Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tzatziki Recipe

T'ziki is my new found love in Greece. I eat it with everything. When I tried it back home, I wasnt found of the bland taste but here it is brilliant! I personally like to eat it with bread or Ruffles potatoe chips! But they like to put it on everything, from french fries to meats to sandwhiches.

You need:

  • Greek yogurt (I have heard that you can find this in the grocery stores back home, it is called double strained I think)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large cucumber OR 2 small cucumbers
  • Dill finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I dont use this, but the recipe actually does call for it.)
  • Oregano and Basil (optional)
  1. Grate cucumber(s) into a mixing bowl.
  2. Grate the garlic into the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the dill and then yogurt into the mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Add the olive oil and vinegar, mix well.
  5. Add the Oregano and Basil - as liberally as you like - again mix well.
  6. Chill in the fridge for 5 minutes before eating\serving.

It goes with everything. I would say that if you are having people over make this and stick it out with some french bread and potatoe chips.

(It tastes good on meatloaf!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend in Athens

So once again, please read from the bottom up. Sorry, I will get the hang of this!

On Sunday, was The Race for the Cure Susan G Komen. The turn out was great for GR's standards - three times as many people showed up than they had estimated - about 5000 people (which is a small percent compared to the city) but a great victory and step towards an more informed socity in GR. The speaker said (in translation from Jan Sanders, one of my teachers) that mamograms are not offered in GR during the annual check up and only 5% of women catch there breast cancer from mamogram check up, compared to the 60% in W. Europe. The walk was fun, and it was cool to know that I was apart of the first Walk in Greece - with hopefully many more to come.

On Saturday, Morgan, Kaylee and I went exploring. We walked through what used to be Hadrians Library. It was pretty cool, I can image the magnificant bookshelves filled with priceless book. A underground streams runs under it and so there were turtles just chilling at the site. They were pretty cute.
Friday, I went out to try and get an unlimited bus pass - did not succed. Then Hunter, Joanna and I went to an art store and coffee shop. When I got back I heard barking coming from Arcadia. Joanna told me what happened. On Thursday a group of girls had found the puppy on thier way home and couldnt leave him. So Joanna (she works at Arcadia, helps the students) had to go and get him and Maria (she also works here, she takes care of our residence stuff) was watching him until they could find a proper place for him. He was so cute and playful - and he was indesperate need of a chew toy. They found a home for him, but I really want to send him home and keep him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

La V Meal

So Monday night I finished class at 8:30pm and chated online for a bit. Then I went back to my apartment and was hungry. I decided that I would make spaghetti. Now this doesnt really sound like a feat and I make noodles all the time back home but to cook here it is different let me explain the process...

First to use the stove you have to go to the fuse box and flip the stove on. Then you have to find your pots and pan and start the water boiling. To get the water to boil in a decent time (less than an hour) you must turn it all the way up until it is boiling and then turn it to low.
So I had three burners going at once (I will have to take a picture of my stove). The back left I was making garlic toast, back right boiling the noodles and front right warming milk for my chocolate.
When I got the idea to make the garlic toast I was like "how hard can it be... it will be like grilled cheese" But I have never made grilled cheese and this donned on me half way through the process. But the garlic toast was still very good, but not as good as at home in the oven.
Warming the milk is terrible! It takes such a long time - I think on Monday night it took 45 minutes. I have to keep it on low so that is doesnt scald on the bottom of the cooker. But it is always worthwhile in the end.
So then I remember that I had bought the noodles but forgot to buy sauce, because I couldnt find anything that looked like what my mom bought. But I remember that I still had a tomate from last weeks lieki. I decided that I would saute a tomatoe and use it for sauce. So I tooke the toast I was trying to keep warm without burning it out of the pan and poured some olive oil in there with the cut tomatoes. they turned out pretty well.
Over all my meal was ok, pretty bland. I am still trying to figure out spices and how much you need to use to make it taste good. I will get ther eventually or starve to death.
But I wanted to share my silly "like a virgin" moment (as they like to call it here) because I was really proud for cooking an entire meal all on a stove. No microwave!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baked Feta Recipe

  • Feta Cheese
  • Onion
  • a Red and Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Tomato paste
  • A spoon
  • A baking dish (glass seemed to work better than metal)

Ok, so I am doing this from memory...

