Never go on trips with anyone you don’t love….Ernest Hemingway "I am not a glutton -- I am an explorer of food." Erma Bombeck (1927-1996)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Will be way... for a short while

Will be away for a while going back to France for a month or so...
I do not have my own connection and my own kitchen...
Will be back soon!

And for those who find themselves at Cote D' Azur this restaurant La Mere Germaine is located at one of the most beautiful bay, Villefranche, between Nice and Monaco.

Au revoir!

Simply Quick Baked Fish

I was walking down the road when I pass the fishmongers and saw wonderful seabass (loup de mer) glistening, calling me “am fresh am fresh” For 13€ a kilo it wasnt too bad, got 2 pieces and ask him if he could clean the fish for me. Walking towards home my mind was swimming of LOUP DE MER EN CROUTE DE SEL.

Ever since Stel posted her Salt Baked Chicken my gastrofantasy was going in and out of the salted baked fish, which I discovered few years ago when I was working in France. On my visit few months ago at the organic shop I bought Atlantic sea salt. But oh, my salt wasnt enough to cover 2 pieces of sea bass. With a broken heart I opted for another baked fish.
The cooking is uncomplicated, it simply involved chopping some chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic and strips of green peppers.

1)Season the fish inside out with salt and herbs to compliment the Mediterranean vegetables
2)Oil a large dish and sprinkle chopped onion, garclic, parsley and some herbs.
3)Lay the fish
4)Scatter more chopped onions, garlic, parsley over the fish.
5)Pile chopped tomatoes, strips of gree pepper, if you want add some black olives. 6) Pour more olive oil and maybe some white wine (optional) or
7) Cook in pre heated over at 220C, baste the fish at intervals.

Mine was cooked over half an hr When fish is done it can be served straight from its baking dish. This post is still a part of Emy birthday wish. She kept asking for a simple easy cooking.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Squid with Tomato Sauce

Yesterday, my husband suggested we drive to the eastern part of Attica, to be exact our main destination is Rafina. A drab port really but it offers a gastronomic appeal. The area is so tacky due to seaside development but the fishing harbour has attractive spots of SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS.

Markus wanted to check the prices of the fish market there, in between each restaurants are fishmongers. He just thought some restaurants in Athens over charge you for fish. Anyway I would say its 10euro less out there. We had a small lunch along the harbour(post will follow). After lunch I bought squids prices differ some sells 20euro a kilo the others 22. We walked up and down comparing at the end it was not the price that justified our choice but the freshness.

Markus said would be great to do some stuffed squids. To be honest I have not done stuffed squid but if I had to do the greek way its rice and herbs. I was thinking of stuffing them with vegetables. But oh I did not have enough vegetables, must wait for the Saturday market. I went through some cookbooks Italian, Thai and even a spanish recipe of Squid paella caught my eye. But I will be travelling again soonest. I need a bit of overdose of Filipino food.

Besides its too hot to do a lot of work in the kitchen. I suggested that squid adobo will be perfect, ha am thinking of easy cooking here. Well just about to cook Karen logged in and we talked about food as usual. She suggested ADOBO TAPOS I GISA SA MARAMING KAMATIS. Adobo then stewed with lots of tomatoes. I told her I haven't done that but am sure its tasty. My adobo by the way is my own conconction. I go beyond the basic recipe of adobo of vinegar and garlic.I washed the squids properly and separated the ink sacs. That time I was still contemplating of adding it or not.

Here's how I did it:
1) Slice the squids

2) 3 cloves of garlic squash

3) some bay leaves

4) spring onions

5) small ginger peeled and thinly sliced

6) vinegar & a dash of soya

7) salt and pepper

8) black peppercorns

Mix them with the squids and gently simmer. Since the squids are very fresh they do not need a long time to cook, otherwise you will have a rubbery squid. While waiting, I sliced some riped tomatoes. Heated up the pan with virgin olive oil, added the tomatoes then transfered the squids to the simmering tomatoes.
Voila a delicious adobo with stewed tomatoes. When I served it Markus actually said its similar to the Greek way.

