Holidays are nearby and winter season is here. Preparing food for her beloved ones was always an enormous challenge, for the housewife and cook of the family.
She had to excel herself with the few resources that nature could provide her, usually wild greens, mushrooms, citrus fruits, roots, olives and precious new harvest olive oil. Sheep, goats and cows, thanks to the variety of the aromatic herbs and to their newborns, produced plenty of rich and fatty milk to prepare cheese and butter.
With God’s blessing, when it was not fasting, she had game from the hinterland and fresh fish from the Ionian Sea. She had to use all the products she had prepared and stored during the other more generous seasons. Sundried fruits, nuts, tomato paste, honey, fermented fish, cereals, cured meat, legumes, and herbs.
Wood oven would fire up, two or three times per month, to bake sourdough bread and sweet breads during festivities. The hob was burning all day long. There, in a casserole, she added carefully all the ingredients. This slow and long cooking melted the flesh. Smoke, spices and herbs blended together in the stew. Aromas and the essence in the air was enough to warm and feed even the soul.
But her cooking genius, her touch, care, love and “Meraki” were the magic ingredients that turned, even in bad times, that poor cuisine “Cucina Povera” to a noble cuisine “Cucina Nobile”
Aristotelis Megoulas, Chef.