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Greek Customs and Traditions in America: Planning a Greek Wedding (Part B)
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Featured Destination: Kea (Tzia) Island
Saint Namedays in October.
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Leek & Cheese PitaOctober Recipe:
Leek & Cheese Pita
1 lb. ready-made phyllo dough sheets
2 lbs. leeks, cut in pieces
1 lb. Feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup evaporated milk
6 eggs, lightly beaten salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Cups chopped parsley or mint
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tlbs. fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup melted magarine
1/2 cup olive oil
Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll out, according to the recipe, Meat Pita Country Style. Blanch the leeks and drain. Put in a saucepan with the milk and simmer, covered, until leeks are tender and sauce is thick. Remove from the heat, add parsley, butter, cheese, and season to taste. Fold in the eggs. Line a large greased round (14 inch) baking pan with one (5-layer) sheet and brush with butter. Place a single sheet over, brush with butter, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and spread the leek filling evenly on top. Cover with the remaining single sheet, brush with butter, and top with the left (5-layer) phyllo sheet. Moisten edges, press firmly together and crimp. Score the pita in serving pieces, and brush the surface with remaining butter. At this point, you may wrap and freeze the pita. When ready to bake, let it thaw out first. Sprinkle the top with some water and bake in 350˚F oven for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
Alternate: Use 1 lb. spinach.
Note: If ready-made phyllo is used, half the sheets should be used to cover the bottom of baking pan and the remaining should be placed on top of the filling. Brush each one with butter. Ready-made phyllo dough does not absorb as much as homemade. Use less.
Excerpts from:
"Greek Cuisine" Vefa Alexiadou

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 Learn About Greek Customs and Traditions in America:
 Planning a Greek Wedding (Part B)

continued from September Newsletter...

Marriage Crowns (stéphana)
The crowning of the bride and groom during the church ceremony is a highlight of the Orthodox service.

In most instances, the knoumbáros(a) provides the stéphana. Selection of the stéphana is a matter of personal choice.  Some koumbári buy the crowns without consulting the bride and groom. Others may go with the bride to the specialty shop and make the selection together.

Crown styles change frequently. The church requires only that they be round and joined together by ribbon. Traditional crowns are delicate and simple, a weaving of white wax flowers with beading and white leaves, linked together with a white satin ribbon They may be purchased through the  Elaborate crowns are becoming more common, featuring intricate beading or metal work with designs that much the bride's gown. These can be quite expensive, however, and are not necessary. Some couples use their parents' stéphana, but most have their own for permanent display at home.

Wedding Tray
Put the stéphana on top of the tray covered with a single layer of kouféta and rice. The priest places the tray on a small table at the front of the church for the ceremony. The tray, usually the wedding gift from the koumbáros(a) to the couple, is traditionally made of silver and may include a tea and coffee service. This is changing, however, and less formal trays such as mirrored vanity sets and serving pieces make suitable wedding presents.

Decorating the candles is optional. These may be prepared at a Greek specialty store or made by tying large bows with streamers on the candles and attaching artificial flowers to them.

The koumbáros(a) customarily thanks the priest, chanter, and sexton for their services with a gratuity. Amounts vary with each parish.

Optional: Purchase of a wine goblet to be kept by the newlyweds is not required since the church provides the chalice used during the ceremony.

to be continued...

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 Featured Destination: Kea (Tzia) Island

Photo of Kea (Tzia)(Area 121 sq. Ian. Distance from Lavrio 17 nautical miles. Distance from Piraeus 42 nautical miles).

This exceptionally picturesque island lies close to the south-east coast of Attica. The mountain masses which are encountered in most of the Cyclades, are broken up by small valleys sparsely planted with vines and fruit-trees and run right down to the sea, opening out into pretty little bays. On the western side of the island is Agios Nikolaos bay, and deep within it the port of Korissia, which is considered to be one of the safest natural harbours in the Mediterranean. Ferry-boats call at Korissia - also known as Livadi - which stands on the site of the city of Korissia, which in ancient times, with Ioulis, Karthea and Poiessa, was one of the island's four independent city-states.

The island's capital, Hora or Ioulida (6 km. from Korissia), has maintained its Cycladic idiom intact. Built in the shape of an amphitheatre, it presents the visitor with an impressive vista of two-storey houses and tiled roofs, steep cobbled alleyways and splendid churches with elaborately carved wooden icon screens. At the highest point of the village, on the site of the ancient acropolis, is a quarter known as Kastro which commands a breathtaking view of the nearby islands off the coast of Attica.

Not far from here is the famous 'Lion of Kea' (6th century BC), hewn out of the slate.

The Archaeological Museum in Hora contains interesting finds dating from the Cycladic period. The interior of the island is dotted with miniature chapels, windmills and monasteries, including that of Our Lady Kastriani, Kea's patron saint.

Easily accessible from Athens, Kea offers those who are seeking a restful holiday clean, uncrowded beaches at Pisses, Korissia, Koundouros, Otzia bay and Poles bay; here they can enjoy delicious fresh fish at picturesque little tavernas.


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Greek Island Hopping 2003

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 Saints' Namedays in October








Pomanou Melodou
Kuprianou, Ioustiounis
Dionisiou Aeropagitou
17 18
Artemiou, Gerasimou Kefallhnias
Dimitriou Myrovlitou
Agias Skepis


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