I have forgotten that the Greeks do cook this way but they mostly use cuttle fish SOUPIA ME SALTSA...and they put some rice to the simmering squid or cuttlefish till it absorbs the liquid. I served it on hot steaming jasmine rice and it felt so good!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Eggplant Salad

Way back April when I was still in Norway, Market Man of Manila posted on his terrfic food blog about Grilled Eggplant Salad

I knew I would have to wait for a while before I will have a chance to do this. First because I hardly saw good aubergines in Oslo and secondly I wanted good sweet tomatoes that has ripen under the Mediterranean sun.

It is very easy to do and very refreshing. I used a good balsamic vinegar and served this aubergine salad with roast chicken.
Market Man said this salad will go with seafood as well.

My husband was expecting a greek melitzano salata where the "meat" of the aubergine is reduced to a pulp and serve as dipping.But he loves this, so did I (I hated aubergine when I was young!)

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Stel of Baby Rambutan her post dated 14th of July, wrote about kakainin and she mentioned maja blanca (BLACMANGE OF CORN AND COCONUT CREAM) maja blanca is a popular afternoon snack lumped in the kakanin section of my memory of the items my ma or lola (grandma) would bring home as uwi (take home gift) from the wet market.

And she "dedicated" the recipe to me. The very next day I went to the Asian store and bought the things I need. But I was so caught up with unexpected things.

Corn Kernels, corn and coconut mixture, I used whisk to prevent lumps, and cooling down.

But today my good friend Emy, a high school classmate at Science High, Cebu (Philippines) has a birthday. Emy a paralegal whose office is at Beverly Hills, LA, is a busy woman and she said cooking has become so tiresome. We chatted and she asked me "if I were to ask you what would you cook or bake me for my birthday , what would it be?"
I know she loves Maja Blanca, my worst nightmare. I told her I will do my best to create a good maja blanca. My friend Boni who was here thought I was really losing my marbles.

She said in between measuring and stirring, "why are you torturing yourself with this heat." Yes its almost 37C. But because I was roasting some chicken ( I need the chicken for my salad tomorrow). Also took the chance to roast some aubergine after seeing Ting Aling's Tortang Talong, the heat in the kitchen was a bit unbearable.

I can already tell from my mixture I wouldn’t need much of gelatin . I have an agar agar stick - never in my life I used this. So I text Celia Kusinera in UK to guide me how much water I need etc.

The only difference I made from Stel’s recipe is I placed some corn at the bottom of the mould. And I used the savarin mould instead of flan mould because I love the scalloped look of the bottom.
But when I showed it to my husband he said YOU WILL HAVE A HARD TIME UNMOULDING THAT. Ouch!!!… he suggested to freeze it before unfolding.

From the taste of the mixture I know I have a good Maja Blanca. I sat down to analyse my previous blunders.
The other recipe I used didn’t mention corn starch. But I also thought of the coconut cream. I probably have used the coconut milk that explains the watery mixture I had.
This time too, I have a fabulous coconut cream.from Malaysia, a present from Bayi when he came. It’s the best I have ever tasted ( in a box). Growing up in the Philippines I cannot recall using canned coconut cream. Our house is surrounded with coconuts. Bayi said to me his wife doesn’t use this as well because she uses freshly grated coconut. But of course he couldn’t bring me fresh coconut cream, he brought instead the best what Malaysia has to offer Ayam Brand (read more) and the box says Perahan Pertama - First Press Milk.

At this time of writing my maja blanca is cooling inside the fridge. I will post another photo tomorrow when I will put roasted coconut on the top.


Thank you Stel, hope you are enjoying your short break.
Thank you Cecile for all the emails we have exchanged (no need to guess the contents of our mails)

Terima kasih Bayi for the tasty coconut cream.

When my husband saw my oven grilled aubergines he said "fancy some aubergine salad tomorrow?" We normally make the greek melitzanosalata, but I thought why not try Market Manila's grilled eggplant salad. Think I will do both.

