitchen used in filming Kali Orexi). Read more…