Galaktoboureko

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GALAKTOBOUREKO
Translates as OMG, you made this!
Thanks to Maria K for the recipe

Ingredients

6 cups whole milk
1 cup semolina flour
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted
12 sheets phyllo dough
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
Optional cinnamon

Directions

Pour milk into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the semolina, cornstarch, 1 cup sugar and salt. Be sure there are no clumps.

When milk comes to a boil, gradually add the semolina mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Remove from heat, and set aside. Keep warm.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer at high speed. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, and whip until thick and pale, about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

Fold the whipped eggs into the hot semolina mixture. Partially cover the pan, and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish, and layer 7 sheets of phyllo into the pan, brushing each one with butter as you lay it in. Pour the custard into the pan over the phyllo, and cover with the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter as you lay it down.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top crust is crisp and the custard filling has set. In a small saucepan, stir together the remaining cup of sugar and water. Bring to a boil. When the Galaktoboureko comes out of the oven, spoon the hot sugar syrup over the top, particularly the edges. Cool completely and garnish with cinnamon if you wish for before cutting and serving.

Store in the refrigerator if by any miracle there is any left.

 

GREEK SALAD

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All the goodies don’t forget the Oregano like I did.

GREEK SALAD

Ingredients

4 Medium juicy tomatoes, preferably organic tomatoes
1 Cucumber, peel stripes lengthwise, makes the salad jazzy
1 green bell pepper, cored
1 medium red onion
Greek pitted Kalamata olives
Salt
4 Tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
1-2 T red wine vinegar
8 oz or more creamy Greek feta cheese
1/2 T quality dried oregano or 1 T if you have fresh, finely chopped

Instructions

Cut the tomatoes into wedges or large chunks.

Cut the partially peeled cucumber in half length-wise, then slice into thick halves

Thinly slice the bell pepper into rings.

Cut the red onion in half and thinly slice into half moons.

Place everything in a large salad dish. Add a big handful of the pitted kalamata olives.

Season very lightly with salt.

Combine olive oil and red wine vinegar and shake it.

Give everything a very gentle toss to mix; do NOT over mix, this salad is not meant to be handled too much.

Now add a generous amount of feta on top then sprinkle on oregano and serve.

 

Medusa-Not the Girl Next Door

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MEDUSA

Greek mythology describes Medusa as the daughter of Phorkys and Keto, the children of Gaia (Earth) and Okeanos (Ocean). She was one of the three sisters known as the Gorgons. Medusa was the only mortal out of the three; momma always liked the immortals best. Medusa was very beautiful and lived far in the north were the sun doesn’t shine.

Being a curious archetype, she wanted to see the sun, and asked the Goddess Athena for permission to go south. Athena refused to allow the trip and Medusa who had already packed the sun screen and had a bikini wax was angry.  Medusa accused the goddess of being  jealous of her beauty. That was it!!! Athena was angered and punished Medusa by turning her best feature, her rich thick hair into snakes and cursing her by making her so ugly that any one who looked into her eyes would turn into stone. Some deities you just don’t mess with, but a mop of unruly snake hair is a punishment beyond the Geneva Convention.

Medusa translates to sovereign female wisdom, which suggests she was more than a spoiled girl with a snappy comeback.  There seems to be a political message here about going against power unprepared.  She actually has a more complex and deeper mythology.  Historically Medusa had been an archetype for the nasty mother and  female mysteries.  She represents the cycles of nature and life as the guardian of the threshold and the area between heaven – earth – underworld. She is destroyed in order to create balance and purity.  Medusa is the ultimate truth and wholeness.  Snakes coil around her arms, legs and are entwined in her hair.  They don’t just hiss, but often are shown whispering into her ear. The serpent is a totem of the cycles of life, death and rebirth and the seasons. It is the connection to the fertile earth and to the underworld.

Turning men to stone is a particular talent that would reference of looking to the mystery of women and their unknown powers, scary business. I’ve seen my sister turn a few to stone, but rum was also involved.

Perseus was sent  to retrieve the head of Medusa.  This is a task that takes the utmost male courage and one of those snake handling sticks. On the way to her place he notices several stone statues, possibly more clues he may need help. He came upon the sleeping Gorgon sisters, and Athena still a little miffed over the beauty wise crack held her shield to work as a mirror. This made it possible for Perseus to cut and run, with a very unwieldy trophy. Athena made Medusa’s hell on earth possible, as well as her hasty dispatch to Hades.  The defeat and besmirchment of the older mother goddess, as well as her replacement with a new modern hunter type, sounds like a new HBO series.