|Posted by maja.jercic on November 10, 2014 at 3:15 AM||comments (1)|
I would like to thank you for all the hard work in the last 2 years. I learned a lot about you beautiful countries, as did my pupils and I'm happy to say that I'm glad to have met you.
Our final report was approved and we couldn't be more excited, especially since this was our FIRST project ever!
I hope to work with you on another project in the future!
Your coordinator Maja
|Posted by maja.jercic on September 2, 2014 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
After a lot of problems trying to make the videos in a proper DVD format and failing (unfortunately) without having to pay a lot of money to someone else to do it, I am pleased to say that the DVD is finally in the mail and is travelling to your addresses as we speak
|Posted by STRATOS ALEXIOU on June 17, 2014 at 4:30 AM||comments (0)|
The unique DVD collection preparted partner schools
and their team leaders from:
BULGARIA: Yuliya Georgieva—Osnovno Uchilishte "Sveti Kliment Ochridski”, Burgas
CROATIA: Maja Jercic—project’s coordinator in Osnovna škola "Spinut"- Split
GREECE: Efstratios Alexiou—11th Special Education Primary School of East Thessaloniki
ITALY: Anna Manzella—Istituto Comprensivo G. Lombardo Radice, Siracusa
LITHUANIA: Janina Adomaitiene—Palemono Vidurinė Mokykla, Kaunas
POLAND: Anna Sepioło - Publiczna Szkoła Podstawowa, Stara Słupia
SPAIN: Natacha Diaz Hernandez—C.E.I.P. Tomas Romojaro, Fuensalida
TURKEY: Salih Catal—Gulbirlik Ilkogretim Okulu, Isparta
UNITED KINGDOM: Elaine Johnson—Mere Green Combined School, Birmingham
|Posted by STRATOS ALEXIOU on June 17, 2014 at 3:55 AM||comments (0)|
The collection of the most fascinating
European folk tales and legends
I. The Jokers
II. Once upon a time in Dalmatia
III. The Twelve Labors of Hercules
IV. The Legend of Etna
V. Gediminas' Dream-the legend
of the founding of Vilnius
VI. The Legend of the Hungarian
Prince and the Deer
VII. The Legend of Bitter Pit
VIII. Turkish Legend of Maiden’s
IX. The Legend of Robin Hood
admire it. They said the house had a shape of the oak
chest that was guarded by the Black Ram. Some
complained because such luck didn't fall upon them, while
others were touched because the Child and the Woman
found each other.
No one could pass the hedge made of twelve times twelve
rose bushes without the Child's invitation.
In front of the house laid Tornjak, the shepherd Dog. His
loyalty was rewarded with the Child's goodness and the
At least, that is what was told. And maybe known and
unknown storytellers would stress the virtues in Dalmatian
stories simply because they wanted people to mind
ONCE UPON A TIME IN
Andrijana Šarolić, 6.c
People in Dalmatia have a special connection
to the past. Our origins in this region reach
as far as the end of the last glacial period.
The oldest oral traditions deal with common
people and capture the true essence of the
natives. The fact that they survive shows
disregard for whom ever thinks has the claim
over the region. There can be no claim over
the way of life.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN DALMATIA
Once upon a time, in Dalmatian hinterland, an infant
became an orphan.
The father and mother succumbed to fever. The Child was
now alone. It was too small to carry the memory of his
parents. His Uncle, with the wife and five children, moved
into their house to look after the child.
She sighed, then laughed from the heart. Suddenly, a rattle
from the chest was heard, sounding much like the echo of
her laughter. The chest was filled with shiny coins and it
suddenly became heavy. It rolled out of her hands and the
coins spilled everywhere! A house of white stone emerged
from where the chest rolled to. The house was surrounded
by a yard with a flower garden. In the yard there was a well
and a wooden dog house. Twelve times twelve bushes of
red roses surrounded the house. The Woman and Child
looked at each other in wonder. The Dog was hopping as if
he understood what was happening. A dark cloud
appeared. The Black Ram's voice sounded from it:
- Child, this is your home. You've suffered enough. Live
happily with this Woman, she deserves to be happy, too.
Twelve times twelve bushes of red roses will protect you
from evil. This Dog deserves peace, too. He was the only
one faithful to the Child.
As this was said, the cloud disappeared.
The Dog entered his dog house happily and laid down.
The Woman held the child in her arms as they walked into
their new house that was now full of everything they would
The villagers heard about the new house and came to
The Child was crying. He was afraid for the Dog and called
- Nooo! Come back! I don't need the treasure, I need you!
As soon as the Child spoke, the enchanted Ram
disappeared, the Dog got back to the Child who hugged
him. The Uncle and a few other villagers who were hidden
in the bushes ran to the oak chest. They opened it, but it
was empty! That shiny coin, as it turned out, was only a
bait to test the human greed.
They threw away the empty chest and went back to their
lives, caring neither about the Dog nor the Child, who
remained beside the stream.
The Child took the oak chest and climbed onto his faithful
friend's back. Together they went back to the village.