Overview of Maja Blanca

I took some of the maja blanca to some Swiss friends and as usual they were curious. I was asked what it is and the nearest equivalent I could find is BLANCMANGE. I did explain that instead of milk I used coconut milk. They all love it.

Blancmange (bluh-MANHZH) is a pudding made of cornstarch, milk, vanilla, and sugar. Gelatin is substituted for the cornstarch. The mixture is poured into a mould, chilled and unmoulded. Served with sweet sauce or fresh fruit.

So I explained I used sweet corn and coconut cream and the conversation that afternoon was on Filipino food. And guess what they requested next time I visit them: spring rolls.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Mung Beans & Munggo

My sister Tara and her husband Nick just came back recently from their short break driving around Killin, north west of Glasgow, around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
They hiked, toured and stayed at wonderful BB’s they found along the way.

And they have been a wee tired from the trip and just want to eat something homey and comforting.
I myself after days of travel all I could wish for Is a simple Filipino dish that will set me back to my childhood days in the Philippines.

Munggo! Mung beans. Since I am not a food writer simply a passionate food lover I will try my best to describe how I cooked this food.

I washed the mung beans and place them in a pot of water and boil.
As soon it starts to boil I threw the water away and used a fresh one, simply boiling the beans till they become soft just enough to become mushy.

On another pot, I sautéed the garlic, onions and thinly slices of pork till tender. I added the softened cooked mung beans and stir it constantly on low fire.

I seasoned with salt and pepper, just before serving I added some spinach.
Karen of the Pilgrims Pots and Pans has told me that I should try this with chives, but we didn’t have chives.

In Philippines this is normally served with dried fish, some aunts of mine in Cebu even cooked this mung beans with smoked fish (tinapa) instead of meat.

I have brought some dried fish snack from Norway called TORRFISK, one with hyse - haddock and the other with torsk- cod. I drizzled them with a bit of olive oil and placed the dried fish in the oven.

Well it was a wonderful lunch, Nick just love it and ate the dried fish with gusto.


After a very Filipino lunch with mung beans my sister went craving for a Filipino sweet or dessert. My sister makes the wonderful leche flan, but she said too much calories but she even toyed the idea of Yemas. So I told her to check
Karen's Pilgrims Pots and Pans and Sassy's Pinoy Cook. pages for yemas.

We needed condensed milk but she said why not just check what we have in the cupboard and create from what she got. Well it turned out we have glutinous rice, grated and …. Coconut and sesame.

Palitaw. Palitaw literally means to float. Once the glutinous rice mixture floats it means its cook. So she asked if I have a recipe, I said no recipe needed on this. But if you want check Pinoy Cook. I know Sassy must have this. So she said Sassy has this proportion 5 cups flour 3 cups water.. click here to get the recipe

Ok we started measuring but I told her I do not want to make a lot we probably need to reduce the measurements. Also since the kind of rice flour might be different, I just keep checking the consistency. I applied what I do when kneading a dough, like sprinkling a bit of flour so you can lift the dough. As long I can make little balls of the mixture and wont stick on my fingers then I got it right.

For a twist I served half of it with grated coconut and half with desiccated coconut.
Palitaw was served with home made iced tea from brewed Celestial Seasoning tea we had delicious snacks yet so simple.
It rejuvanted all of us and soon everyone back to the garden pottering around.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Whats on my shelf?

Ah cookbook meme, I knew it will not be long before I will be tagged. And not once but twice, first by
Lady Charlie's Cookshop and today by Market Man of Manila. But before I go on I will write about the cookbook I created when I was young.

When I was in my early 20's and struggling between jobs to pay rent and live day per day, I couldnt afford books. But my friends would lend me theirs and sometimes the American family I used to babysit gave me magazines. I would copy the recipes and cut the one from the magazines. This is a writing book I turned into a cookbook. I cut a page from a magazine if not mistaken an advert of a pre made chinesse sauce. Inside I made drawings of knives, pots and pans. I wrote subject FOOD.

So lets now move to our cookbook meme.

