December 2007 Newsletter
 This Month 
New music, DVDs, books, an calendars Special Feature : Greek Traditions - The Olympic Flame
Recent Arrivals and Christmas Gift Suggestions Featured Destination : Lesbos
Saint Namedays in December December 's Recipe : Karidópita (Almond & Walnut cake)
Suggestions & Comments Subscription Information

Ordering for the Holidays

Holiday Shopping @ Greekshops.com

Thank you for choosing Greekshops.com for your Holiday shopping. Our staff will ensure that your order is packed and shipped promptly to arrive on time for Christmas. All US orders for in-stock items received by December 17, 2007 will not require any special shipping consideration. All orders placed on or after Tuesday December 18th may require special mailing services such 3-day Select, 2nd-day, USPS Express Mail, and Next Day Delivery to ensure delivery before Christmas. The last day to place an order for an "in-stock" item (please email/call for availability) to be delivered before the Christmas Holiday is Friday December 21, 2007 and will require Express Service. Please call us for any purchases made past this date requiring pre-Christmas delivery.

For International orders please allow one extra week based on the above schedule.

Still haven't found the perfect Christmas gift?
Visit our
Christmas Gift Guide (PDF)

December's Recipe:
Karidópita

Almond and Walnut Cake
 

Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. butter
- 1 generous cup sugar
- 5 eggs
- 2 c. almonds, finely chopped
- 2 c. walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbs. brandy
- 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 12 oz. rusks, grated
- 1 generous cup milk
 
For the Syrup
- 3 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 c. water
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
 

Preparation:

1) Preheat the oven to 400° F. Beat the butter, sugar, and eggs together in a bowl until frothy. Mix the nuts with the cinnamon and cloves. Dissolve the baking soda in brandy and pour it into the nut mixture.

2)  Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl with the butter mixture, adding the nuts, rusks, and milk. Mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth batter. Press this into a greased and floured baking pan and place in the oven. After five minutes, reduce the heat to 300° F, and bake the cake for around one hour. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

3) To make the syrup, heat the water in a saucepan and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil several times, then add the lemon juice.

4) Pour the syrup over the cake and wait until it has been absorbed before cutting it into generous slices and arranging it on a plate. The cake can then be dusted with confectioner's sugar depending on individual taste.
 

Excerpt from: "Culinaria Greece"
by Marianthi Milona

 


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Special Feature: Greek Traditions
The Olympic Flame

Once the Olympic flame was lit, all acts of war had to cease and once the participants had vowed to abide by the rules, the games could begin. Olympia is situated in the heart of the green hill country, surrounded by magnificent acacia woods, splendid plane trees, and fragrant eucalyptus groves in the region of Ilia, where the Kladhios River flows into the Alfios. Even in Mycenaean times there was a settlement at the foot of the Hill of Cronos. Finds indicate a cult of Hippodameia and Pelops, who won his beloved here with the help of Poseidon in a chariot race against her murderous father, Enomaus. Greek newcomers to the region at the end of the 2nd millennium B.C. brought with them a cult of Zeus. Offerings from as far back as 1000 B.C. refer to games where spreading branches and tripods were awarded as trophies for the winners. Pausanias reported two versions of the legend of how the ancient games were founded in Olympia. According to one version, Zeus first organized the games between the gods in Olympia after his victory over his father, Cronos. At these games, Apollo won the pentathlon among other things. Other sources state that Heracles, the son of Zeus, restarted the games, located the site for the first games of the gods, and challenged his brother to a competition. Thus Zeus as ruler of Olympus was linked with the games from a very early stage.

The Olympic Games are documented historically in the first recorded list of victors in a competition in 776 B.C. In the middle of the 7th century B.C., the shrine of Olympia began to be developed, and the games began to be extended. The Olympic Games ran in a four-year cycle. Only free Greek men could take part, and married women were not allowed to watch. Over time the games were extended to include more and more competitions, and from the 5th century B.C. there were also cultural performances such as poetry readings. When the Olympic Flame was lit in 393 A.D., it was to be for the last time. A year later, the Christian emperor Theodosius banned the games as heathen. Flames, earthquakes, and floods meant that shrines and any thoughts of the Alympics sank to oblivion under the sand and rubble until the 19th century.

Excerpt from: "Culinaria Greece" by Marianthi Milona
 

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Don't Forget to Pick Up Your Greek Christmas Ornaments!!!
Order your Greek Christmas ornaments in advance to ensure product availability.
 

 Recent Arrivals and Christmas Gift Suggestions
  Featured New Additions
 


Special Holiday Items
 
 

 


Murano Glass Jewelry - Just Arrived!
 