This time they took another path. They found a cottage
where a young Woman lived. Ten years ago she ran away
from the village, humiliated and despised because she
gave birth to a child, unmarried. She lived happily with her
Daughter until her Daughter got sick and died. The mother
didn't go back to her birthplace. She had sheep, goats and
chickens, which she earned working in other villages.
She saw a Child riding on a big Dog. She was filled with joy,
greeted them kindly and offered them fresh milk and warm
The Child told her everything he knew. He was small, but
understood what happened to him. The Woman took a look
into the chest. She opened and closed it quickly. She
thought it was nothing special.
Another reason was because the house was much better
than his own. Uncle wasn't too keen on hard work, the
woman feisty and cold, their children unloving. The Child
felt he was unwanted and one day he wandered away.
Nobody noticed he was missing.
On the eve of second day the Uncle noticed and raised a
fuss. The rest of the village joined. They started searching
with torches, calling the Child's name.
The Child wandered into the forest and fell asleep. When
he woke up, he saw a shepherd Dog. A Tornjak. The Dog
was banished from the village because some old lady
accused him of killing her sheep. They tried to stone him
for something a wolf did, but he was fast and strong, so he
managed to run away. The Child's parents knew the Dog
while they were alive. The Dog kept the entire village safe
from wolves. They knew the Dog would never hurt the
livestock. The Child’s parents always shared some of their
humble meals with him.
The Dog knew the Child. He approached him right away
and watched over him while he was sleeping. The Child
woke up, but wasn’t afraid of the Dog. He cried silently, he
was hungry. The Dog led the Child to a spring so he can
drink and freshen up.
The people were surprised as they saw the Child riding the
Dog, and they were even more surprised to see a gold coin
in the Child's hands as they reached the village. They
asked the Child to tell them where he got the gold coin, but
he couldn't say. He was too small to explain.
The people scattered through the forest and started to look
for the coins. It was said that highwaymen buried Venetian
treasure in the forest a long time ago. This time no one
wanted to hurt the Dog. They brought him along, but didn't
Winter came, one of the coldest ones that the elders
remembered. The treasure was forgotten. Until springtime.
When it got warmer, the Uncle resumed the treasure hunt
with the villagers. They brought the Dog along. At twilight,
near the stream, they saw a Black Ram lying beside an oak
chest. A spell was cast upon this Ram and he was not
afraid of a hunter's gun. He didn't let anyone go near. He
receded somewhat before the Dog.
It was nightfall so they had to go back. Long into the night,
they talked about the wonder near the stream. The Black
Ram sat beside the treasure, so that nobody could get to it.
The elders heard from their elders that no one can defeat
the Black Ram.
The villagers agreed to give up on the search, but at dawn
each would go to the stream, hoping that they would kill
the Ram or find a way to trick it.
They couldn’t possibly know that the treasure was not
meant for the greedy. Unfortunately, there was no such
person amongst the villagers. The Uncle was exceptionally
greedy. He didn't care about the Child. The Child was
always close to the Dog and the Dog was always close to
the Child. And days went by. The Dog was protecting the
Child from the aunt's fury and her children's malice.
The Uncle went to the stream with the Dog and the Child.
He tried to turn the Dog against the Ram. It was in vain.
Suddenly, the Ram spoke:
- Your efforts are futile, you no-good man! The treasure is
for the Child, for he has no one. No one, except the Dog, to
take care of him. Come and get it if you dare, you mutt!
And you scoundrel, get lost before I gore you with my
THE LEGEND OF ETNA
Author: Leonardo Spada
Class 2^ A
Istituto Comprensivo G.Lombardo Radice
This is the legend of Etna, the most important Italian volcano
which is located in Sicily.
One day, in very ancient times, Enceladus, the oldest of the giants
decided to go up in the sky to remove the power to Jupiter and
command instead of him.
His brothers tried to help him putting all the highest mountains
one on another but it was a very difficult challenge. They had
nearly achieved the aim, when Jupiter threw a lightning against
them and the mountains.
Enceladus was buried under the Etna mountain and started to
throw smoke and fire out of it.
After some time, he stopped but he is still under the volcano and
occasionally it explodes and smokes.
Siracusa, the place where we live, is not far away from the
volcano: it often happens that we see Etna smoking, and our
thoughts go out to the angry Enceladus.
Erika Senkutė, age 14
Kaunas Palemonas Secondary
The legend of the founding of
A legend is a semi-true story, which has been
passed on orally from person-to –person.
A legend has important meaning for the culture in
which it originates. A legend usually includes some
elements of truth or is based on historic facts, but
with unbelievable characteristics. Legends usually
involve heroic characters or fantastic locations.
They may also include spiritual believes of the
culture in which they are created.
The period of Lithuanian mythology started in the
15th century. The myths are usually about the
founding of the state of Lithuania. Perhaps two the
best known stories are those of the dream of the
Grand Duke Gediminas and the founding of
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and of Šventaragis,
which also is about the history of Vilnius.