1. Total number of cookbooks I own.
Between mine and my husband’s we have over 90 cookbooks in our shelf but am sure there are more either at the magazine basket or under the bed, bed side table.
Also we have 3 boxes of our things arriving from Norway and some of our books are still on the way.

I also buy and collect food magazines, Saveur, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit,Cooks Illustrated

BBC Good Food, Waitrose Food Illustrated, Food & Travel,
Swiss Food Magazines: Salz & Pfeffer, D’Chuchi, Le Menu (so Koch die Schweiz)

French: I could barely speak but THURIES GASTRONOMIE. it’s a great magazine for innovative French cooking

Magazines with food related issues like Conde Nast Travels and Decanter

One of our favourite cookbook. For me because of its stunning photography as for my husband because he shares Keller’s view on cooking itself. For those who understand food this is a brilliant book and for us this is our dream to have a meal at the French Laundry one day.

2. Last cookbook I bought.
- The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America - Michael Ruhlman.Not a cookbook but it’s a book how one becomes a good chef. It will also make you appreciate the labour of the kitchen crew.

-Culinary Artistry-A. Dorenburg Van Nostrand Reinhold
This is not a cookbook as well , it's about matching food with the flavour, decorations etc. I always believed successful chef are visually artistic.

-The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection Michael Ruhlman
What drives a good chef? Passion, dedication? There is an interview here about Keller's dream his visions and what made French Laundry a success.

3. Last food/cook book I read.

I just been reading Flavours of the Philippines by Glenda Rosales_ Barretto

I take books to the bedroom and one is FOOD MANIA. An extraordinary visual record of the art of food. Got this at the British Museum just couldn’t resist it.

4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me.

1)Time Life Books on Good Cooking - Cakes and Pastries & Patisserie

Both books are about 20 years old but it has all the fundamentals of baking with great illustrations.
These are my Bible. It guided me how to make pies, cakes. There was a time in my life I need to supplement my earning, I baked cakes and this has helped me tremendously.

2) Food Lover’s Companion
Its not a cookbook but a list of definitions on food, wine and culinary terms. Even has a guide has to pronounce foreign words. I carry this everywhere and helps a lot with this food blog too.

Delia Smith's Summer & Winter Collection, Roux Brothers Patisserie,French Country Cooking, Cooking for Two,Easy Sushi, Conrad Gallagher's One Pot Wonders, Kenneth Lo's New Chinesse Cookery Course ( he owns a brilliant Chinesse restaurant in London at Chelsea)

3)My mothers photo copy of Philippine Fiesta Recipes by
Leonarda Belmonte and Perla del Mundo
A great reference, sometimes my sister and I go through the pages and check the Filipino food we never tried nor cooked.

There is another here (photocopy and binded) no title except on the first page it says FIESTA FARES.
The recipes are in alphabetical order. It starts with ARROZ A LA CATALANA.I don’t think my mother finished copying the actual book it ended with Sweet Meat Tortilla.
Must be over 20 years old.

Can I make it 5?

5. Cooking in Switzerland by Marianne Kaltenbach.
My connection to the country of my citizenship , a real gastronomic tour through Switzerland.
Whenever I have this missing Switzerland thing, I open the book and try to experiment on Swiss food. Sometimes I just dream….

5. Which five people would you like to see fill this out in their blogs?

Stel our Beloved Master Chef of Boston

Thess of Eets Makelijk

yes I didnt forget her but thought she has been tagged earlier but I do want to know whats on her shelf, knowing she has a wide knowledge of food and cooking. I am sure she has lots of books on plants and herbs too knowing her dream to own a big farm one day.... so lets include

Stef Foodie.

So readers lets soon visit Stef and see whats on her collection.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Global Pinoy Food Bloggers

Blog o Rama The Global Pinoy Food Bloggers

This week, Manila Bulletin's Blog O Rama continued with their feature on Pinay food bloggers who are scattered all over the world and yet remain Filipino in spirit.

Ajay's writing on the wall.

