Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cooking Class in Athens, Yamas!

Maria in her Taverna Klimataria

Just had the best time at a cooking class in Athens, and if you ever venture here you must sign up!  Maria, our instructor owns this cool place behind a church nearly 100 years old called Taverna Klimataria. 

Maria has such warmth, passion and love of Greek food. In her class you drink, you prep, you drink, you cook, you eat, you drink, and eat and so on...

We started at 5:30 pm and stayed until after 1am- dancing and drinking with the locals.  Greeks do not usually start dinner until 10 pm and will stay till past
3 am.  We left early (2 am),  and still felt like Dionysus - completely exhausted.

Food is an important part of Greek life - and with fresh vegetables and fish so inexpensive here, you find abundant amounts being served at all the Tavernas we visited. (In other words, we never left a Greek Tavern hungry!)  Besides all the fresh vegetables and seafood, Greek cuisine includes fresh herbs, various meats, feta cheese, olives, and olive oil and more olive oil!  (Greeks consume more olive oil per person than anywhere worldwide).  The vegetarian in our group was ecstatic when she saw what we would be cooking: Eggplant pies, Greek salad, Feta cheese salad, eggplant salad, Dolmadakia, Tazatziki, and one protein main dish - Lamb in Hull.  Where to start........   

Hands washed and aprons on.....

Maria meeting the class, we will see what kind of students these gods are (We just finished visiting the Acropolis)....

Class does not begin until a glass of Retsina - Yamas!! 
(A Greek Toast that was repeated throughout the evening)

Teacher's Pet gets to sit beside Maria.....

Athena starts the Mini Eggplant Pies or Mpourekakia.  The pastry is made with 1 kg self-rising flour, equal parts of Greek yogurt and butter (200gr), tsp of salt and sugar, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1 tbl of vinegar.  "Vinegar is the magic in pastry making" says Maria.   The pastry seems to be a piece of cake for Athena.

Can Hermes excel at pastry making as sister Athena?  He is trying to work magic on that dough with only his smile - hmmm, only Maria can tell - we don't want the dough too sweet....

 A break in the action with Uncle Poseidon - "Yamas!"

The finished pies.....time to put them in the oven.  Can you see why I am teachers pet?

"Come on Class - quit all the drinking, we have 5 more dishes to make!"

Don't worry Maria, stuffed cabbage leaves always taste better with wine.  Yamas!  
What does Poseidon do again??

Tzatziki tastes so much better when Maria feeds you...

"Ok, so you all do better work with wine - look at this beautiful stuffed eggplant!!"

Eggplant three ways  and  Lamb  - Nostemo!

Sitting down to a wonderful meal we prepared, however, Hermes is having a problem.....

Thank goodness for Maria, she was able to help Hermes by cutting up his lamb for him...

Efkharisto  Maria.  The meal was Phantastika!

1 comment:

  1. Great posts guys. I am loving it and very, very envious.