According to the legend,
Grand Duke Gediminas was
hunting in the sacred forest
near the Valley of Šventaragis,
near where Vilnia River
flows into the Neris River.
Tired after the successful
hunt, the Grand Duke settled
in for the night. He fell asleep
and dreamed of a huge Iron Wolf standing on top a
hill and howling as strong and loud as a hundred
of wolves. In the morning the Duke
asked krivis (pagan priest) Lizdeika
to interpret the dream. And the
priest told him: "What is destined
for the ruler and the State of Lithuania,
is thus: the Iron Wolf represents
a castle and a city which will be established
by you on this site. This
city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and
the dwelling of their rulers, and the glory of their
deeds will echo throughout the world." Gediminas
obeyed the will of gods, built the city and named it Vilnius
– from the stream of the Vilnia River.
Author: Zuzanna Sikora
Primary School in Stara Słupia
The Świętokrzyska Land is famous for its interesting
legends and stories. One of them is called ‘The Legend of the
Hungarian Prince and the Deer’. According to the legend, St.
Emeric, the son of king Stephen I of Hungary, offered the relics
of wood from the Christ’s Cross as a thanksgiving votive for
finding way while hunting in the woods.
‘The Legend of the Hungarian Prince
and the Deer’
Emeryk was a Hungarian prince. Our King Bolesław Chrobry
invited him to Poland. Before the trip Emeryk’s father gave him the
golden relics of Saint Cross. After a long tiring trip, Emeryk came to
Kielce to one of the King’s mentions. He met there Bolesław Chrobry,
who organized the hunting. Emeryk with some knights went to the
highest mountains in the Świętokrzyskie region.
Suddenly, he saw a very large deer in the forest and
immediately ran after him. The animal tried to escape, but it could
not hide away. The Prince Emeryk didn’t give up and still chase the
animal. Then, he saw the deer trapped in the bushes. Its antlers
were entangled in the branches. The animal became too weak to
escape the Prince.
He was very happy to see the animal not able to ran away. He
looked at it closely and admired its beauty. He took out his arrow and
a bow and aimed at the deer. Suddenly, the deer looked at him and
Emeryk was surprised to see the shiny bright cross on his antlers.
Unexpectedly, the light blinded him for a moment. When he could
finally see, the animal managed to escape. The Prince called for help
because he realized he got lost. There was no answer, the hunters
could not hear him, the only thing he heard was just the echo in the
forest. It was getting darker and darker. Emeryk was exhausted and
hungry and he wanted to take some rest. Suddenly, became brighter
in the forest and the Prince saw the angel in front of him. Emeryk
was frightened and surprised to see the angel and crossed himself.
The angel told him not to be afraid and promised to take him to
the people, but he must leave there the worthiest thing he had with
him. The angel guided him to the wooden monastery on the Holy
Cross Mountain. The monks gave him some food and drink. The Prince
remembered about the promise and decided to leave there the very
special thing his father gave him before the trip. They were the
golden relics of saint cross.
After a few days he went to this monastery once again this
time with the Cracow bishop Lambert whom he gave this precious
gift. The pilgrimage of local people and monks came to the Holy Cross
Mountain’s larch church founded by Dabrówka where the bishop gave
the relics to the oldest monk. Bolesław Chrobry was very satisfied
with the gift his nephew left there and built there the church made
He brought to this place twelve Benedictine monks from Monte
Cassino and offered them the nearest villages. The relics are in this
church to the present day. The place where the church was built was
called the Holy Cross Mountain (Góra Świętego Krzyża) and the
region the Świętokrzyskie.
Check yourself and do the quiz about the legend!!!
1. What was the name of the Hungarian prince who came to
the Świętkorzyskie region?
a) Emerald b) Emeryk C) Bolesław
2. What did the Hungarian prince bring to Poland?
a) the golden relics of saint cross b) the golden statue of
Emeryk c) the wooden cross
3. What animal did the prince see in the forest:
a) a wolf b) a deer c) a wild boar
Stara Słupia, the place where we live, is just at the foot of the
Łysiec Mountain called also the Holy Cross Mountain. It’s one of the
highest peaks in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains at 595 meters.
COMENIUS PROJECT: LET´S MEET WHERE OUR CULTURES MEET”
C.E.I.P. TOMAS ROMOJARO, FUENSALIDA, TOLEDO ( SPAIN)
WRITTEN BY: INES, VICTOR, SARA AND PABLO. CLASS: 5TH GRAGE A. AGE: 10
MAİ DEN'S TOWER
One day, an oracle prophesied that she
would be killed by a venomous snake on
her 18th birthday. The sultan, in an effort
to thwart his daughter's early demise by
placing her away from land so as to keep
her away from any snakes, had the tower
built in the middle of the Bosphorus to
protect his daughter until her 18th
birthday. The princess was placed in the
tower, where she was frequently visited
only by her father. On the 18th birthday of
the princess, the sultan brought her a
basket of exotic sumptuous fruits as a
birthday gift, delighted that he was able to
prevent the prophecy. Upon reaching into
the basket, however, an asp that had been
hiding among the fruit bit the young
princess and she died in her father's arms,
just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the
name Maiden's Tower
FERHAT AND Ş İ Rİ N
According to the legend Ferhat was a
famous craftsman who lived during the
Persian time in Amasya. One day he was
called to a small palace built for Sirin,
Queen Mehmene Banu’s sister, to show his
art on its doors and walls. But something
unpredictable happened when Ferhat and
Sirin saw each other. They fell in love.