Annalyn the feature writer of this Blog O Rama is also a foodie herself. On her page at Ajay's writing on the wall she has section titled : MUNCHIN MANILA. She checks the latest restaurants at Manila or sometimes time willing creates some dishes as well.

Other than myself the featured bloggers are:

Thess of Eet smakelijk says, she just happen to learn how to cook when she left Philippines and has been experimenting dishes. She applies her creativity (she creates web design and templates) the way she represents her dishes too and her favourite client is her Dutch father in law, Joop!

Next is Master Chef Stel of Baby Rambutan. Stel claims to be an obsessive cook. Stel is really a wonderful person to deal with and we have shared a lot of ideas.She does magnificent Filipino cooking as well as international cuisine. Other than that she is willing to try brains, eyes, tails... and one day we will have a culinary holiday together. A very daring one and she has a demanding clienteles, her lovely family who are also her critics.

Minette's Lafang List

I recently just discovered
Minette's Lafang List, from
Karen's Pilgrims' Pots and Pans. Karen tagged Minette on her cookbook meme and described Minette,
a certified foodie, another disciple of Doreen (she and Bea were blockmates in school) who may have interesting stories to tell.

Speaking of Karen,before I knew this was online, she scanned the actual newspaper and sent us this

Thank you Ajay.

For those who didnt see last week's part 1 of the Food Bloggers edition you can find it

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Oxtapodia Octopus

LastJune 29th,Market Man of Manila posted on his wonderful food blog about Inihaw na Pusit - Grilled Squid

I asked him if octopus is popular in the Philippines as I could not even remember having such delicacy inspite the fact we lived near the coastline.

"Amazing you should ask! At the market last weekend they had several small octopus for sale but I didn’t know how to tell if they were fresh and how to cook them! Have any easy ideas? I see them occasionally in the markets, not that often…perhaps our reefs are not as hospitable as they used to be."

Octopus at Ouzeri Pireaus, Athens.

To answer Market Man of Manila how to tell if they are fresh, I suggest if you could hold and smell it, then its the best way. Octopus should smell like a sea... must have the aroma of salt water and if you look at the skin, it should glisten.

The photos above shows how the Greeks air dry the octopi (is that meant to be the plural of the word?) It has been probably been beaten against the rock to soften them.

Soon they will be grilled and slice thinly serve with lemon and olive oil.

I know there are many ways of preparing this food but I like the Greek way of either grilling or boiling them then marinated with olive oil and lemon.

How you do yours?

Cooking Meme

I have been tagged by Stel of Baby Rambutan. She is just curious how I learn to cook or rather she wants to know some gory details of my kitchen disasters. Ok then lets have some fun

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?

Does cooking rice count? I mean before I learned to cook this was the thing I must learn foremost.
I cant remember how old I was, maybe around 8 years old or younger.
And we used wood for the dirty kitchen the typical one in Philippines that is outside the house.

I either have burnt it or undercooked it. Why? I was jealous with other kids playing and I have to keep an eye on the rice. Cooking then at that age wasn’t a pleasure but an obligation.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?

Difficult question. My mother was a good cook but did not have much time, being a single mother she had to work but on weekends it was a ritual she cooked for us.
We had a simple life and that time to have pancit on weekends it was a treat.

My mother was the one who taught me how to buy fresh fish and to check the freshness of the produce.
My maternal grandmother was an excellent cook but she lived in Manila and we lived in the South.
We saw her once a year and I would be waken up early to go with her at Pasig Market.
Then I would watch her cook, I cant remember her teaching me but I kept an eye what she was doing.

Then we moved to Greece my mother didn’t work so she took the pleasure of cooking. We would experiment together in the kitchen. She ordered a series of Time Life Good Cook books. We would flip through the pages and see what we could do.

Lastly my husband … he has taught me a lot on western cooking and baking as well. He taught me techniques and am a good student. I give him ideas and we create things together. He is such a joy in the kitchen.

Do you have an old photo as "evidence" of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?

All childhood photos wiped out during a storm in the Philippines. Shame

But here is one of me Xmas 2001 Genoa, Italy on freezing day we were baking tons of cookies for the crew.

