June 2005 Newsletter
 This Month 
Watch Your Manners in Greece (Part I) Special Feature : Mario Frangoulis (Biography)
What's New!!!! Featured Destination: Galazidi
Saint Namedays in May. June Recipe.
Suggestions & Comments. Subscription Information.
June's Recipe:
Tomato Croquettes with Cucumber Yogurt – Domatokeftethes Me Tzatziki



Serves 4-6
 

Ingredients:
1 plum (Roma) tomatoes
I cup extra-virgin olive oil,
or more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground
black pepper to taste
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped roasted
oil-packed Calabrian chilies (see Resources, page 190) or 2 or 3
small red chilies, roasted
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian
(flat-Leaf) parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
Pinch of sugar, if needed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs, preferably panko crumbs (note: Japanese panko crumbs, coarser and lighter than ordinary bread crumbs, give a crisper coating to this)

Note: Although they aren't used in this
dish, the flavored tomato juice and oil
can be poured into a plastic bag, sealed,
and frozen for use in soups or stews.
 
Cucumber Yogurt - Tzatziki:

This cool, tangy yogurt takes just minutes to make, and yet it's so delicious on so many foods, it makes its way to my table on a regu­lar basis. Add a little diced red onion and try this as a wholesome substitute for mayonnaise in tuna or chicken salads. My family in Greece treats this as a condiment, and prepares it just about daily to serve with roasted chicken, brisket, pita bread, meatballs, and fried fish. It's considered essential with roasted lamb; even the gyros vendors on the streets in Athens won't let you walk away without a dollop of tzatziki on top of the meat.

There are a dozen different ways to cut cucumber for tzatziki­sliced, chunky, minced, diced-but my favorite method is the one I learned while on Skopelos. Using an old-fashioned metal grater, I grate my peeled cucumber right up to the seeds while holding it over the yogurt to catch all the juices and the flavor.

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups plain yogurt (regular or low-fat)
1 medium cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise

In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and yogurt. Grate the cucumber halves into the yogurt mixture up to the seeds; discard the seeds. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled.
SERVES 4 TO 6


Preparation:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Core the tomatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl and toss with
1/4 cup of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, cut side down. Pour any oil remaining in the bowl over the tomatoes. Bake until the skins are wrinkled and tomatoes are soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the skins from the tomatoes and discard. Place the tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl for about 20, minutes. Press on them occasionally to break them apart and release their juices (see note).

Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chilies and stir for another minute. (If you don't have Calabrian chilies, roast, skin, and seed the fresh chilies use resource page.) Pour the onion mixture into a bowl.

Divide the mixture into 6 balls and then form into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Heat the remaining 10 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add 3 of the patties (the patties should be half-submerged in the oil; add more oil as needed.) Brown for about 3 minutes on the first side, turn, and brown for another 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Remove and drain on papertowels while cooking the second batch. Sprinkle with salt and eat while warm or let the croquettes cool, place them in a sturdy plastic container, and pack them in your picnic basket.
SERVES 4 To 6

About this recipe:

“My mom-who is Southern through and through-is a big fan of both salmon and chicken croquettes. I grew up thinking cro¬quettes were distinctly Southern, and I was surprised to spot these little sauteed patties of meat or vegetables on menus in France, Greece, and Italy. For me, there's no better croquette than one made of summer-perfect tomatoes, especially when served with tzatziki, a tangy Cucumber Yogurt (page 58). I use
plum (Roma) tomatoes, because they're not quite as juicy as other varieties.
Perfect with a chilled white wine, these little patties taste like summer to me. I cooked these at my first James Beard dinner and I couldn't make them fast enough.”

Cat Cora

 

Excerpts from: "Cat Cora's Kitchen", by Cat Cora


Are you missing some pices and incredients for your recipe?

 
Watch Your Manners In Greece
CHRISTENING

Continued from May's Issue...

- Christening is a widespread religious ceremony - of great importance here in Greece - in which we officially acquire our Christian name. Fifty years ago, during a very conservative period, the Supreme Court decided that, although christening and naming a child may chronologically coincide, conceptually they are two different issues: the first means the child is accepted by the church, the second offers the child its civil name.

- The necessary certifications for a church baptism are: the record of the child's birth certificate from the registry, visibly stating "For Christening" and, if we intend to perform the ceremony at a different church, a confirmation from the parish church to which we belong. In order to receive the above, we must pay our parish church a tax stamp.