 

Murano Glass Teardrop Pendant - Tri-Color

Murano Glass
Teardrop Pendant
- Tri-Color

Murano Glass Teardrop Pendant - Black & White

Murano Glass
Teardrop Pendant
- Black & White

Murano Glass Teardrop Pendant - Blue & Red

Murano Glass
Teardrop Pendant
- Blue & Red

Murano Glass Teardrop Pendant - Rainbow

Murano Glass
Teardrop Pendant
- Rainbow

Murano Glass Teardrop Pendant - Amber & Silver

Murano Glass
Teardrop Pendant
- Amber & Silver

 
Murano Glass Teardrop Pendant - Blue & White

Murano Glass
Teardrop Pendant
- Blue & White

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Rainbow

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Rainbow
 

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Blue

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Blue
Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Brown

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Brown
Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Yellow

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Yellow

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Green

Murano Glass Cross-Shaped Pendant - Green

Murano Glass Diamond-Shaped Pendant - Green

Murano Glass Diamond-Shaped Pendant - Green

Murano Glass Diamond-Shaped Pendant - Blue

Murano Glass Diamond-Shaped Pendant - Blue

 

Loukoumia 
 

Excerpt from: "Culinaria Greece"
by Marianthi Milona

Loukoumia is a jelly-like, fruit-based confection, similar to Turkish delight, and its hint of the oriental has found great appreciation among European palates. It is soft and as transparent as jelly, and brought fame to the Cypriot village of Lefkara during the 20th century (also known for its embroidery). The oldest loukoumi maker on the island conducts his nearly hundred-year-old business from Lefkara. Nowadays, when he offers his customers a loukoumi, it is a matter of honor. The recipe remains his greatest secret. Loukoumi is a favorite accompaniment to the afternoon cup of coffee or, prettily gift-wrapped, may be taken along as a present for the hostess.

To season the holidays with your own box of Loukoumia, click here!
 

 

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Cretan Songs & Dances Vol. 21: Instrumental, by Vasilis Skoulas

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Divine Liturgy of Christmas - Byzantine Choir (Theodoros Vassilicos) Vol. 3

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Panos Psaltis, Aggele Mou + bonus DVD

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Fani Drakopoulou - Debut Album

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Aliki Vougiouklaki, Aliki Vougiouklaki 1958-1996 (4CD) 80 of her classics

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Dimitris Kontolazos, 40 best of Ta Tragoudia Mias Zois (2CD)

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Mihalis Hatziyiannis, Live Sto Likavito 2007 (cd+dvd PAL)

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Anna Vissi, Complete EMI Years - Back to Time

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Apostolia Zoi, Apo Do Ke Pera

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Sfinakia Summer 2007 - Compiled by Marios Papadopoulos

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Giorgos Zambetas,
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Sofia Vembo, H Foni Tis Elladas (4CD)

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Dimitris Hionas, Proti Parousia - 12 great instrumentals

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Grigoris Bithikotsis, Apo Tis 78 Strofes (2CD)

Grigoris Bithikotsis, Apo Tis 78 Strofes (2CD)
Manolis Hiotis, Apo Tis 78 Strofes (2CD)

Manolis Hiotis,
Apo Tis 78 Strofes (2CD)
Kostas Papadopoulos, Bouzouxides No.1 - solo bouzouki

Kostas Papadopoulos, Bouzouxides No.1 -
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Mia Italida Stin Ellada (PAL) - DVD zone 2

Mia Italida Stin Ellada (PAL) - DVD zone 2
 
Enas Apentaros Lefas (PAL) - DVD zone 2

Enas Apentaros Lefas
(PAL) - DVD zone 2
 
Afti Pou Den Ligise (PAL) DVD - zone 2

Afti Pou Den Ligise
(PAL) DVD - zone 2e 2
 
O Yiannis Takane Thalassa (PAL) - DVD zone 2

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H Pehnidiara (PAL) - DVD 2 zone

H Pehnidiara (PAL) - DVD 2 zone
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(PAL)
Oi 900 Tis Marinas (PAL) - DVD zone 2

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(PAL) - DVD zone 2

 
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Trellos Ke Pasis Ellados (PAL) - DVD zone 2

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(PAL) - DVD zone 2

 
Alter Ego (PAL) - DVD zone 2

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Greece - An Odyssey to the Land of Light Wall Calendar (16-mo)

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to the Land of Light
16-mo Wall Calendar
Greek Isles 2008 12 mo. Wall Calendar