  1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2. Open Feta and rinse in sink.
  3. Crumble Fets into the baking dish.
  4. Cut the peppers and onions into small pieces and toss into the baking dish with the crumbled Feta.
  5. Pour in the Tomatoe paste, mix together.
  6. Add the Oregano and Basil - as liberally as you want.
  7. Mix, and put in oven for around 10 minutes. But keep an eye on it, take it out when it is slightly bubbly and before it turns brown.
  8. Mix again and serve.

It goes well on bread or just alone as a appetizer. We fried potatoes and they tasted good with it. Hae fun and let me know what you try it with.

Oh, we drank it with rose wine, and they complemented each other very nicely.

Weekend in Athens

So about half of the group travelled to islands this weekend and the other half stayed in Athens. I personally was glad that I stayed in Athens because I still did alot of fun things but I also had a nice relaxing weekend.
On Thurday night, I had cooking class. We made appitizers - it was delicious. (I will post my favorite recipe after this.)
Friday we went to the Temple of Poseidon. It was pretty cool and beautiful. Then we got back into Athens and hit up the Plaka - shopping and cafes. In the evening we went to a traditional Greek concert. The concert was so cool! First of all it was in the old stadium, so I was sitting on ancient marble and second becuase of the crowd participation.

Saturday, we went wondering around the Plaka area - shopping, cafes. Then came home and began to prepare for the Greek Feast that I was hosting in my apt. The feast was delicious and we all had fun.

Today, I went to the flea market. It was amazing! They had everything from WWII paraphenilia to antique furniture. I bough a giant antique key (about 8 inches long) that I will hang above my bed when I get a house.

Now to do the pile of homework.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Hopelss Society?

On September 27th Athens will be hosting (for the first time) the Susan G Komen walk\run for the Cure. A group that helps survivors here in Greece invited the Cure to come. For two reasons: to bring awareness to a society that does not want to accept that fact that breast cancer is common in communities and to give a sense of victory to those who have survived Breast Cancer. I guess that in Greece if you have Breast cancer you try to hide it and if you survive then you do not speak of it - not at all what I have experience in modern America.

Anyways, I had volunteered to spread informational pamphlets about the walk\run around the Pangrati area and greater Athens (If I ventured that far). So today I went walking around my nieghborhood (which is very lively all the time) to pass these out. Now I didnt just walk into any store and try to pass out the pamphletes. I thought about where the women would most likely pick one up and read it. First I put one under every door in my apartment - no problem. Then I walked down the block to the local nail salon - they were hesitated but allowed me to leave one for reading material when a waiting. Then I went to the pharmacy, no they didnt want it because who would do want to do that. Then the hair salon - same thing, who would want to do that?

Now, I knew that exercise is not a common thing among the Greeks and that this was going to be challenge to be dealt with. But to have people not even giving other a chance to have the oppertunity.

I will go out again in a bit and try again. Perhaps I will be more successful?

Monday, September 14, 2009


This is the port into Kythnos. You can see that it had the white apartments with the blue windows and doors. It was a sight to see.

On the first day we went to a cave and the Byzantine Museum. This is a picture of Morgan, Kaylee and I at the entrance to the cave. The cave has had many uses over time - from hiding pirates to hosting town dances to being occupied by Germany for the ore. It was really cool and just recently opened up so everything was well preserved. The Byzantine Museum was really cool. It was an old church converted into a Museum. It housed artifacts dating back to the 1600. I got to see a bible from 1754, it iwas beautiful. (My picture did not turn out well.)

On Saturday we have an excursion to an excavation site. We hiked up a giant hill (it looked like a mountain to me) on medieval footpaths, we hopped fences, climbed up rocks. When we finally got the to top (after almost 2 hours of hiking) the archaeologist were working (the picture) on digging out the front terrance of the 600 B.C.E capitol of Kythnos. It was cool, we got to see a couple different temples, the well, a piece of the dining room floor. They found over 1500 piece of valuable and semi-valuable jewels and metals. I it was soo cool!

