My late grandfather, grandmother, and my dad in their village in Greece. They were incredibly poor and my grandmother was very proud of their clothes which she had made herself just for this photo. via /r/pics

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Mykonos/ Greece

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Thira 28 – Santorini Greece

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National Gyro Day

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays


Celebrate one or Greece’s favorite foods; the Gryo pronounced (YEE-ro)

Here are today’s five thing to know about Gyros:

  1. A gyro  is a dish of meat roasted on a vertical spit. It is usually served as a sandwich, also called a gyros, with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, wrapped in pita bread.
  2. To make gyros, pieces of meat are placed on a tall vertical spit, which turns in front of a source of heat, usually an electric broiler.
  3.  If the meat is not fatty enough, strips of fat are added so that the roasting meat remains always moist and crisp.
  4. The rate of roasting can be adjusted by varying the strength of the heat and the distance between the heat and the meat, allowing the cook to adjust to varying rates of consumption.
  5. The outside of the meat is sliced vertically in thin, crisp shavings when done. It is generally served…

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Warm Tomato-Feta Cheese Salad Recipe at

Warm Tomato-Feta Cheese Salad Recipe at Tomato-Feta Cheese Salad Recipe at

Yield:  Makes 10 side-dish servings
Pasta goes Greek. For a stronger and more authentic Greek flavor, use kalamata olives rather than pitted ripe olives. If you refrigerate any leftover salad, bring it to room temperature before serving.

3 ripe tomatoes or 6 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped, or pitted ripe olives, chopped
2 cups crumbled feta cheese (8 ounces)
8 ounces dried farfalle or conchiglie, or 16 ounces fresh farfalle


Drain chopped tomatoes in a strainer for 15 minutes to remove excess liquid. In a large mixing bowl whisk the olive oil or salad oil into the lemon juice. Stir in oregano, garlic, and pepper. Add drained tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese. Toss to mix. Let mixture stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or pasta pot bring 3 quarts water to boiling. Add pasta. Reduce heat slightly. Boil, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes for dried pasta or 2 to 3 minutes for fresh, or till al dente, stirring occasionally. (Or, cook according to package directions.) Immediately drain. Return pasta to warm saucepan. Add tomato mixture to hot cooked pasta and toss to mix. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008

Get Cooking:

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Street scene with the bouganvillea vines in bloom, Rethymno, Greece (by tjensen

Just beautiful!

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Milan’s with friends in Greece

Milan's lunch with friendsThis is lunch on my friends balcony and her view. She lives in a modern 1800 sq flat right near the beach. She raises her four children and her husband works as a PE coach. They eat fresh organic fruit and vegies and fresh fish caught in the sea they look out at every morning. Very nice life!

Milan's - Dafni with friendDafni with a friends daughter at the port of kavala near philipi. First place paul came to mainland europe where he met lydia.

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Milan’s Greece trip – Beer & Sausage

Milan's beer & sausageLast night we had a really nice time with friends and family here in Thessaloniki. John and I were finishing a painting we were creating for a church community. They just moved into a new building they renovated, and have a really great space right in the center of an artist community. We are pleased and honored that one of our paintings will have a place on their wall.

After the meeting a few of us went out to a nearby eclectic restaurant that specializes in fine beers from all around Europe and exotic home-made sausage. They had 2 menus. One for food and one for beer. John thought momentarily as he gazed at the beer menu that he was teleported to heaven. The restaurant was decorated in what looked to me like a combination of Persian/Bohemian decor utilizing every thing pertaining to beer as visual aesthetic. Thirteen of us sat outside the restaurant on the sidewalk at three different tables joined together. One was Barbie pink. John sat with the beer menu dicing through it, weighing his options, thinking it through, as if he were making a life decision. We all ordered our beer. I ordered a Czechoslovakian beer Gunilla recommended. John still couldn’t decide. Then the waiter came to the table with a giant board of homemade sausage. It was piled in a heap, every color shape and size, with twine and string hanging off the ends. You could smell the sausage even uncooked and it was amazing!

