18 July 2008

Friends are the Best

Today was my last full day off of work. It has been a perfect few days celebrating, spending time with friends and just being a tourist in the valley and enjoying all that the Okanagan has to offer. The weather cooperated to the maximum as well so what more could we ask for but clear cloudless days and light breezes with or without a glass of Okanagan wine in hand. One good thing about living in a major tourist destination is that you know all the best beaches, wineries, hikes and restaurants to go to. I took full advantage of my time off with one last birthday celebration last night at the Greek House Restaurant .


Imagine also on your birthday receiving a parcel all the way from Greece. My blog sister Ivy of Kopiaste and I had a little exchange. I felt truly blessed by her generosity and caring nature. She was wanting to try some cranberries and I was reminiscing about the products of Greece.
Ivy is a fantastic cook blogging out of Athens who is always lovingly cooking up a storm for her family and friends in between selling Tupperware and painting....how does she find the time and to blog as well!!!!! If I had even one inch of her talent in all accounts I would be a happy camper. It always amazes me about Greek cooks who turn out moussaka, spanakopita, yemiste and other comforting dishes even during the summer months. Maybe they are inspired by the sea air or the bounty of fresh vegetables from their gardens. Perhaps their passion for good food and the pleasure it will bring their loved ones enables them to overcome the heat of the kitchen...I suppose they also have airconditioning...wink...wink...Whatever the reason I love to visit my blog sister Ivy and see what she is up to on a daily basis. If you haven't had a chance to meet her get on over there y'all!!!!!
Ivy's parcel arrived just in time for my birthday in a Tupperware container that I already mentioned she in Athens. Once the special treats are long gone I will still have the Tupperware container to remind me of Ivy and her generosity.
The package contained:
1) Several types of pasteli. Pasteli is one of the cornerstones of Greek confectionery. The classic pasteli consists simply of sesame seeds baked with honey, and is therefore indigenous to the sesame-growing area around Thessaloniki. Ivy also included some with pistachios and mixed nuts. Almond, filbert and peanut pasteli have become increasingly popular and are manufactured nationwide. This is not surprising in a country that produces such an abundance of nuts.
2) Mastic Gum. As Ivy says Mastic resin comes from an evergreen shrub or small tree on the Greek island of Chios. "For reasons that are not entirely understood, only the trees in the southern part of the island of Chios produce the distinctively flavoured resin. The island's mastic production is controlled by a co-operative of villages, collectively known as the 'Mastichochoria', which are also located in the southern part of Chios." Check out her recipe for Mastic Gum Yoghurt . When I was in Greece I tried Mastic Ice cream as well as a mastic cream called a "submarine."
3) Greek Forest Honey. The honey comes in what I believe to be these ingenious packages that allow the honey to drizzle perfectly over your yogurt and then you just return the cap. Perfection!!!
4) Evil eye key chain. I brought back several of these charms when I was on holiday there. Once you read the information here you may believe that my being blue-eyed gives me the ability to cast misfortunes upon you.
5) Tupperware container from Ivy's collection
6) Sylvester zipper

Thank you so much Ivy for all these wonderful treats. They bring back wonderful memories of my time in Greece!!!!
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14 comments:

  1. there you go, a taste of greece in your own home!

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  2. Def a taste of Greece in Canada! Enjoy all your gifts Val..

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  3. I think I was Greek in another life as this is my favorite food. Thinking of all this reminds me of what a great time I had in Greece.

    Thanks for visiting our site and I look forward to playing with you often!!

    Cheers
    Cathy
    www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

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  4. Ivy is awesome! What a bunch of great gifts...I want some of that honey. It sounds so mysterious.
    Hope you've enjoyed your days off.

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  5. I have never been to Greece but have always wanted to go. What a great blog sista' you have.

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  6. I am glad that you got it in time for your birthday (I wish I had known that before sending the parcel) and that you will enjoy it. A lovely lady turning 30 should be protected from the evil eye (lol)!

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  7. Sis, I know you are busy but I have tagged you.

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  8. That is great, always fun to get a package of goodies.

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  9. What a fun package! I'm not sure how Greek women can churn out so many delicious things in the middle of the summer either. I was seriously wondering that last week!

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  10. goodies coming in the mail is great, but having terrific friends is even better. i'm sure you'll put everything to good use! :)

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  11. I love finding new uses for my blue eyes! No wonder bad things happen to those who do me wrong!

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  12. What an awsome package! I have always wanted to try mastic - and I love those evil eyes!

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  13. He, he :D Seems that packaging exchanges are on fashion now!!!! Great Greek products for you darling!
    Aaawwwwh... this blogging world/people amazes me... so nice!!!

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  14. No wonder you're blog sisters, you're two of sweetest bloggers around. Enjoy your Greek treats!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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