Ferhat went to Queen Mehmene Banu and
told her that he wanted so marry Sirin. The
Queen didn’t want this marriage and told
Ferhat, "If you want to marry my sister
Sirin, you must dig a huge channel right in
the middle of the Elma (Apple) mountains
of the city. Then, you must make the water
come through this channel to the city. If
you succeed, you may marry my sister. If
you fail, forget her." It was a 'mission
With the power of love, Ferhat started to
dig the mountain. But when he was just
about to finish the channel, he received a
message from Mehmene Banu: Sirin is
dead. With great anger Ferhat threw his
hammer in the air but the hammer fell on
his head and he died on the mountain he
was digging. However, the message was a
lie and after having heard about it Sirin
went to the mountain and there she saw
Ferhat’s dead body. She jumped from the
rocks of the mountain and killed herself.
Ferhat and Sirin couldn’t be together while
they were alive but now their graves are
next to each other. People believe that
every spring there are two roses growing
from each grave and while the roses are
about to touch each other, a black bush
appears in the middle of them and doesn’t
allow the roses to kiss each other.
The story begins when Cansab the wood
cutter is lowered into a well by a group of
friends to get honey. Thus, he finds
himself in Ş ahmaran’s underground world
where he is destined to stay due to his
friends abandoning him. Snakes capture
him and he appears before Şahmaran
himself. Cansab explained how he came to
be there upon which Şahmaran shares a
secret with the young man.
Cansab is then forced to stay for fear that
the secret would be told to those living
above. After very long period of time
Şahmaran gives in to the pleadings of the
young man to released back to his own
world. He is advised not to tell of what he
has seen or to go to the baths. It was said
that if he should enter the baths his skin
would turn to snake scales.
Cansab returns to his own world and for
many years tells no one of the events that
took place. However the countries ruler
become ill and Şahmaran is blamed for
the illness. Soldiers begin to look for
anyone who has seen Şahmaran. The
rulers men begin to take people one by
one to the baths where they are to wash
themselves in order to see who knows
more than what they are telling.
Cansab hides for
fear of this test
returned to the
city. When he
washes in the
baths, his skin
turns to snakes
scales and the
secret is thus
brought to light.
The man is then persuaded to reveal how
to get to Ş ahmaran’s hiding place. The
king of snakes is captured very quickly,
taken to the baths, cut into three pieces
and sent to the ruler. Upon beign cured
the ruler makes Cansab grand vizier and
as result all the snakes of the world
became the mortal enemies of mankind.
LIFELONG LEARNING PROGRAMME
COMENIUS MULTILATERAL PROJECT 2012-2014
"LET'S MEET WHERE OUR CULTURES
Partner schools and their team leaders:
BULGARIA: Yuliya Georgieva (Osnovno Uchilishte "Sveti Kliment Ochridski“,
CROATIA: Maja Jerčić - project coordinator (Osnovna škola Spinut, Split)
GREECE: Efstratios Alexiou (11th Special Education Primary School of East
ITALY: Anna Manzella (Istituto Comprensivo “G. Lombardo Radice", Siracusa)
LITHUANIA: Janina Adomaitiene (Palemono Vidurinė Mokykla, Kaunas)
POLAND: Anna Sepiolo (Publiczna Szkoła Podstawowa w Starej Słupi, Nowa Słupia)
SPAIN: Natacha Diaz Hernandez (C.E.I.P. Tomas Romojaro, Fuensalida)
TURKEY: Salih Catal (Gulbirlik Ilkogretim Okulu, Isparta)
UNITED KINGDOM: Elaine Johnson (Mere Green Combined School, Birmingham)
Visit the project's website:
The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of its publisher and does not
represent the views of the European Commission.
|Posted by STRATOS ALEXIOU on June 12, 2014 at 4:30 AM||comments (0)|
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: WINTER/ “Cheesy Chicken & Potato Casserole”
1 cup sour cream, 2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or Colby Jack cheese½ cup milk½ tsp garlic powder¼ tsp ground black pepper28 oz frozen diced potatoes (hash browns) with onions and peppers, thawed salt3 cup shredded cooked chicken4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or thinly sliced green onion
1. Heat the oven to 180C.
2. Stir the soup, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, milk, garlic powder and black pepper in a medium bowl.
3. Spread the potatoes in the baking dish. Season the potatoes with the salt and additional black pepper. Top with the chicken. Spread the soup mixture over the chicken. Cover the baking dish.