Greek Isles 2008
12 mo. Wall Calendar
Greek Isles mini 12 mo 2008 Calendar

Greek Isles mini 12 mo 2008 Calendar
Cats of the Greek Isles 2008 12mo. Calendar

Cats of the Greek Isles 2008 12mo. Calendar
Greek Orthodox Parishes of New York State - A Photo Tour, Vol. 1, by Marc Zirogiannis (in English)

Greek Orthodox Parishes of New York State - A Photo Tour, Vol. 1, by Marc Zirogiannis (in English)
The Summer of My Greek Taverna (by Tom Stone) in English

The Summer of My Greek Taverna (by Tom Stone)
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Not Even My Name, by Thea Halo (in English)

Not Even My Name,
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Growing up Greek in St. Louis, by Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D (in English)
 
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At Home in Greece, by Julia Klimi (in English)

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The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece (by Robert Morkot) in English

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Waving Greek Flag Magnet

Waving Greek
Flag Magnet
Greek Aromatic Soap Gift Package (4 bars)

Greek Aromatic Soap Gift Package (4 bars)
 

  Featured Destination: Lesbos


Lesbos
is the third largest of the Greek Islands, after Crete and Euboia. It lies at the very edge of the northeast Aegean, only 6.5nautical miles from the coast of Turkey. 1,630 sq. km. in area, with 370 km. of coastline, it is 187 nautical miles from Piraeus and has a population of 88,601. Lesbos comprises a separate Prefecture, also including Lemnos and Aghios Efstratios. There are daily car and passenger ferries from Piraeus, and once week a boat to Thessaloniki and Kavala. There are daily flights from Athens. Although the terrain is mountainous (highest peak Olympos, 940 m. a.s.I.), there are fertile valleys in between, and water in abundance, especially on the south coast round the gulf of Gera. The second larges bay, that of Kalloni, lies between the north and east parts of the island, which are mainly of igneous rocks and are sparsely covered in vegetation. Indeed, the formation of the island is attributed to volcanic activity, since it must originally have been joined to the coast opposite. The numerous thermal springs and petrified forest at Sigri are probably also due to this vulcanicity.

HISTORY: The island's privileged position, in conjunction with its exceptional geomorphology and natural environment, determined its fte throughout the centuries. It was first inhabited in prehistoric times (3000 BC), and in circa 1000 BC Aeolian colonizers settled here, establishing several important cities - Mytilene, Methymna, Eressos, Antissa, Pyrra, and Artisbe. Home of poets, philosophers, historians and musicians, Lesbos attained its zenith between the 6th and 7th century BC. Even in modern times, art and literature continue to flourish in Lesbos, and ithas been the birthplace of several outstanding Greek painters and men of letters (Myrivilis, Venezis, Eftaliotis, Elytis, and Theophilos).
SIGHTS-MONUMENTS: The island's capital, Mytilene, is built on the incredibly beautiful wooded slopes of a hill, the trees reaching down to the seashore. The mass of its castle and the large statue of liberty on the quay are the dominant features. It is an amalgam of quaint old houses, multi-storied buildings and Neoclassical mansions (Pyrgelia), interspersed with squares and parks. In the old part of town the streets are narrow, the houses low and the castle looms large over them and the market. The impressive castle, which stands on the site of the ancient acropolis, was originally built by the Byzantines and subsequently rebuilt by Francesco Gatelouzos in 1373. Nowadays it is one of the largest extant castles in the Mediterranean and one of the best preserved in Greece. Directly opposite the castle is the ancient theatre, dating from Hellenistic times. Very near the theatre are the ruins of a Roman villa in which 3th century AD mosaics were discovered, with scenes from the comedies of Menander. North of the theatre sections of the polygonal fortification wall of the Classical period are preserved. There are also remnants of the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman cemeteries. Other places worth visiting include the Turkish hamam (bathhouse in the market) maintained by the municipality, churches and museums. The most important churches include St. Athanasios (1894) in the town centre and St. Therapon (cathedral) with its elaborately carved wooden iconostastis. In the Archaeological Museum, near the statue of Liberty, finds from excavations in various parts of the island are displayed, as well as the mosaics from "Menander's House". The Byzantine Museum has an interesting collection of icons and ecclesiastical keimelia. In addition there are: a Folk Art Museum, Museum - Library of Modern Art, Public Library and Lesbian House, arranged on the ground floor of the Marika Vlachou residence. About 6 km. north of Mytilene, at Moria, one can see the remains of a Roman aquaduct (2nd/3rd century AD). 1 km. further on, at Pamphila are the "pyrgoi" of the Saltas and Chatzisavvas families) and yet another 4 km. away is Pyrgoi Thermes, so named after the many "pyrgoi" in the area.