- If the christening takes place abroad, or if either parent is non-Greek, it is nice to print bilingual invitations.  Ever since olden times, the issue of choosing a child's name has been a cause of much conflict among parents. Strepsiadis, the leading character of Aristophanes' "Clouds," had a riotous argument with his wife over their son's name.

- It is customary in Greece for the first male child of the family to acquire his paternal grandfather's first name, so that this name lives on. However, this tradition seems to be coming to an end, since parents wish to be more original and creative when naming their child. Offering a child two names is more common among other Christian denominations (Catholics, Protestants etc.) and other religions (eg Islam), than it is for the Orthodox Church. (Many Jews name their children in honour of some deceased relative or give them the father's name. In this case the child is usually called "Junior").

- Choice of name is limited by the Orthodox Church - it must accord with the names on the Orthodox calendar. An exception is made for ancient Greek names.  It is rude to mock and laugh at somebody's name. Just because it sounds weird to us is no excuse to sneer. No-one has had a choice over his or her name, so any offensive comment should be withheld.

- No christening ceremonies take place on the day of the Pentecost (the fiftieth day after Orthodox Easter).
 
- We should not wait until our child reaches old age in order to christen it. Baptism usually takes place during the child's first year. The ideal age is between 8 and 12 months. This happens for practical reasons since the baby is lighter in weight: we must take into consideration the fact that we will be carrying the baby for about an hour during the ceremony and about half an hour afterwards while greeting our guests.

- Choosing the godparent is a matter of crucial importance. He or she needn't necessarily be a relative, however he/she should be fairly young, responsible, and loving towards children. Often, the godparent is the parents' first man or a maid of honour. The godparent is considered an adopted member of the family, since he or she is the spiritual parent of our child. This means that he/she is responsible, according to the Church, for spiritually guiding the child, not just giving pocket-money and the traditional church candle at Easter time.

- If the godmother and godfather don't know each other, it is wise to set up a meal or arrange a meeting so that they can introduce themselves before attending the baptismal ceremony.

- Refusing to become a godparent is at the very least inappropriate (except if, for example, we know we will be on a business trip at the time of the christening). It is the highest honour the parents can offer somebody. It happens quite often, though, that the parents may have ulterior (financial?) motives for choosing us as a godparent. If this is the case, we may refuse in a subtle way, without hurting the parent’s feelings.

- The godparents usually pay for a golden cross and chain, the baptismal clothes (including the hat, socks and shoes), the oil-cloths, towels, soap and bottle of oil, the testimonial crosses, large church candle sticks, half the "bonbonieres" (sugared almonds traditionally offered at the end for all guests who attended the ceremony) and the church fees. The cost of the ceremony is different for each church, for reasons which are unclear. The godparent has to take the oil to church three days before the ceremony for the priest to bless it.

- The traditional gift offered by the godparents to the child is a baptismal golden cross, which is considered a gift for life.

- The parents take care of the invitations, half the"bonbonieres" and the other sweets that are offered along with the "bonbonieres." A simple almond or chestnut sweet or some other sweet which will not be messy or affected by the heat are the best solution. We should bring festive paper towels so as to help our guests remain clean.

- The baptismal basin is decorated with flowers and three church candles.

- At church we must be decently and solemnly dressed. This means no sandals and no mini-skirts.

- It is not obligatory for the baby to stay for the celebratory meal following the ceremony. The star of the day may, however, be brought in for a short while.

- A well-chosen present for the godparents from the child's parents is a most appropriate and generous "thank you."

- According to a Greek tradition, if a person is already a godparent to a boy, he or she should not then become godparent to a girl, and vice versa. Furthermore, a couple who wishes to get married may not share the same godparent.

- Three days after the ceremony, the godparent buys a change of clothes for the child and rinses the child from the baptismal oils. According to tradition, the water must not be thrown away but poured onto the ground or into the sea.

- Another tradition has it that the child's mother washes the baptismal clothes in the sea.

- According to tradition, the godparent must accompany the newly christened child to church for the three consecutive Sundays after the baptism, so it may receive Holy Communion. Each time he/she takes the church candle with him/her and lights it. On the third and final week he/she removes the candle's decorations and leaves it at the church.

- The godparent follows the above rituals only out of religious faith, not out of obligation.

to be continued...

Excerpt from "Watch Your Manners In Greece" by Christos K. Zampounis
 

 
Special Feature:

Mario Frangoulis (Biography):

"Prepare to be swept away!," one critic wrote about Sometimes I Dream, the Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis's international breakthrough album for Sony Classical which another writer described as "bathed in the passionate atmosphere of the Mediterranean." Columnist Liz Smith hailed the album as "a dream trip," adding, "Move over, Andrea Bocelli!" And now Frangoulis is back with Follow Your Heart, a striking new collection of songs that reflect his personality and burnish the sound of his remarkable voice, to be released in early 2005.

