Monday, April 13, 2009

christos anesti!

I am not at all religious, but I love Easter, thanks to that Greek stepmother of mine. And yesterday was not as much about one religion -- there were Christians, Jews, lots and lots of atheists, a Muslim and a witch up in the hizzouse -- as it was about love and food.

Or as the martini-drinkin' deacon so eloquently put it, "Easter is a time of letting parts of us die and new parts emerge. What we let go of, hopefully, is our fear and terror that feed oppression and hopelessness and what we replace it with is hope and the ability to imagine and work for a world of justice, inclusion, and hope."

The martini-drinkin' deacon

My losing red egg

Handsome gentlemen in Easter ties

Curried salmon with fresh mangos & purdy flowers


The sin Jesus died for?

Those cupcakes are the best thing that ever happened to me, other than marrying Christ. I mean, Chris. The recipe is here; I'm considering kidnapping the mister who made them and forcing him to be my slave baker, which I'm sure would have Jesus rolling over in his grave. Oh, wait...

And the spanakopita speaks for itself. Seriously; if you make it, it will talk to you, sort of like the burning bush, except more tasty.

The recipe is my Greek stepmother's, of course, and as she put it, "Don't measure anything ... there is nothing exact about this recipe."


2 medium onions, finely chopped
¼ c. olive oil
2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry with your hands.
1 pound feta cheese
1 small containers small-curd, whole-milk cottage cheese
6 eggs, beaten with a whisk
1 lb. phyllo dough
clarified butter
a few whacks of fresh parmesan

1. Saute onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes to sweat. Add spinach. Simmer with the onion over a low flame, stirring occasionally, until most of the remaining moisture is evaporated.

2. Crumble feta with your hands into small pieces. Add cottage cheese and parmesan and blend well. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend.

3. Using a 9 x 13 or 11 x 14 pan (or something close), butter the bottom lightly, add one sheet of phyllo dough, butter lightly, and repeat until you have about 10 layers. Spoon in the filling, place another sheet of phyllo on top, butter lightly, and repeat until you have 10 more sheets. Using a sharp knife, gently cut through the top layers of phyllo lengthwise to whatever size you will want the final squares to be. Bake at 350 (preheated) for about 30 minutes or until brown. Recut lengthwise all the way to the bottom of the pan, and then make horizontal cuts.

You can add dill or mint, and definitely add pepper. Sometimes you will need a little salt, but the feta is usually salty enough. Look for phyllo that is longer and rectangular if you have a choice. If it's frozen when you buy it, leave the phyllo on the counter for a few hours, then refrigerate.


  1. The food at that partay was ridiculous. So good. I didn't want to stop eating, but I did and when I did, I swore to never eat again. Yet I find myself eating leftovers for lunch today. Damn you good food!!

  2. Two things:

    1) Your food photography is getting very magazine-esque

    2) Please to explain "losing red egg"

  3. 1) After a month of being unable to take a photo without being at least a foot away from the subject, I just learned how to macrofocus. Or maybe it's microfocus (I had never even used our digital camera before this bl*g, and I find it a very obstinate instrument that will never do my bidding; the camera, not the bl*g). Now I'm obsessed with close-ups!

    2) While she won't be able to explain why I'm a loser, I'm going to try and get Chrysanne to explain the red eggs...

  4. So here’s the scoop, CT: Eggs for Easter are always (and only) red to symbolize joy. We crack the eggs, saying Christos Anesti, to represent Jesus overcoming death. Somewhere over the years this turned into a game. You crack each other’s egg and whoever ends up with an intact egg at the end is the winner. So Kate’s not exactly a loser, but definitely a heathen.
    BTW, we only celebrated Easter on Sunday to accommodate the atheists, Jews, Protestants, and Muslim. Real Easter is this coming Sunday (different papal calendar, different calculated date each year.) So it’s not to late to repeat the entire day….lamb, roasted eggplant, yaprakia, tzatziki, roasted beans, olives, feta, spanakopita, asparagus, salmon, loaves of bread with red eggs in the crown, galactoboureko, and those amazing cupcakes. Christos Anesti!

  5. This is my favorite day of the year - and though it really doesn't have much to do with Jesus for me, I can't deny the significance of meaning for me in the elements of rebirth, hope, and forward movement. Easter's like my new year - starting with sunrise at the top of Mt. Mansfield and culminating with the afternoon at Chrysanne's. I think of Easter - and the meaning and power it has for me - in terms of B.C. and A.C. (Before Chrysanne and After Chrysanne.) B.C. it was all plastic grass and hollow chocolate bunnies. A.C. it's about hope, love, and yes, extraordinary food! It's the one time each year I consider throwing my self righteous vegetarian persona to the wind and gnawing on that lamb bone! So thanks fancy lady - you're responsible for one of my favorite days of the year. Be careful with an offer to do it all again this weekend!

  6. Oh yeah -- the loaf with the eggs in the crown -- THAT's where I've seen those red eggs before.

    And separately - Chrysanne mentioned "galactoboureko."

    I have no idea what this is, but I'm in love with the word. Battlestar Galactoboureko, anyone?

  7. The ancient Greek BSG, in which Captain Adamysseus and his crew do battle with the Cyclopons.

  8. Red eggs symbolize the blood and body of Christ, not joy. Cracking the egg symbolizes Christ's rising from the dead - Eternal life. Andrea