After the excursion Morgan, Kaylee and I went to a nieghboring town (Chora), we shopping and dined there. I ate pork on a stick with a pita and fries. Then we went back into our town that we were staying at to find the rest of our group. We found them eating and the owner of the restaurant gave us wine "on the house."

On Sunday, a group of us decided to check out the hot springs. To out surprise they werent hot springs like most would think. The Kythnos people had harnessed the water and were using it as a theraputic spa. Kaylee decided to do it but the rest of us opted for the cheaper (free) options of swimming in the Aegean. While we were swimming we noticed that everyone was all in one location, we went to check it out and found that the hot springs let out into the Aegean on the beach. So we dipped out feet in and the water was scorching.
It was an amazing weekend! Today I had two classes (one yet to go). I am excited to get into the swing of things!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Libraries and Getting Lost

My picture uploaded backwards... so start at the bottom. : )

So this was taken after a 2 hour detour of being lost. At that time we had been walking for 5 hours and still have about another quarter of an hour. We are infront of the Stadium that I showed you earlier.
The funny thing about the getting lost part, is that I got stuck on the bus. My three friends got off and the doors shut right as I was about to step out so I got pushed back into the bus. I just waved and started hysterically laughing. The Greeks nervously laughed at me, probably wondering what was so funny about me missing my stop and being separated from the friends. But we made it home, so that is what counts!

This is in the Syntagma at alittle bakery. The whole group went there for Loukoulies (that is phenetically). They were really good a mix of mini donuts and funnel cake with honey. I loved them. (Melissa, me and Melissa)

So this is taken in HEAVEN on Sept. 10th. It is Kali, me, Ashely and Morgan. All of us have some sort of classics major. We went to the US Classical School of Graduate Research to tour the library. It was amazing!!! They have a rare books room, which I am dying to go see - unfortunately it is kinda hard to get into the library.

This is from Wednesday the 9th. It was taken at Syntagma Station right before we saw a Smart car Police car and got on a bus to go home. It is Melissa and I. We had learned how to take the metro on our own, which was fun. My group got lost - go figure. But we made it eventually!

This is my TB test a little after its prime. Right now, It is about half the size and much less pinkness. So it was good, but i think that it made the nurses a little nervous because they did a test, which consisted of jabbing a pen into my arm and dragging it across my poor little injections site.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TB and the Farmer's Market

To give you a land mark of where I live in Athens. We are about a 10 minutes walk behind the old stadium.

(Above: The bathroom. The shower that the first night only gave cold water, but now works. And out toilet that we cant flush toilet paper down, it isnt in the picture but we have to throw it away in a trash bin, ick.)

(Left:T The fruits and veggies I got at the farmers market. I bought all that plus a little more for 3 euro ($4.50 approx.)

(Above: My kitchen. It is a good size and if the picture were slightly larger you would see the fridge in the upper right hand corner.)

(Left: My third of the triple. I know it looks messy but I was still unpacking... although I dont know if it looks better now.)

So this morning I went to the hospital to get my TB test that is mandatory for my resident visa. Afterwards, i went out to lunch with my group and ate a sandwhich with ham, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and mayo (it was really good). Then the injection site became sore, red and slightly puffed up. So Maria (one of the staff) took me to the pharmacy and he said that I was having a slight allergic reaction to the tomatoes most likely. So that was good. But then tonight I forgot not to eat tomatoes for dinner, and it is hurting again. : (

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day One

My flight was a long and enduring process, but I finally arrived at my apartment at 730pm (Athens time). The night was eventful and I didnt sleep much since the city doesnt sleep. I will have to overcome the "light sleeping."

Today's orientation is on buying food. That is good, I am starving. Greeks dont eat breakfast - which makes me very very sad.

I miss home alot, I miss the comfort of being able to read the surrounding signs and understand the surrounding conversations. I miss American food (I ate a pita with french fries in it last night : /)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Final Days

As the days pass by I am running out of time with my loved ones. I am becoming exceedingly excited for my trip, and am over joyous that the task of packing is almost complete! Soon I will be in my new "home" which has a beautiful climate, I was looking up online the average temperature in Jan. is 49 F. Sounds better than MN cold!

Email me with your address so that I can send you a postcard!