SKopelos

By Sofia, Jan 13 2019 04:24PM

Greeks have been through a lot this last decade, but we are still here and still a hospitable nation, welcoming visitors.


This towel - spotted outside a Skopelos Old Town beach shop - spells out a message to all our visitors, but now especially to those of the United Kingdom.


Long term viewers of the blog may recognise it from a similar blog 2 years ago, but the message is the same - whether you feel overwhelmed by world politics in general, or just need a break, come to Greece, leave your yellow jackets behind, and come, diligent and mobile to just recuperate in our warm sunshine and hospitality!


You will always be welcome here.


By Sofia, Jan 8 2019 07:44PM

Observing the Julian calendar the Festival of Lights as well as the visitation of the Three Kings; one of whom has been adopted as Father Christmas in Western Christianity - is held on 6 January.


There is much attendance of religious sermons. In ways of customs, a plain sponge (βασιλόπιτα) cake is baked which contains within it small presents, usually in the form of coins. The cake is then divided into sections, as many as there are members in the household, not even missing out baby Jesus!


As in many other East Mediterranean cultures, in Greece a pomegranate is significant as a sign of luck and prosperity. There are differing rituals around the New Year and one, shared by other cultures in the Mediterranean, is the smashing of a pomegranate on the threshold of the household (καλό ποδαρικό), or the hanging of one above the entrance to the household.


A decorated street light next to the playground
A decorated street light next to the playground
Good luck and prosperity and health everyone!
Good luck and prosperity and health everyone!
A tree decorated with lights only. Next to it the three Kings' visitation
A tree decorated with lights only. Next to it the three Kings' visitation

By Sofia, Dec 21 2018 07:12PM

A devout catholic friend was surprised when I mentioned that I was fasting, as she believed that fasting was associated with Great Lent.


Not so. Fasts are still widely observed in Greece! In addition to the regular, all-year-round-strict-fasting each Wednesday and Friday, there are four long fast times within the year known as σαρακοστή (sarakosti or forty days), with each varying from the other marginally.


On most occasions I follow them. At least when I am here. My reason is not religious, but as a matter of community spirit and detox. Plus, they are simpler to achieve when there are rules and the companionship of others.


The pre-Christmas fast is the second long period of fasting after Great Lent. It always begins 15 November and ends 24 December. Over the 40-day period, no meat or any products which derive from animal or poultry are consumed. With the exception of Wednesdays and Fridays - days of strict fasting throughout the year - fish and seafood is allowed, every day, until 17 December, which marks the last pre-Christmas week. The fast then becomes vegan suited up to 24 December.


This is why the bumper nettle find, in my previous blog, was such an excitement!


See below some fast-worthy creations shared with others.


Beetroot with horseradish salad and carrot with cranberries salad
Beetroot with horseradish salad and carrot with cranberries salad
Foraged meal of samphire, squid and pumpkin
Foraged meal of samphire, squid and pumpkin
Main course of squid and nettles. Beetroot and carrots at rear
Main course of squid and nettles. Beetroot and carrots at rear
The squid and nettles to be prepared
The squid and nettles to be prepared
Rita and Elena tucking in. I am taking the photo
Rita and Elena tucking in. I am taking the photo

By Sofia, Dec 14 2018 07:28PM

Out and about on a sunny day for a drive and a walk in nature, I came across a disused goat pen station.


Therein, and all around it, my eyes feasted on a field of newly-sprouted pot herbs, young wild nettles and wild mushrooms.


I am cautious with mushrooms and tend to leave them be, but I foraged the nettles gleefully and will use them to add to stews, soups and pies. Plus, happily, there are more than enough to share with others.



A sunny day for a walk in Skopelos' beautiful nature
A sunny day for a walk in Skopelos' beautiful nature
Out in the woods
Out in the woods
A magnificent feast for a nettle-forager's eyes!
A magnificent feast for a nettle-forager's eyes!
The bumper crop close up
The bumper crop close up
Et voila: a snack of chickpea and nettle falafel with herring and carrot
Et voila: a snack of chickpea and nettle falafel with herring and carrot
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I'm Sofia, 39 Steps' owner and host. This is an occasional blog to keep in touch with my regular guests, give a taste of Skopeliti life and share my experiences of foraging through the summer season

 

Sofia

 

Sofia's 39 Steps Forage Blog

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