Anna S. shares with jenny.gr stories about the most special days of the year. This time she opens the cupboard of her culinary memories and writes about Lent secrets and delicious suggestions, which have been etched in her mind by Grandma Mary.
Response from the enjoyable side of Lent.
The first time I tasted squid, I was not 5 years old. Our meeting was fatal. So much so that I remember her to this day. Fasting days, good time, I was at my grandmother’s house, where there was an unwritten rule: you never left fasting. My golden grandmother, Mrs. Mary, did not know what to say about a bad day; neither in life nor in cooking. So that afternoon, he intended to cook squid. Come on, though, that I did not want to see this particular seafood even painted. She again was not to put anything in her mind. So she did her magic, filled the squid with rice and herbs, and poured plenty of her own secret ingredient, unadulterated love, and came and became a plate of mulberries. I tried and that was it: I was caught in his tentacles forever.
This is how my delicious career in Lent cuisine started, but Grandma Mary. In her culinary universe, these days had a special significance and for this reason there was a special section in her recipe, with the handwritten title “TA SARAKOSTIANA”. In calligraphic capital letters, to preface all the beautiful ones that followed with due formality. At that time he made recipes that he was not used to the rest of the year. Her cuisine at that time starred seafood, legumes and oily foods, which she always “teased” with some culinary delicacy. She supplied tender vine leaves and wrapped one by one with art her famous yellow dolmadas. He married the cuttlefish with the bones, the octopuses with the chopped macaroni. But the desserts did not go back. Twisted pumpkin pies with yellow pumpkin, raisins and walnuts, baked apples with cinnamon and tahini, donuts drizzled with fragrant honey. There was no end to the list of grandmother Lenten goodies.
Forty and put on Lent then, one afternoon while I was at my dad’s kitchen helping my mom sort out Lidl shopping, I stumbled upon my grandmother’s forgotten recipe, a special tasty souvenir from her. The associations were fatal, like the first encounter of my childhood self with the squid. The time cupboard opened and I found myself again in that unrelenting kitchen, which never ran out of smells and tastes and taste. “Can I keep it?” I asked my mother and she nodded. And so, at one point, I decided to place the same bet that my grandmother had won so easily then. “This year we will fast!” I said loudly, to believe it myself.
“Fasting; I will not get!” replied my beloved, later, when I gave him the idea at home. The reaction of the children was similar. “I do not mind taking it out for so many days with lentils and beans,” said my teenage son, while my five-year-old girl threw an adorable “Does fasting have minced meat?” However, I was not intimidated by their resistance, because I was sure that this time I would be able to overcome them! Aside from her name, I got two more things from Grandma Mary: her stubbornness and her culinary talent. Of course, I also have Lidl as an ally, to say the least. Because as she used to say “the raw materials are alpha and omega”.
“Come on, let’s try it!” I insisted. I was so sure that the experiment would go well that I suggested they fast at will. I would prepare a fasting recipe every day and whoever wanted could follow. For the rest we would find an alternative. But come on, finally my fasting dishes became… sought after. The notebook with the grandmother’s recipes did not just take place, it broke. Of course, I made sure to arm my cooking quiver with the most selected ingredients. This was probably the easiest part, since a ride on Lidl was enough. Somehow I identified even more! Do you want gambari, do you want capers, taramades, tahini, halva creams, fine legumes, vegetables and herbs from every corner of Greece, most sought after vegan ingredients, appetite to exist and all is well.
For the premiere of my Lent cooking I chose – what else? – the same dish that I had fallen in love with as a child: stuffed squid… grandma. I was a little anxious if the result would be worthy of a delicious memory. But, as soon as I took the pan out of the oven, the kitchen smelled of musk and everyone was looking forward to tasting it. Empty dishes spoke first and foremost about whether the recipe worked. The children asked for a second portion, while my beloved praised me with enthusiasm “Hello in your hands!” “Grandma in my arms…” I thought and smiled, looking at the magic recipe that this year would make us love the Lent cuisine as a family; a cuisine full of passion and soul, in which every day is worth it!