The new recording will take Frangoulis in new directions, featuring gorgeous original ballads, dazzling arrangements of favorite classical melodies and a soaring duet with Latino superstar Alejandro Fernandez. The handsome young tenor tapped a worldwide audience with the 2002 release of Sony Classical/Odyssey's Sometimes I Dream, a Mediterranean-flavored album that showcased his versatile style, rooted in his operatic training but inspired by the energy and sound of contemporary pop.

The new album, released in Europe just before the tenor performed at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens, was the highlight of an already been a remarkable year for Frangoulis. With such superstars as Alanis Morissette, Natalie Cole, Robbie Williams, Diana Krall, Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow, he appears in the MGM film biography of Cole Porter - De Lovely, starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd and sings Porter's "So in Love" with Sony Music artist Lara Fabian, featured on the Grammy-nominated original soundtrack recording.

Mario Frangoulis's remarkable story belies the fact that he is a young tenor from Greece. Born in Africa - in colonial Rhodesia, as it was becoming the nation of Zimbabwe - he survived a childhood marked by hardships both at home and in the world outside. At the age of four, his mother found a home for him with her sister in Greece, at a time when the political situation in Africa was explosive and dangerous. Raised by his aunt in Greece and separated from his beloved older brother, Mario was surrounded with a large extended family. Today, he speaks fondly of both sets of parents and the feeling for music they instilled in him. He studied the violin and even composed a bit when he was a boy. At the age of 17, he was sent to London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study acting. The stage was an obvious choice because, among other things, Mario was considered handsome enough to be a matinee idol. In fact, he has already wowed audiences on London's West End as the dashing young hero in both Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera.

But in his days as a drama student at Guildhall, Mario discovered the operatic side of his tenor voice, winning the Maria Callas Prize, which he auditioned for simply because he knew some arias and a friend encouraged him. Juggling this newfound ambition with his burgeoning stage career, he found himself on a path that took him to New York's Juilliard School of Music as a scholarship student. His pursuits won him the support and counsel of such operatic legends as Alfredo Kraus and Marilyn Horne. He was the only private student the late Kraus ever
accepted.

"I always sang, from an early age, with a record player - with Greek singers, of course, but also recordings of movie musicals, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand," Mario remembers. "I knew I had a good voice but I didn't know I had an operatic voice. In the beginning, I was against anyone saying I had that kind of operatic sound. I had always felt I didn’t belong in that category. I wanted to communicate the music, and I didn’t think opera singers sounded young enough, modern enough. Then I saw a performance of Carmen in Athens with Jose Carreras and Agnes Baltsa, and I realized I could be all of those things.”

At the instigation of Horne, Mario went to Rome for Kraus and Nicola Rescigno, who was Maria Callas’s favorite conductor. Both were impressed. He became Kraus’s student, flying all over the world to take lessons as the great tenor continued to perform. The experience gave Frangoulis a solid vocal technique and good high notes, both hallmarks of Kraus’s style.

Yet the career Mario has built is anything but a conventional operatic career. He sang the role of Tony in West Side Story in its first performances at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. He has appeared in films and on television, in concerts and even in epic presentations of Greek tragedies. And he is not quite 35 years old. He lives in Athens, surrounded by family – “millions of cousins,” he says, with a laugh – and he loves sea sports, from wind surfing to scuba diving.

In his native Greece, Mario has been acclaimed in everything from the role of high-school hero Danny Zuko in Grease to a production of Aristophanes’ The Birds featuring the songs of Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis (the Oscar-winning composer of “Never On Sunday”) – in the ancient amphitheater at Epidaurus. As an actor, Mario has played leading roles in King Lear, The Bacchae and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and he created the title role in Kit Hesketh-Harvey and James Mackonnell’s Yusupov.

The tenor began recording for Sony Classical in Greece in 1998, and his recordings always topped the charts at home. The release of Sometimes I Dream tapped an international audience, with material that drew freely on opera, rock, film and pop music. The new recording is the next chapter in his remarkable musical adventures.

Mario Frangoulis resides in Athens, Greece.

