|Oh goodness what a day and it's not over! We met Stuart for our drive up to the mountains for our cooking class. We had one stop for a view of the terrain which was very rocky, quite a change from what we saw yesterday. We arrived just after 11 in the village of Moni, population probably 200, not counting cats. A bit of confusion at first as it was clear they were not prepared for us. Although we could not understand, it was clear from the conversation that momma had gotten the information wrong. Not a problem - we went off for a walk and momma and daughter got ready to show us how to cook Greek food.
Amazingly enough we were able to find shops in the village. For a small village we surprised to see about 4 textile and weaving shops. The village is well known for weaving. The views were fantastic and we even found a fixer upper for Susan! The Main Street was mainly restaurants but had a couple of lovely drawings or written quotes on the walls. After shopping and exploring we were back at the restaurant or snack place and in that short time things had been pulled together. This was the first time they had done this so we weren't sure what the day would be like. I think everyone had a great time!
We started with learning how to peel and prepare Wild artichokes. I've always wondered how to get the hearts. These were cooked in spices with potatoes, carrots and a wonderful sauce from eggs and Leon juice. Delicious! Next we learned how to make oven baked Greek potatoes. The spices were perfect and the potatoes great but apparently this was partly due to the special Naxos potatoes. Meat was next and Evgina showed us how to prepare pork in wine which was another hit. To complete the meal we had papa's home made wine and a delicious pastry that was friend and topped with a sauce from before the grapes were turned into wine. Everything was so much fun and although momma didn't speak English, we figured out lots and the relied on Stuart and Evgenia to interpret. A small bit of dancing at the end, exchanges of some treats and we were off, happy and full!
This was a very authentic experience and one to remember. Evgenia has just finished her university degree in civil engineering in Athens and returned to her home village. She was not interested in going back to a large city. She was very knowledgable about cooking and gave lots of great hints. We're all waiting for the recipes she is going to send us.
On the way down the mountain we stopped at the marble place and the mountain to catch the full impact of it. We also stopped at a cemetery. All monuments were made of marble and were above ground. from there it was a short ride back into town and relaxation time.