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the mixture is hot and bubbling. Uncover the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
5. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with the bacon and chives before serving.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: WINTER/ “Roasted RataToulle“ (Mixed Baked Vegetables)
2 large tomatoes, cut in ½ inch slices
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut in ½ inch cubes
2 eggplants, cut in 1 inch cubes
2 medium size green zucchini, cut in ½ inch slices
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1 green pepper, cut in ¼ inch slices
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
5 Tbs. chopped parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 180C degrees.
Layer potatoes in deep baking pan which has been coated with olive oil. Place one half of the tomato slices over the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer the next six ingredients (eggplant, zucchini, onion, green pepper, garlic, parsley) and end with the remaining tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour olive oil evenly over the tomatoes and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour in a 180C degree oven.
This tasty dish is very popular in Greece and is a summer best seller, especially when served with thick slices of feta cheese.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: WINTER / “Tabouli-Stuffed Tomatoes„
6 medium size tomatoes
1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
4 cups warm water
2 green sweet chilies, finely chopped
1 cup feta, crumbled
4 spring onions, finely chopped
4 Tbs chopped Italian parsley
1 Tbs minced sun dry tomatoes
4 Tbs olive oil
Juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper
Prepare tomatoes by cutting off a disk from the top and spooning-out the inside of the tomatoes. Gather the inside of the tomato in a mixing bowl.
In the meantime soak the bulgur into the warm water for 15 minutes. Add the softened bulgur into the tomatoes, the peppers, the parsley, the sundried tomato, the lemon, the olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix well and put the filling into the tomatoes.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: [SPRING] “Easter Soup with Lamb Offal” (Magiritsa )
1 lb/500 g lamb's liver
½ lb/250 g onions
½ bunch dill
1 ¼ cups/250 g rice
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp butter
freshly ground black pepper
• Finely chop the dill
• Cut the onion in brunoise
1. Wash the lamb offal thoroughly with cold water. Place a saucepan full of salted water on high heat. When it begins to boil add the offal. Let boil for a few minutes until half cooked and remove.
2. Strain well and cut up into small pieces.
3. Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add the finely chopped onions and cook until transparent.
4. Add the chopped offal and cook unitl lighlty browned.
5. Add the water and the herbs. Bring to a boil.
6. Add the rice.
7. Continue to simmer until the rice and offal are cooked well, and then remove the pan from the heat.
8. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl with the lemon juice, until frothy.
9. Spoon a ladel of the liquid from the soup into the egg mixture and continue beating until the egg and lemon sauce is frothy.
10. Pour this quickly into the hot soup, making sure that it does not boil or else the eggs will curdle.
11. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
*There are regional variations to this soup that contain spinach or lettuce, or don't have rice.
*Each family swears by its own recipe, which is passed down from generation to generation.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: SPRING/ “Koukia me Aginares’’: Broad (Fava) Beans & Artichoke Hearts”
In Greek: “κουκιά με αγκινάρες’’, pronounced “kook-YAH meh ahg-kee-NAH-ress”
Cook Time: 50 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes Yield: serves 4-6
• 3 1/3 pounds of fresh broad (fava) beans
• 8-12 fresh artichoke hearts, cut in half (or 8-12 whole frozen artichoke hearts)
• 1 large spring onion (or 2 small), cleaned and chopped
• 3 stalks of fresh garlic, cleaned and chopped
• 3/4 cup of olive oil
• 1/2 cup of water + 1/2 cup of water
• 1 tablespoon of sea salt
• juice of 1 lemon
• juice of 3 lemons (for fresh artichoke hearts)
Trim the ends of the beans and trim along the seam to remove the tough fiber.
If using fresh artichoke hearts, put in a bowl, salt lightly, and sprinkle with the juice of 3 lemons to prevent them from turning black.
If using frozen artichoke hearts, do not defrost before cooking.
In a pot, add the oil, 1/2 cup of water, onion, garlic, salt, and beans. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so they don't stick to the bottom.
Drain the artichoke hearts and add to the pot with 1/2 cup of water (if using frozen artichoke hearts, decrease the water to 1/3 cup). Stir well, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 40 minutes or until artichokes are fork tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add juice of 1 lemon, cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
• This dish can be prepared with shelled broad beans and tender pods only.
• Instead of the onion and garlic, add 2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: SPRING/ “Hortopitakia”: Savory Turnovers with Spinach or Greens and Herbs
In Greek: χορτοπιτάκια, pronounced “hor-toh-pee-TAHK-yah”
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
• 1 pound of spinach, fresh or frozen (washed, chopped)
• 1 pounds of fresh fennel (leaves and stems), coarsely chopped
• 1 spring onions, finely chopped
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup of water
• sea salt to taste
• freshly ground pepper to taste
• olive oil for frying
• 1/2 batch of fresh phyllo dough (or 2 pounds of puff pastry, or 25 pieces of phyllo circles, or 1 lbs of phyllo sheets)
• flour for work surface
Make the filling: Sauté the fennel and spring onions in the oil until limp. Add water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook uncovered over medium heat until the spinach wilts, about 3-5 minutes. Drain very well.
