Friday, June 10, 2005

It's that time again!

It's that time again!
Originally uploaded by AviatorDave.
As the flyer says, it's time for one of our area's richest (*burp*) traditions - the Greek Food Festival! Last night I had to go to the airport to pick up my plane, but tonight my stomach took precedence and I drove straight from work to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on Washington Avenue. I got there early enough to avoid the line that forms - out the basement door and down the street - for dinner; it's a popular event!

Greek feast
Originally uploaded by AviatorDave.
It's the big community event for the church; they convert the whole basement into an assembly line, and raise tents outside with long tables to accommodate the diners. Over the years, the crowds have grown so large that you can order takeout in a separate line - they even use a side basement window to process phone orders, so you can duck down low and get your food drive-thru style!

More dessert... mmm!
Originally uploaded by AviatorDave.
All of the meals are prepared by the parishioners, real church-basement cooking, and it's all delicious. Tonight I had my favorite, Pastichio, and it was the best I've ever had - the top layer was cooked to perfection and just creamy underneath, mmmm! I picked up a Greek salad with feta and potatoes, and selected my favorite dessert, Galaktobouriko; custard, wrapped in phyllo, then baked and drizzled with syrup. Oh, baby...

My heart goes out to the church people for all their hard work, especially in today's heat. That little church basement was like one big oven today - no air conditioning, just big fans at the doors to try and move some air through. But they were all cheerful and welcomed everyone, and the bouzouki music played, and everyone left stuffed to the gunwales! Hopa!

Pastichio - Macaroni and seasoned beef, topped with bechamel sauce then baked.

Spanakopita - Spinach, feta and other cheeses and spices baked between layers of phyllo.

Moussaka - Layers of fresh eggplant, potato and ground beef topped with bechamel sauce then baked.

Dolmades - Ground beef and rice wrapped in a grape leaf and simmered in a special broth.

Baklava! - The most famous Greek dessert, layers of flaky phyllo and chopped walnuts and spices, laced with syrup and baked.