Baking christmas cookies.

Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?

Well nothing has made my palms sweat. I just panic and call my husband for help. But honestly there is a Filipino dish I can never get right.
MAJA BLANCA. I have tried and failed. And I will try again and again.

I was scared last Christmas if I could pull through with the preparation, my husband was away in the Caribbean and we stuck to the menu. Roast Duck, home made gravy, the night before I did a mental run what I need to do first in the kitchen.

Woke up early and with a military precision with notes of course which goes first.. I pulled it through!

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?

My mother’s Phillips hand blender which we have for 20 years now. We really took care of that and its still working.
My Global knife which I hide from others only I could use it.
And the hand whisk I found in Switzerland.

Biggest letdown would be.. Cant remember we have thrown most of the junks. My husband keeps an eye what I buy for the kitchen since then I don’t have those junks.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like and probably no one else.

Well nothing really weird but I have come to love the Scandinavian way of eating meat with cranberries.

But we cook Western cuisine and always with a pot of soya on our table.
If you have to ask my husband this he probably would say WHY YOU PUT SUGAR ON THOSE AVOCADOS?

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don't want to live without?
Pasta, Fish, Garlic

3 quickies:
favorite ice cream - anything with coffee flavour
you will probably never eat - horse meat
signature dish - Noodle dishes (pancit my husband just said when I asked him)

tag 3 people

Everyone’s taken. Let me try ..........
CheH ,Petite

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ice Bowl

We went to visit our friends Bea and Momo at Bricket Wood, St Albans, UK. My husband and Momo went for a walk around the garden where Momo works. They came back with some beautiful flowers of BORRAGE or BORAGE

Here is a description of this flower from a botanical site I found

The plant is rough with white, stiff, prickly hairs. The round stems, about 1 1/2 feet high, are branched, hollow and succulent; the leaves alternate, large, wrinkled, deep green, oval and pointed, 3 inches long or more, and about 1 1/2 inch broad, the lower ones stalked, with stiff, one celled hairs on the upper surfaces and on the veins below, the margins entire, but wavy. The flowers, which terminate the cells, are bright blue and star-shaped, distinguished from those of every plant in this order by their prominent black anthers, which form a cone in the center and have been described as their beauty spot. The fruit consists of four brownish-black nutlets.

Borrage flowers, preparing the ice bowl, frozen ice bowl and ice cube with borrage.

These flowers are great on your salad bowl or for desserts. You can crystallize them and imagine a dainty cup cakes with these flowers?

Anyway I mentioned to them I never made that ice bowl you see on magazines. Bea immediately look at her cooking decor books and immediately we swung into action.
To add color leaves of PINEAPPLE SAGE were added.

Borrage photo from

Here’s how to have some fun:

1. Take two glass bowls, one slightly smaller than the other.

2. Place the smaller one inside the larger bowl.

3. Put two strips of heavy duty tape across the top of the bowl to make a cross shape.

4. Using a jug, add some water to the gap

5. Slide the flowers and the leaves, use a stick to place them

6.Add more water, watch how the smaller bowl rises. Stop adding water when the smaller bowl has risen and is level with the big one

6. Place your bowls in the freezer until the water has frozen.

7. When the water has frozen, take the bowls out of the freezer and run under cold water. This will loosen the bowls around your ice.

Fill the bowl what ever you fancy!
Oh we made some ice cubes too.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Mezopoleion Naxos- Psirri , Athens

Last June 7th the day I finally met Bayi and his wife, I decided to take them around Athens which is not on the tourist guide list. For almost a week in, they were toured to the key ancient sites, the Acropolis, the Hadrian Arc, Athens Academy and had their dinners mostly at Plaka, the old district of Athens which is very touristy.
I wanted to show them the Athens where the Eastern Culture still has a great influence on this chaotic but glorious city. I decided to take them to Athens Central Market and its back street.