Note: Fennel requires a longer prep time than some other herbs. If not using fennel, simply sauté the onion, add water and other chopped greens and herbs, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until wilted, then drain well.
Prepare the dough: Work on a floured surface. If using homemade phyllo dough, take a piece and roll it out to the thickness of 3-4 sheets of copier paper (setting 6 on a pasta machine). If using commercial puff pastry, roll it out to the same thickness.
Form the pies: Work on a lightly floured surface with dry hands.
1. Using a saucer or other circular guide around 4 1/2 - 5 inches in diameter, cut out a circle of dough.
2. Place a heaping forkful of the spinach and herb mixture on one side of the circle (see photo).
3. Fold the other half of the circle over to form a half-moon shape.
4. Using a fork or your fingers, pinch the edge all the way around to seal. (If the dough isn't sealing well, wet fingers with water and pinch closed.)
5. As each pie is made, set on clean cloth to keep dry. (This is the point at which these can be frozen for later use. See below.)
To use commercially prepared phyllo sheets:
1. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before opening the package and using.
2. Cut phyllo sheets lengthwise into 2 1/2 to 3 inch strips (usually about 3-4 strips per sheet).
3. Cut several sheets (and more as needed) into squares.
4. Place a small square at one end of the phyllo strip and place 1 teaspoon of filling on the square, about 1 inch in from the edges (this helps keep the filling from leaking through).
5. Fold up into a triangle.
Continue until dough and filling are used (about 25 pieces for the circles, about 50 for the triangles).
In a medium to large frying pan, heat 1/3 to 1/2 inch of oil over medium-high heat. Fry to a light golden on both sides. (Add more oil between batches if needed, and wait until heated to start frying.)
Drain on baking racks placed over absorbent paper towels or in a colander, and serve.
Prepare ahead and freeze: After forming the pitakia (small pies), place on flat trays covered with a towel. Cover with a towel and foil and place in freezer. Once frozen, they can be placed in plastic bags and kept in the freezer for several months. To cook, defrost for 10 minutes and fry as above.
Yield: 25 half-moon pies, 50 triangles
More About Phyllo Dough
• Phyllo Basics: Recipe, Rolling Out
• Shopping for Phyllo
Greens in Greek Cooking
• Wild & Cultivated Greens
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: SUMMER/ “Briam” - Recipe for Roasted Vegetable Casserole in a Savory Sauce
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 Servings
• 4 large potatoes
• 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
• 2 cups tomato sauce
• A pinch of dried mint
• A pinch of dried basil
• 1 lb. zucchini, sliced in thin rounds
• 4 large tomatoes, sliced
• Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and boil the potatoes in generously salted water until nicely tender. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds and set aside.
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a sauce pan and saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the 1/2 cup wine and saute a few minutes more.
Add the herbs, tomato sauce, and about a 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
While the sauce is simmering, drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a rectangular baking pan. Layer half the potato slices on the bottom of the pan. Season them lightly with salt.
Top the potatoes with the tomato slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Next add the remaining potatoes. Season lightly with salt and top with half of the tomato sauce.
Next add the zucchini and top with the remaining sauce. Bake in a 150 degree oven for one hour or until the vegetables have cooked through and are very tender.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: SUMMER/ “Horiatiki Salata”: Greek Salad
In Greek: “χωριάτικη σαλάτα”, pronounced “haw-ree-AH-tee-kee sah-LAH-tah”
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
• 4-5 large, ripe, tomatoes
• 1 large red onion
• 1 cucumber
• 1 green bell pepper
• 1/4 pound (113.5g) of Greek feta cheese, sliced or cumbled
• dried Greek oregano (rigani)
• sea salt
• top quality extra virgin olive oil
• 1 dozen Greek olives (Kalamata, green Cretan olives, etc.)
• pickled pepperoncini hot peppers (garnish)
• 1 tablespoon of water (optional)
Wash and dry the tomatoes, cucumber, and green pepper. Clean off the outer skin from the onion, wash, and dry.
Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized irregularly shaped chunks, removing the core. Salt lightly. Slice the cucumber into 1/4-inch slices, cutting slices in half (whether or not you peel the cucumber is a personal choice). Salt lightly. Slice the pepper into rings, removing the stem and seeds. Salt lightly. Slice the onion into thin rings.
Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper and onion in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with oregano, pour olive oil over the salad, and toss. Just before serving, place the feta on top of the salad, either as a slice or crumbled (as in photo), and toss in some olives. Sprinkle the cheese with oregano (and pepper if desired), mix the oil and water and drizzle over the top, and serve, garnished with hot peppers.
Yield: Serves 4-6
• Anchovies: if you like this salty fish, add a couple to the salad before tossing.
• Capers: toss in a few if you like them.
