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September - October Newsletter
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The History of Good Manners In Ancient Greece Featured Destination: Skopelos
What's New!!!! September - October Recipe.
Saint Namedays in September. Subscription Information.
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Clay-Baked Black-Eyed Peas with Peppers, Tomatoes, and Garlic

September -October Recipe:
Onion Stuffed with Ground Meat and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:
6 medium onions
(3 1/2-4lbs. total), unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces lean ground pork or beef
1 cup chopped fresh dill
2/3 cup coarse bulgur
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tlbsp. tomato paste, dissolved in 2 tlbsp. warm water
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated hard myzithra, kefalotyri or pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups grated ripe tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef stock, chicken stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tlbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preparation:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a length-wise slit on each onion all the way to the center d add to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt and simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until ¬soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions a colander and rinse under cold running water.

With a very sharp knife, trim off the top and bottom of each onion and peel off and discard the n and the second layer if it is tough. Gently h out the center of each onion, leaving about r outer layers, and chop the centers. Carefully rate the remaining onion layers and place m on paper towels to drain. (The onion layers be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated with the chopped-onion centers in a separate container for up to 2 days.)

In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauce the chopped-onion centers over medium heat for 3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add the pork or beef and sauté, stirring, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the dill, bulgur, wine, tomato-paste mixture ¬and pepper or pepper flakes and remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese, pine and salt to taste and let the filling slightly. Taste and adjust the pings, then stir in the eggs.

Reheat the oven to 4oo°F.

Place about 2 tablespoons filling on each onion layer and roll up to enclose the filling. (The inner layer will need less stuffing, the outer e.) Arrange the stuffed onions close together and seam side down in a 13-x-9 inch baking dish.

Make the sauce
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the tomatoes with the bay leaf and oregano for 5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the wine and pour the sauce over the stuffed onions. Add enough stock to come two-thirds of the way up the onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the onions in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake, basting the onions frequently with the sauce, for 45 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the sauce is thickened.

Let stand, covered, at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or until cool, to let the flavors develop.

Baste the onions again with the sauce and reheat in a preheated 375°F oven for about 15 minutes, basting twice. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle the onions with the parsley and serve.

Excerpts from: "The Foods of the Greek Islands"


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Watch Your Manners In Greece
The History of Good Manners In Ancient Greece (Part B)

A women's chiton was usually longer than a man's. It was a plain, long shirt, which freely slipped against the body and was simply tied by a lace. Married women would tie this lace in a knot beneath their chest, whereas young girls would tie it on their chest or hips. The edges of the female chiton were pinned over the right shoulder or tied in a bow above the chest.

Although fashions changed, just as they do today, the last word in elegance remained the same: it was the way in which women skillfully draped the fabric of the chiton (similar to how Scottish kilts are formed). Ancient Greeks' clothes were overall, uniform and practical.

Women wore jewelry such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings and crowns. Men wore stamp-rings

During Classical times, a man holding a staff was considered most fashionable.

Great attention was paid to hairstyling, which also changed according to fashion. For example, in the 6th century B.C. men had long curls, which became shorter in length after the battle at Marathon. Lycourgos believed that long hair made handsome men look more handsome but made ugly men appear repulsive. In general long, well cared for hair was a sign of aristocratic descent in classical Athens - and often, in addition, of oligarchical political beliefs and pro-Spartan feelings.

Both men and women dyed their cheeks, as  a pale face was a sign of beauty.

They also used make-up and eyebrow and eyelash dyes. Excavations have unearthed whole beauty work-shops, with mirrors, perfume bottles and cream jars.

The writer Ischomachos records: "One day I noticed that my wife had done herself up. She had rubbed white powder (white lead) on her face, to make her skin seem paler than it really is, she had put blusher on her cheeks so that they seemed rosier than they are and she wore high heels so that she looked taller than she really is."

At home the ancient Greeks wandered around barefoot. Outdoors, however, they wore sandals or half boots. Socrates, the philosopher, preferred to stroll barefoot - even though the Athenian roads were not renowned for their cleanness.

They also used to polish their shoes with a sponge. There is an amusing story concerning shoe polishing: An Athenian met up with an acquaintance of his and observed that his shoes were wonderfully polished. From this he was brought to the conclusion that his friend was having financial difficulties and was obliged to polish his own shoes, since a slave would have never done such a good job.

A wife's primal duty was to bear children, male if possible. So important was child-bearing that in Sparta a husband could lend his wife to another man just to impregnate her.

The word "Hetaera" (concubine) literally meant and the only ones who were educated to the same level as men.