Bayi family checking the Greek market

We got off the trolley and walked towards the market, stopping at bakery to buy TIROPITTA. Greek cheese pies are normally just filled with feta but the one we got has 4 cheeses on it. As they were not hungry we shared a pita which I asked the lady to cut into portions.
At the entrance of the wet market are stalls for dried fruits and nuts. I got into talking to the owner asking him for the best quality of his dried figs. Mrs Bayi loves them and as usual chatter chatter, you cant get away from the Greek merchants especially as they are so proud of me being Filipina and chatting the world away in Greek.

Wine jugs

I took them to the meat section the Alladin’s cave of the flesh, They saw a whole of lamb with its head, rabbits with their cute furry tails against the skinless body (yuck as Melony said). The olives, anchovies and Bayi said the smell is like Malaysian markets.
Then we went to the vegetables and fruit stalls where the smell is less pungent. My husband has joined us this time and we went on walking along Evripidou st. Spice shops, household goods, wine pitchers in which I explained to them you buy a caraffe wine by kilo in Greece.

Greek potato salad

We aimed for Psirri, originally a working class area, you can still see craftsmen tilling at their workshops, from icon painters, copper and brass, musical instrument restoration. Psirri is also home to many exiles from the island of Naxos. I wanted to take the Bayi family to Mezopoleion Naxos.
Meze is not a full meal but rather different plates of titbits normally accompanied with wine or ouzo.

Melitzanosalata...eggplant salad with red pepper.

I slightly lost my bearing that I told Markus to have some cold drinks at the kafeneion while I look for the place. I did my mental mapping, we took the streets from the other side where I normally walk around but I did find it.
I explained to Bayi family that a different plates will come on the table.

The waiter said "ah tha sas fiaxso salata, kati prasino, patates."
I will fix you a salad something green and some potato salad.
Ok Markus said do not forget the tzatziki (cucumber yogurt mix with dill) Greek potato salad can vary, what he prepared for us has green pepper, onions and tomato but no matter what is the filling, Greek do not use mayonaisse but vinaigrette.

Tzatziki yogurt cucumber dip

More food came. Boiled octopus , sliced thinly came served with lemon and olive oil, then melitzano salata (aubergine salad dip - in fact this is where we based the aubergine salad we served on my birthday).

Oxtapodia.. oxto eight podi- foot... boiled then marinated

A kilo of white wine from barrel and more toasts - ya mas (to us) cheers ! A plate of deep fried squids and shimps arrived on the table too. Half way through this the waiter came with small glasses of tsipouro (an anise based spirit). He kept telling everyone, do not sniff and drink straight! Bayi said he was FLOATING.

Garifalo and greek basil...the basil is mainly used to ward off insects but the waiter said we deserved a nice arrangement.

Bayi you can't float we have more stuff to eat, maybe with full stomach I could put Bayi down again to earth!

Bayi is one of the reader of this blog who saw my name and link at Sassy Lawyer's Journals.

June July Posts I Owe..

I know I am slightly behind with my posts but with this sweltering heat, I prefer to go out and spend the eve with friends going out, than sit down and blog.

Also, when I was in France (am going back again by the way) I was using the internet cafe where most yacht crew hang out. And guess what? Its 5euro an hr. With all the crowd around me I do not fancy writing in the public.
But I did find out I could bring my laptop.

I did manage to catch up with the stories but I will post them one by one. The stories are well documented as I carry my faithful Filofax and my Moleskine diary with me where ever I travel.

It will back track a bit - I will fail as a diarist but the dates are well noted.

As for me I was back here in Athens last June (stopping in Zurich for a day..another story)
1)Then I met Bayi- story posted.
2)My birthday (I posted)
3)Back to UK, cooking with my sister is always a joy. Good Filipino cooking.
4)Travel and food at North East Yorkshire.
5)France- lunch at Cap D Antibes and Biot
6)Belgian Waffles
7)Les Maison des Desserts Belgium
8)Classical Austrian Cusine, a great lunch at Salzbourg.
10) Agro Tourismo at Sud Tirol

So we shall see when I will manage to post all these. Just keep coming!