From Mytilene one can visit regions to the west and south, around the gulf of Geras, where there are many towns and villages. One of the most picturesque of these is Ayasos (28 km. from Mytilene), built amphitheatrically on the lower slopes of mount Olymbos. Local traditions are fervently adhered to here and attractive ceramics are produced. One should visit the 19th century church of the Virgin, its feast day, celebrated on the 15th August is the largest on the island and lasts three days. There is a small museum of icons and ecclesiastical plate adjacent to the church. Yet another charming town is Polychnitos (45 km. west of Mytilene), a coalescence of several small hamlets built on an eminence with a splendid view of the Aegean and the bay of Kalloni. Plomari (50 km. southwest of Mytilene) was originally a quaint little fishing village which has developed into an attractive town with well-ordered street system and several parks, very popular with tourists. Of especial interest is the village of Vrissa (53 km. southwest of Mytilene) with its old houses and cobbled streets. From Vatera (3 km. south), the harbor of Vrissa, one can go to cape Aghlos Phokas where, beside the church, there are the ruins of the ancient temple of Dionysos, worshipped here in a major sanctuary (1st century BC). Among the features of interest on Lesbos the marble fountains in the villages, frequently carved with relief decoration, deserve mention.

There is no problem about where to swim on Lesbos, with its seemingly endless beaches, all of which can be reached by bus or caique. There are lovely stretches of sand to the north of Mytilene, as far as Skala Mistegnon, as also at Aghios Ermogenis, which can be reached from Loutra, Methymna, Eftalou, Skala Kallonis. Some of the best beaches are at Skala Polychnitou, Skala Eressou, Aghios Phokas, Aspropotamos, Petra and elsewhere. All are excellent for fishing and sea sports also. In the island's interior one can mountaineer or shoot game and birds. Mytilene has plenty of hotels, pensions, rooms and apartments for rent, both in the capital and in its towns and villages, where one gains a more authentic picture of island life.

 Travel & Museum Guidesdes for your trip in the area

Around Greece in 80 Stays by Jacoline Vinke

Around Greece in 80 Stays by Jacoline Vinke
Alistair Sawday

Alistair Sawday's Special Places to Stay - Greece
Cyclades : Discovering the Greek Islands of the Aegean

Cyclades : Discovering the Greek Islands of the Aegean
Athens - History, Momuments, Museums (in English)

Athens - History, Momuments, Museums
(in English)
National Museum - Illustrated Guide to the Museum (in English)

National Museum - Illustrated Guide to the Museum (in English)

 Saints' Name days in December

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
            1
Nahum;
Philaret
2
14TH SUNDAY
OF LUKE

Habakkuk;
Cyril
3
Zephsniah;
John
4
Barbara;
John
5
Savas
6
Nicholas
7
Ambrose;
Athenodoros

8
Forefeast Conception Theotokas;
Patapios

9
10TH SUNDAY
OF LUKE

Conception of Theotokas;
Hanna
10
Menas; Hermogenes; Eugraphos; Thomas
11
Daniel;
Luke
12
Spyridon;
Peter
13
Auxentios;
Lucia
14
Thyrsos;
Leucius; Callinicios
15
Eleutherios;
Susannah
16
Haggai;
Modestos
17
Daniel;
Dionysios
18 19
Boniface;
Gregentius
20
Forefeast of the Nativity;
Ignatiusius
21
Forefeast of the Nativity;
Juliana
 
22
Anastasia;
Chrysogonos
23
SUNDAY BEFORE NATIVITY
Ten Martyrs of Crete;
Hagia Sophia
24
NATIVITY EVE
Eugenia
 
25
HOLY NATIVITY
Adoration of the Magi: Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar
26
Synaxis of the Theotokos;
Theodore
27
Stephem;
Theodore
28
20,000 Martyrs in Nicomedia;
Glycerus
 29
14,000 infants;
Marcellus
30
SUNDAY BEFORE NATIVITY
Anysia;
Gideon
31
Aoidosis;
Melania
         


Icons depicting the celebrated Saint, make great gifts for namedays. Shop among our great collection of icons at our store. Also available, namedays, birthday, holiday, and special occasion greeting cards.ds.

Gold and Silver Icons Hand Painted Icons Icons by Zafiris
Gold and Silver Icons
 
Hand painted Icons
 
Icons by Zafiris
 
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Complete biographies of Orthodox Saints are now available.
 

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