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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Greek Easter

Happy Easter everybody! I hope you are all having a wonderful time with your families, friends, and furiends. This year I decided to celebrate Greek Easter in honor of my mother and her family. It's my way of introducing you to some of the wonderful and rather yummy traditions. Greece is ten hours ahead of our time PDT.

We started the day by going to church 
We were all quiet as we took in Sunday's sermon
The sermon
After a week of fasting, we were in a hurry to get back home so I could tend to the lamb I had started since 5 a.m. Our tummies were all growling. Being responsible for the lamb on the spit pauses a great degree of difficulty. How do I stop myself from nibbling?
As you can tell from my swollen cheeks, I didn't

Frankie and Linguini were in charge of the other traditional edibles
Linguini makes a mean tsoureki
(bonus recipe in the end)

Frankie makes the most pawesome easter cake
Oh, wait. She is the cake

The meal was exquisite
Afterwards, we kept up with the egg cracking tradition

The breaking of the eggs is meant to symbolize Christ breaking out of his tomb. We each grabbed a hard-boiled red egg and challenged the others to see whose egg would last the longest.  Usually, one person ends up with the winner, which means their egg is either intact or at least one end of it. In our case, we ended up with a boiled egg omelet. We got a bit carried away. We're also going to be eating egg salad sandwiches for a long time.

Greeks love to dance to celebrate life
We danced in order to digest our food
The more the merrier. We invited Jet to join us
Jet and I knew all the lyrics and sang along while dancing

Linguini, she's over 21, decided to have some Retsina wine
Ya mas
Cheers! To all of you!

I hope you enjoyed a break from regular dog food and my abbreviated version of a Greek Orthodox Easter. As a matter of fact, feel free to consider this entire post as a giant dog treat. Now, for those of you who like to cook, I will share mommy's recipe for Greek New Year's Yeast Bread. She loves this recipe, so she uses that one instead of tsoureki. They're both pretty similar in taste and texture. 

***Bonus Recipe***
New Year's Yeast Bread

Preparation time 3 hours
Baking time 30 minutes

1lb strong or all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2oz fresh yeast or 2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup milk, scaled
3 eggs
1 egg yolk beater with 1 teaspoon water
optional decor: almond halves or sesame seeds

Sift the flour and salt. Dissolve the yeast in 4 tablespoons tepid water (100 degrees). Add 1-2 tablespoons flour mix and let it stand 10 minutes to rise. Melt the butter and heat until very hot. Put the sugar and flavorings in a kneading basin. Pour in the scalded milk and stir with a spoon. Break in the eggs and add the yeast. With your fingers, crush the yolks and combine the eggs with the other ingredients. Gradually add the flour and knead lightly. Add the hot butter and fold it into the dough. Avoid over-kneading. Traces of butter remaining in the dough will be absorbed during the rising. The dough should be warm, light, and buttery. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is three ties its previous bulk, 1.5-2 hours. Punch down the dough. Shape it into one large or several small round loaves. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Brush the top(s) with the egg yolk mixture and decorate with the almond halves or sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack. To keep the bread moist, store covered with plastic wrap. 

May your Easter be filled with joy and of course yummy!


mayziegal said...

Gosh! The Greek peoples sure know how to celebrates Easter with style! I especially liked the picture of you dancing and singing. Um, but can you tell Linguini to puts her pretty speckled coat back on? I felts a little embarrassed looking at her nekkid.

Wiggles & Wags,

MAX said...

A very happy Easter to you all!
I didn't see any broken plates...??? it not traditional to break plates when you are having fun?!
Enjoy your day!
Sending lotsaluv and lotsalicks

The Doxie Diaries said...

Happy Easter Twinkie!!


Salinger The Pug said...

Happy Easter guys!!! especially LOVED your post! She LOOOOOVES Greek food and always eats it when dad goes out of town for work!!!



Ruby and Penny said...

Happy Easter Twink, Frankie, Linguini & family.
What a special day you are having.
Love Ruby & Penny

Dory and the Mama said...

Easter in Greece looks very yummy!!

Thanks for the cool recipe, Mama is always looking for something new to cook!

Happy Easter Smileys!

Sallie said...

Happy Easter!

Stella, Gunther and Betty said...

Yumm! We love Greek food! What a great way to celebrate.

Happy Easter everyone!

Stella, Gunther and Betty

Nubbin' Tails said...

You have such a fun life! Glad you are enjoying your day. Don't eat so much lamb you get a tummy ache!


Mr. Nubbin'

Martine said...