More Salad Choices
• Simpler Version: Tomatoes & Feta
• Greek Potato Salad
• Salad with Beets & Garlic
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: SUMMER/ “Moussaka” - Classic Greek Moussaka with Eggplant
INGREDIENTS: Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
DIRECTIONS: Prep the Vegetables:
Using a sharp peeler, partially peel the eggplants, leaving strips of peel about 1 inch wide around the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in to 1/2 inch slices. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and salt them liberally. Cover them with an inverted plate that is weighted down by a heavy can or jar. Place the colander in the sink so that excess moisture can be drawn out. They will need to sit for at least 15-20 minutes, preferably an hour. The salt also helps to remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant.
• 3-4 eggplants, about 4 lbs. total
• 1 lb. potatoes
• 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or lamb)
• 2 large onions, finely diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup red wine
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
• 1 cup tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes)
• 2 tbsp. tomato paste
• 1 tsp. sugar
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
• 8 egg whites, lightly beaten (reserve yolks for bechamel)
• 1 cup grated Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
• 1 cup flour
• 4 cups milk, warmed
• 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
• Pinch of ground nutmeg
Peel the potatoes and boil them whole until they are just done. They should not get too soft, just cooked enough so that they no longer crunch. Drain, cool and slice them in 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Add a splash of water to the egg whites and beat them lightly with a fork. Add breadcrumbs to a flat plate.
Rinse the eggplant slices and dry with paper towels. Dip the eggplant slices in the beaten egg whites and then dredge them in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides. Place breaded eggplant slices on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 1/2 an hour, turning them over once during cooking.
When eggplant is finished cooking, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Make the Meat Filling:
In a large sauté pan, brown the ground beef (or lamb) until the pink color disappears. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add wine to pan and allow it to simmer and reduce a bit before adding cinnamon, allspice, parsley, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for approximately 15 minutes so that excess liquid can evaporate. It should be a drier, chunkier, tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the Béchamel Sauce:
Melt butter over low heat. Using a whisk, add flour to melted butter whisking continuously to make a smooth paste. Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.
Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously.
Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit but does not boil.
Remove from heat, and stir in beaten egg yolks and pinch of nutmeg. Return to heat and stir until sauce thickens.
Assemble the Moussaka:
Lightly grease a large deep baking pan (lasagna pan). Sprinkle the bottom of pan with breadcrumbs. Leaving a 1/4 inch space around the edges of the pan, place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Top with a layer of eggplant slices.
Add meat sauce on top of eggplant layer and sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated cheese. Top with another layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle once again with 1/4 of the grated cheese.
Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan. Smooth the béchamel on top with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Bake in a 170-degree oven for 45 minutes or until béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for 15 – 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
You can make this dish ahead up until the béchamel sauce and refrigerate. Make the béchamel sauce right before you intend to bake it.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: AUTUMN/ „LAMB FRICASSEE”
• 2 bunches spring onions, finely chopped
• 2 lettuces, roughly torn
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 or 2 lemons
• 1 cup olive oil
• 3 eggs
• 1.5 kg leg lamb, boned
• 1/2 bunch celery leaves
• 1/2 bunch dill
• salt and pepper DIRECTIONS:
-Cut the meat into pieces
- Heat the oil in a saucepan
-Brown the meat on all sides - Brown the onions
- Add 2 cups of water and bring to the boil.
Simmer until almost done. Place the vegetables, celery leaves, lettuce and dill in the saucepan.
- As soon as they are done, remove the saucepan from the heat and prepare the avgolemono [egg + lemon] sauce
- Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs
- Squeeze the lemons
- Beat the egg yolks
- Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks
- Stir the yolks into the whites
- Add the lemon juice
- Gradually add the gravy from the saucepan, stirring constantly so that the egg does not curdle.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan
- Shake the saucepan so that the avgolemono sauce covers all of the meat evenly
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: AUTUMN/ „CHICKEN WITH HONEY”
1 chicken (1-1.5 kg)
2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ground nuts (pine nuts, walnuts)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup ground almonds, 1 beaten egg
1 cup olive oil,1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp melted butter 1. Mix the nuts and beaten egg and sprinkle the basil and one pinch of black pepper over the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and stuff it with the almond mixture. Sew up or skewer the opening and tie the wings and legs close to the body. Prick the skin with a fork and brush it with the oil and honey mixture. Roast the chicken in a moderate oven (180°C), basting it frequently with the melted butter and its own juices, for approximately 1½ hours or until the juices run clear.
2. You are now ready to enjoy your chicken with honey.
COUNTRY: GREECE MENU: AUTUMN/ „Kakavia” (famous fish soup)
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 medium onions, peeled and sliced thin - 4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1,5 kg (3 pounds) cheap mixed white fish, gutted and cleaned
- Half a kilo (1 pound) shrimp, cleaned
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced - salt and black pepper - 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 6 slices thick toasted bread Heat half of the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the onions. Cook covered over medium heat until wilted, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving the vegetables and pouring the stock back into the pot. Add the fish and shrimp to the stock and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Remove the fish with a slotted spoon, de-bone it, breaking the flesh apart into small pieces. Add it back to the soup pot together with the vegetables. Add the diced potatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer the soup, partially covered for 2 hours until it becomes thick. Add more water if necessary. Sprinkle the parsley and remaining raw olive oil into the soup just before removing from the heat.