All of us said, no we were passing on the sausage and only having a beer. then a couple from the group folded and broke down and ordered a spicy sausage. The kids split a spaghetti and meatballs and chicken breast fillet with potatoes. We all tried the spicy sausage trying to figure out exactly how spicy it was. It was quite the debate. My girls definitely thought it was spicy as they were desperate to cool their mouth on yucky beer! John still could not decide on which beer to choose. He tasted everyone’s beer at the table and FINALLY decided on something red. I think he could have stayed there all week trying beers. The kids food came and smelled and looked great. I tried Dafni’s spaghetti and it might have been the best spaghetti I have ever tasted. Seriously, it was so different, cheesy, kind of malt tangy, and very full flavored, and perfect amount of saltiness. Sooooo good! I never tried it, but as I heard from the end of the table, Dino and Dalia’s chicken was also good. After this we ordered the “black” sausage. At first I was a little worried about it, but then I heard someone say “beef”. When it came and I tasted the black sausages I was transported! It was by farrrrrrrrrrr, no contest, not even remotely close to any other sausage I have ever tasted, amazingly, incredibly, intensely good. I didn’t even know sausage could taste that like. I can’t even describe the flavor. It was like dense ribeye steak, infused with all kinds of spices and flavors, like cumin, garlic,……. oh forget it, there is no way, I could figure out what spices tasted like what I tasted. But I wish some how I could remember that flavor forever.

It was a really fun night at a quirky restaurant in the city with some really great people all with a sense of humor. I am thankful for the experience.

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Milan’s beach side fun in Greece

Milans at the mediterranean seasideIt’s amazing how a mask, a net, and a bucket can provide hours of fun and memories! Oh yea i guess you need a beautiful Mediterranean seaside as well.

Milan's makes friendsJohn always making friends where ever he goes.

Milan's Dimitra snorkelingDimitra finally snorkeling. I’ve been working on this since she was 5.

Milan's at AmolofosOne of Our favorite beaches in all the world beautiful, clean, sandy Amolofos.

Milan's hermit crabAll the critters the kids caught in the nearby tide pools. Hermit crabs, small fish, shrimp, and clam. It seemed the hermit crab was the boss of this aquarium!

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The Milan’s Trip to Greece – John the JUMBO Criminal

 Dino - View from hotel porch. It's so rough here!!!!!!!  near Néa Iraklítsa, Kavala.

Dino – View from hotel porch. It’s so rough here!!!!!!!
near Néa Iraklítsa, Kavala.

Yesterday, after another delicious Greek meal with Niko and Popi we went to get coffee. The place we sat at for coffee had an atrium with a pond in it. I am pretty sure the pond, with beautiful lilies, carp, frogs and turtles was there for an aesthetic reason, not for children’s science projects. Our kids along with several other kids were all playing along side the pond. The play slowly escalated over time into full fledged turtle and frog hunting, shoes off, pants rolled to their knees and slugging through, who knows what, to find critters. They all had plastic cups and were catching little tadpoles and baby fish. I didn’t stop them because Niko and Popi seemed to think it wasn’t a big deal. I was thinking that if this was the States the owner or manager of the cafe would be ready to throw us out. When we left and began to walk home, Dino let us know that his shoes had gotten completely soaked in pond water and the sole inserts were rolling up on him when he walked. I didn’t bother to deal with it or take it too serious until tonight when we started smelling something wretchedly foul we discovered were his feet. He wore his pond wetted shoes all day and no matter how many times we washed his feet with every detergent and soap available the horrible smell wouldn’t leave him!

Today we went to a store called JUMBO. My friend Voula told my kids about this place a week ago and the store has plagued us every since. Every time we drive by one, the kids scream JUMBO! Of course the signage is giant, larger than life florescent bubble letters that every child can spot from miles away. JUMBO is if ToysRUs, IKEA, Claires, and Walmart all got married and had a baby together. You enter the store in one tiny door and then you wind thru all these isles of endless things go down a ramp lined with more things to the bottom floor more winding around through all their manipulations until you finally get to the cashier and out the tiny exit door, miles away from the entrance door. Forget building codes and fire safety, they will absolutely not allow you to leave through the entrance or enter through the exit. You are forced by JUMBO security to traverse their maze of colorful nick nacks and exit through the exit. We know all of this because John tried it.

He lost us and knew we were probably near the end of the maze and he was at the beginning. He thought he would just exit through the entrance and walk a few steps outside and slip through the exit. NO WAY! He tried and a lady jumped him and hit an alarm. All the sirens went off and John tried to explain but the lady wasn’t having it and she was waving and talking very strongly to him. John said he remained very calm and just looked at her until she pushed another button and turned the alarms off. When John found us and told us the story I shuddered to think of him getting hauled off to Greek jail because he tried to exit through the entrance at JUMBO. How could you even explain that to people? Its all good in the end, if its not good then its not the end. Between the 6 of us, we purchased a 30 cent fly swatter, a mask and snokel, a bathing suit, a pair of flip flops, stickers, a couple of journals with nonsense words from English speaking Chinese manufacturers, 2 spray bottles, and a couple of t-shirts. Dafni bought me a t-shirt that says, “My nick name, watch out my blog”. Because every time the kids do something naughty or crazy, I tell them, look out I’m putting that on Facebook! Dino is at the point that right after he does something or says something weird he says, “OK, fine put that on facebook, I don’t even care”. Poor kid!

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