Much has been written and commented about the sexual orientation of the Ancient Greeks. They did not discriminate between homosexuality and heterosexuality, and approved of men's relationships both with other men and with women, considering it all part of a young person's education. The "Zeros Lochos" (Holy troop) of ancient Thebes consisted of couples of male lovers; during battle, each one tried to protect his beloved, and was ashamed to appear a coward before his lover's eyes.

Most marriages were pre-arranged and the couple's feelings were rarely taken into consideration. Dowry was the primal and most important criterion. Want of a dowry usually led a girl to a "husbandless and childless life."

to be continued...


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

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  Featured Destination: Skopelos


Photo of SkopelosSkopelos, the second largest of the Sporades islands after Skyros, lies east of Pelion between Skiathos and Alonnisos, 60 nautical miles from Volos. It is a picturesque, well-watered island with abundant greenery and pleasant beaches. Traditionally, its houses were white with roofs of greeny blue slate but, unfortunately, many of these have been replaced with red files. The island is renowned for its pears and plums, and the decorative costumes of its womenfolk. Apart from the capital, Skopelos, the island has three villages: Glossa, N. Klima and Loutraki, its second port. There is also a small port at Agnonta.


The Hora in Skopelos is one of the most attractive towns In Aegean. The beauty of its buildings is complemented by a riot of flowering vines and potted plants. The town alone boasts more than 100 lovely old churches.


Twenty-eight Idlometres of paved road connect all the main sites and villages on the island, beginning with Staphylos Bay on the south coast. From there the road winds round to the northwest along the coast to Loutraki, the port of Glossa. on the west facing Skiathos.

Staphylos, so closely linked with the island's prehistory, and from there to Agnonta, a sheltered, horseshoe shaped harbour. Panormos the prettiest and largest bay on the island, also has a concealed, fjordlike cove that provides a safe anchorage for yachts in any weather. Milia, considered by many to be the island's finest beach, actually consists of three- crescent shaped stretches of white sand rimmed with pine forest, The road then leads to Elios, and to Glossa. Loutraki is Glossa's port, and all ships stop here as well as at Hora. Caiques sail from the main port to all those places, as well as along the weatherbeaten northeast coast and to beaches inaccessible by car.

All that remains, are the famous monasteries of Skopelos, which boast rare murals, icons, and wood reliefs, built high up on the slopes with incredible views to the sea.

HISTORY

In antiquity, Skopelos had the unusual name of Peparethos. The Minoans established a colony there, and it is said that its first settler and ruler was the mythical Staphylos, the son of Dionysos and Ariadne. A tomb discovered in 1927 at Staphylos Bay, is thought to have belonged to him. Among the many rich finds were a solid gold scepter, kept in the Volos Archaeological Museum, and a large gold sword handle, in the Athens National Archaeological Museum.

The name Skopelos was acquired during the Hellenistic era. At the end of the Roman era, the island's patron saint and first bishop, Realness was martyred there. During the Byzantine era, Skopelos was used as a place of exile. In 1204, it was taken over by the Venetians and was recaptured later by Likarios, a knight in the service of Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. It remained Greek until 1453, the year Constantinople fell to the Turks and the Venetians regained control, In 1538, a Turkish Admiral, Barbarossa, plundered the island and slaughtered the entire population, Skopelos continued to be deserted for many years, and it was only in the 17th and 18th century that it regained life and social organization. Skopelos, the second largest of the Sporades islands after Skyros, lies east of Pelion between Skiathos and Alonnisos, 60 nautical miles from Volos. It is a picturesque, well-watered island with abundant greenery and pleasant beaches. Traditionally, its houses were white with roofs of greeny blue slate but, unfortunately, many of these have been replaced with red files. The island is renowned for its pears and plums, and the decorative costumes of its womenfolk. Apart from the capital, Skopelos, the island has three villages: Glossa, N. Klima and Loutraki, its second port. There is also a small port at Agnonta.

 

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 Saints' Namedays in October

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

  

 

 

 
1
Ananiou / Pomanou Melodou 
2
Kuprianou / Ioustiounis
3
Dionisiou Aeropagitou
4
Ierotheou
5
Xaritinis
6
Thoma
7
Poluxroniou
8
Pelagias
9
Iakovou
 

10
Eulampiou

11
 
12 13 14 15
Loukianou
 
16 17
18
Louka
19
Kleopatras
20
Artemiou / Gerasimou Kefallhnias
 
21
Sokratous
22 23
Iakovou
24
Sevastianis 
25

 
26
Dimitriou Myrovlitou
 
27
Nestoros 
28
Agias Skepis
29
 
30
Zinoviou
31


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