To serve, place six slices of thick toasted bread on the bottom of six bowls and ladle the soup into each of the bowls. (6 servings)
|Posted by STRATOS ALEXIOU on June 12, 2014 at 4:25 AM||comments (0)|
The Twelve Labors of Hercules
Hercules performed twelve labors given to him by King Eurystheus of Tiryns. For twelve years, he traveled all over to complete these incredible tasks. NOTE: Because different ancient poets gave their own accounts of Hercules's labors, some details may vary.
One: Kill the Nemean Lion
This monster of a lion had a hide was so tough that no arrow could pierce it. Hercules stunned the beast with his olive-wood club and then strangled it with his bare hands. It is said that he skinned the lion, using the lion's sharp claws, and ever after wore its hide.
Two: Kill the Lernean Hydra
The evil, snakelike Hydra had nine heads. If one got hurt, two would grow in its place. But Hercules quickly sliced off the heads, while his charioteer, Iolaus, sealed the wounds with a torch. Hercules made his arrows poisonous by dipping them in the Hydra's blood.
Three: Capture the Cerynian Hind
The goddess Artemis loved and protected this stubborn little deer, which had gold horns. Hercules found it a challenge to capture the delicate hind without hurting it (and making Artemis angry). After following the hind for an entire year, he safely carried it away.
Four: Capture the Erymanthian Boar
The people of Mount Erymanthus lived in fear of this deadly animal. Hercules chased the wild boar up the mountain and into a snowdrift. He then took it in a net and brought it to King Eurystheus, who was so frightened of the beast that he hid in a huge bronze jar.
Five: Clean the Augean Stables
Thousands of cows lived in these stables belonging to King Augeas. They had not been cleaned in 30 years, but Hercules was told to clean them completely in a single day. To do so he made two rivers bend so that they flowed into the stables, sweeping out the filth.
Six: Kill the Stymphalian Birds
These murderous birds lived around Lake Stymphalos. Their claws and beaks were sharp as metal and their feathers flew like darts. Hercules scared them out of their nests with a rattle and then killed them with the poison arrows he had made from the Hydra's blood.
Seven: Capture the Cretan Bull
This savage bull, kept by King Minos of Crete, was said to be insane and breathe fire. Hercules wrestled the mad beast to the ground and brought it back to King Eurystheus. Unfortunately, the king set it free, and it roamed Greece, causing terror wherever it went.
Eight: Capture the Horses of Diomedes
King Diomedes, leader of the Bistones, fed his bloodthirsty horses on human flesh. Hercules and his men fought and killed King Diomedes and fed the king to his horses. This made the horses tame, so that Hercules was able to lead them to King Eurystheus.
Nine: Take the Girdle of the Amazon Queen Hippolyte
Hercules went to the land of the Amazons, where the queen welcomed him and agreed to give him her girdle for Eurystheus's daughter. But Hera spread the rumor that Hercules came as an enemy. In the end he had to conquer the Amazons and steal the golden belt.
Ten: Capture the Cattle of Geryon
Geryon, a winged monster with three human bodies, had a herd of beautiful red cattle. He guarded his prized herd with the help of a giant and a vicious two-headed dog. Hercules killed Geryon, the giant, and the dog and brought the cattle to King Eurystheus.
Eleven: Take the Golden Apples of the Hesperides
The Hesperides were nymphs. In their garden grew golden apples protected by Ladon, a dragon with a hundred heads. Hercules struck a bargain with Atlas, who held up the earth. Hercules shouldered the earth while Atlas, the nymphs' father, fetched the apples.
Twelve: Capture Cerberus
Hercules was ordered to capture Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the underworld, without using weapons. Hercules wrestled down the dog's wild heads, and it agreed to go with him to King Eurystheus. Cerberus was soon returned unharmed to the underworld.
|Posted by Natacha on June 1, 2014 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
I WILL SEE YOU ALL IN A COUPLE OF DAY!!!!!!. I AM COUNTING THE HOURS TO TAKE THE FLIGHT TO SIRACUSA ( ITALY).
WE WILL HAVE A GREAT TIME, AS ALWAYS.
BYEEE DEAR FRIENDS.
|Posted by Elaine UK on April 27, 2014 at 8:35 AM||comments (0)|
I have put the winning entry of the Legends competition in Documents
Well Done Joseph!!!
|Posted by Natacha on February 27, 2014 at 7:50 AM||comments (0)|
THE WINNER LEGEND IS AVAILABLE IN THE DOCUMENT SECTION.
|Posted by Natacha on February 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
Our legends from Toledo are available in the DOCUMENTS section, second page.
I hope you like it.
The winner one is not here. You will discovered in GREECE.
SEE YOU SOON!!!!