Two days ago we returned from Greece, where we spent our Easter holidays. And it was fantastic!
We enjoyed our families (we hadn’t visited since New Year’s), ate amazing food prepared by our mothers, and spent time with our 3-year old niece and 4-month old nephew, who we simply adore!
Food is a big part of Easter (as it is for Christmas), and there are a few typical stuff almost every family prepares.
Let’s move on to the photos then!
1. Cookies (kuluria, κουλούρια) and sweet braided bread (tsurekia, τσουρέκια)
These are so delicious I can’t even describe it to you. When the day arrives for my mother to bake these, she wakes up very very early because the procedure is long and tough. She actually bakes the cookies one day and the sweet breads on another. Not only because the dough needs to rise and re-rise for hours, but also because she needs to form the cookies, bake them in batches etc.
The sweet bread, in particular, has such an incredible taste, resulting mainly from the famous mastic that it contains.
2. Easter eggs
Good Thursday is the day when we dye the Easter eggs. Red is the traditional color, although many families play around with greens, blues and yellows.
On Easter Sunday we perform the traditional egg cracking, where each one chooses an egg and strikes it to another person’s egg saying: Christ was resurrected (Χριστός Ανέστη). The one that manages to keep an intact egg is the winner. No prize involved. Just bragging rights 🙂
3. Easter Sunday – Lamb on a spit and kokoretsi
On Easter Sunday we wake up early and start the multi-hour task of cooking the lamb on a spit. This is obviously an outdoor activity, accompanied by folklore music!
The preparation of the lamb occurs the day before, because it also takes time: pass the spit through the lamb, use wire to fix in position the legs, neck and back, salt and pepper the belly and sew it closed.
Then, on Sunday, we start the fire and the cooking that takes plenty of hours.
Next to the lamb there is also what we call kokoretsi. Kokoretsi is made by the internal organs of the lamb (liver, lungs, heart, kidneys), which are cut and seasoned, and then wrapped with the (meticulously cleaned) intestines. It sounds weird, but most of the people enjoy it. Personally, I pick the livers and the intestines.
As the lamb and the kokoretsi are cooking, my father serves us pieces that are done, and we eat in a joyous atmosphere.
This year we spent Easter Sunday in my house in the country. With the view to the sea and an enormous hot sun to make everything better!
4. Suvlakia (σουβλάκια), or pita gyros, or simply heaven.
Note: this is not an Easter tradition. This is a “finally we’re back in Greece and we can eat this” tradition..
We CANNOT leave Greece without eating suvlakia at least twice. I mean, you have to see us.. I think we tear up a bit when we take the first bite. Every. Single. Time.
And that’s all! Hope you enjoyed 🙂
Soon I’ll start cooking and baking again, and I can’t wait! Fasting is over and I have so many desserts bookmarked!
Have a nice day!