 

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Ta Kalitera best of... Stansi

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Ta 45apia No. 1 (4CD) - 72 classic hits

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Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 12 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)

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Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 1 - Karaoke DVD  (PAL/Zone 2)

Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 1 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)
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Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 5 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)
Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 6 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)

Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 6 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)
Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 7 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)

Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 7 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)
 
Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 8 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)

Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 8 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)
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Sing the best Grek Songs Vol. 9 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)
Sing the best Greek Songs Vol. 10 - Karaoke DVD (PAL/Zone 2)

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The 300 Spartans DVD (NTSC)

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 Greek Kindergarten Win/Mac

Greek Kindergarten Win/Mac
Systran English   Greek Translation Software

Systran English <-> Greek Translation Software
 

  Featured Destination: Galazidi


     

West of Delphi, the road winds down 13km past Chrisso (campsite and a nice xenona) to a crossroads. The road north goes to the Brallos Pass and Lamia (see p.381) by way of modern Amphissa, presiding over a vast sea of olives just as it did in ancient times. Known as Salona in the Middle Ages, it boasts an attractive Frankish castle (c.1205) on Classical foundations; although seldom visited now, it got far too much attention in the past, changing hands from French to Catalans (1311) to Turks in 1394. The Brallos road eventually passes a signposted turn-off to Heracles' Funeral Pyre on Mount Oite, where the big guy laid himself to escape the pain of the centaur Nessus' flesh-eating shirt and Zeus blasted his mortal parts away with a thunderbolt and made him god. But don't expect to see anything much except mountain scenery.

The road south from the crossroads goes through olive groves to workaday Itea, ancient Delphi's port, where most pilgrims landed. It has a pretty seaside promenade, a wide shingle beach, and a view of the entire bay with its small islands. Other than that, you could give Itea a miss, and hightail it past the dark red mounds of bauxite and the fish farms in the deep bay west of town, and on to much nicer Galaxidi.

Galaxidi's densely stacked houses and tiny gardens cover two lovely, low headlands punctured by little fjords. A road circles around the edges, but it is sometimes one­way, forcing you into charming twisty back lanes.One house, built right on top of an ancient city wall, reminds us that maritime Galaxidi has been a going concern for a long time. In the 14th century bc it was called Oianthe and had an acropolis on the headland where the church is today. Shipbuilding was its mainstay, with a little piracy thrown in; all kinds of ancient gold and silver coins have been found in the harbour. After a bad patch of barbarian incursions and earthquakes in the 6th century, it was favoured by the Byzantines and had a monastery built by Michael Comnenus himself. It continued to thrive except for a glitch in 1660 when pirates destroyed the town. Even the Turks granted it privileges, but it reached its zenith after independence. By 1890 it had a fleet of 550 ships, seaside mansions and forest (still there, on the south side of the fishing port) especially planted for its boat builders. The Archaeological­Nautical Museum (t 226 504 7558; open Tues-Sun 9-2:30) tells the tale.

Galaxidi ran out of steam when it ran into steam. No one needed its lyrical sailing boats any more, and the locals contented themselves with captaining the ships of others, something they still do. Meanwhile the town looks better than ever: in the last 30 years, foreigners and Greeks have renovated its imposing neoclassical houses, and the tasteful and laid-back result is part gay resort, part family resort, and a popular destination foryachties.The town `beach' and others around the southern headland are less than stellar, but the swimming is good and its narrow fishing port is just lovely, for both people and ducks.




 

 Travel Guides and Information for your trip in the area


Mystras

Mystras

Let

Let's Go Greece 2005 edition - 20% off

The Peloponnese - Travel Guide

The Peloponnese - Travel Guide

Mycenae - Epidaurus

Mycenae - Epidaurus

Greece Road Map Set - 10 maps

Greece Road Map Set - 10 maps

 Saints' Namedays in June

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

 

 
1
 
2
Nicephoros

 
3
Martyrs Lucillian and Paul
4
Martha and Mary, Sisters of Lazarus
5
6 7 8
Martyr Kalliope
9 10
Martyrs Alexander & Antonina
11
Apostles Bartholomew & Barnabas
 

12
Peter of Athos

13
Martyr Akylina
 

14
Prophet Elishaios
15
Prophet Amos
16
 
17
Martyrs Manuel, Sabel & Ismael
 
18
Martyr Leontios & Companions
 
19
Father's Day
Martyr Zoimos
20
Hieromartyr Methodies
Father Callistus
21
Martyr Julian
22
Martyrs Zenon and Zena
23
Martyr Agrippina
Martyr Aristocleus
24

 
25
Martyr Fevronia
26
All Saints
27 28 29
Apostles Peter and Paul
30
Synaxis of the 12 Apostles
 


 
 


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.

Gold and Silver Icons Hand Painted Icons Icons by Zafiris
Gold and Silver Icons
 
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Icons by Zafiris
 
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