You sure have had a fantastic Easter!! Seth and the kiddlets would like to join you for lamb next year... I'll have to pass. I once like lamb, but then we had a dog named Jersey Joe who was alergic to everything, he had to have a special homemade diet of ground lamb and rice. It was my chore to cook the ground lamb, my mother ruined the idea of lamb for me and now I just can't handle the smell no matter how it's cooked. Too bad for Seth and the kiddlets... they only get lamb when my mom's around to cook it for them.

The Frankie cake also looks yummy :) YAAAAPY Easter from the kiddlets.

xo martine & the kiddlets
PS: we will have to attempt to make your mom's bread, we've never made bread before so it could be a fun adventure!

Benny and Lily said...

Those Greek traditions are looking like something we would like to participate in. BOL
Happy Easter eggs
Benny & Lily

houndstooth said...

Thanks for sharing all those traditions! Although, I'm not sure I wanted to see Linguini topless! We hope you all had a great Easter!


Mack and Sally Ann said...

Your celebrations look like fun, and the food looks really yummy.
Sally Ann

3 doxies said...

Oh goodness I'm full just froms reading did post. Everything look just perfecto...why didn'ts I get an invite though?????? I woulds have loooved to help bake.

Heather and Pumpkin said...

Happy Easter Twinkie!


Sagira said...

Happy Easter to you guys as well. Looks like you had a wonderful day with lots of yummy food.

Frankie Furter said...

My mom used to live near a Greek restaurant in Detroit. As a little girl she LOVED the foods and remembers that the people did love to celebrate... everything ... in a grand way.
Hope you didn't eat tooo much lamb. Boy is that stuff grrrreat.

Sonic said...

Happy Easter!

You got big over Easter!


Yoda & Brutus said...

Happy Easter! What a great post - it was very interesting.

Pugs & Kisses,

Yoda & Brutus

BRUTUS said...

Happy Easter to you! We had leg of lamb today ( a first for us), but our lamb cake looked a little different than yours... Hope you had a great day!

Bunny-eared Snorts-
Brutus the Frenchie

Deborah said...

Happy Easter! I have never cooked a lamb..never... is it good?
I forgot about the red eggs. My girlfriend told me about them last year! Nice traditions!!!
Have fun!

Life With Dogs said...

I hope you had a great sure looks that way. Easy cutting that cake please!

I'm still cracking up at your last comment. So what is your Paypal address again? ;)

Draco and his Mom said...

Happy Easter Twinkie and all the rest of your family. Your celebration looked fantastic. My mom and dad had chocolate bunnies but I didn't get hoo!


Hi Twinkie,

We luuuved this post! It was wonderful! And oh the food! Wish we had a cake like that!

Hope you had a blessed Easter!

Riley and Star.

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Hoppy Easter!


Lorenza said...

Thanks for sharing those traditions!
Happy Easter to all of you too!
Kisses and hugs

Olive said...

Happy Easter!!

Licks and Tail wags!!



Mom says share recipes!! love to cook :)

The Musketeers said...

Happy Easter Little one ;)

Mr Koda MD said...

Great eastery celebrations and edibles!!!

Nom nom nom I would nibble the lamb too if I could!

But I think I will leave the Frankiecake....

Koda MD

Maggie and Mitch said...

Thank you for sharing your Greek traditions with us! We hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Madi and Mom said...

Wow Twinkie what a great post you all did for Easter. Oh my you are the best pitmaster ever. Now Mom is hungry.
We have been to a Greek Wedding and reception and every year a local Greek Church sponsors a Greek Festival. Lots of good food and merriment.
Madi and Mom

Nadine said...

What, no spanikopita (did I spell that right?)?? My mother's side of the family is Greek, I miss those Greek Easter celebrations (my mom converted to Catholicism, I'm the only one who stayed Orthodox in our immediate family). Glad I was able to celebrate with you on here!

Hugs, Nadine

Remington said...

My Easter was nothing like that! I think I am going to come to your house next year!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Happy Easter! Looks like quite an event!

CreekHiker said...

sounds like lots and lots of fun!!!!

CreekHiker said...

sounds like lots and lots of fun!!!!

Bijou said...

Hi Twink,

Thanks for sharing your terrific Greek Easter with us. My mom spent the day working outside on the house, so we were lucky to get fed our kibble!


K9friend said...

I'm quite impressed by your dancing and singing talent. Amazing!

ocmist said...

Grammy loves reading and learning about other cultures and their traditions. She also thought the recipe for the bread sounds totally yummy. I hope we can get her to make some for us!

We loved the Frankie Cake, and the dancing sounds like it would be a lot of fun! The CCC

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