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Blogging from Cyprus August 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Editorial.
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Dear Valued Readers,

As you already know the Editor and Publisher of HomeboyMediaNews blog, is on summer vacations, thus the slow posting of our daily news and other articles.

Currently, I’m enjoying my holidays in Cyprus and so far having a great time. Have visited some of the interesting sites the island offers, among which the Fikardou traditional village which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the village of Lefkara, famous for its traditional laces, as well as the “Fatsa” Wax Musueum, the Macheras Monastery of Virgin Mary in the Troodos mountains and needless to say that a few more will follow in the next days.

For all the above visited sites as well as the ones to visit in the next days, more detailed information and related articles will follow. As I’m currently on a dial-up connection which is a bit slow, I rely on you to appreciate the slowness in our daily updates.

Enjoy your summer and will talk again soonest!

UPDATE > August 28
Still on vacations and still having a great time!

Other sites so far visited are the Kykko Monastery and the Kykko Museum, the Trooditissa Monastery, both in the Troodos mountains, Omodhos village, famous for its excellent local wines. Next on the agenda are Limassol, Paphos and then Larnaca and Ayia Napa of course!

The Cypriot traditional cuisine is excellent, so do the wines and beer! The people are friendly and at same time providing high quality services. Next Sunday I have been invited to a wedding, so I’m looking forward to attend especially since the traditional customs will be revived.

Currently the temperature has been hiting above 40 degr C. Seaside resorts are crowded with both locals and visitors, many find the mountains of Troodos as an alternative and indeed they have made the right choice in escaping from the heat. If you are somewhere in Platres, Moutoullas or Pedoulas villages or just any other village in Troodos, you can really enjoy a cool breeze and walk in one of the many trails under the shade of pine trees.

Until next time, take care and have fun!


Byzantine exhibition in Helsinki August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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A major exhibition of Byzantine Art opened in Helsini this week at the Tennispalatsi Art Museum, one of three Helsinki City Art Museum venues in the Finnish capital, featuring artifacts and sacred objects related to the Greek Orthodox Church and dating back more than a thousand years.

The exhibition focuses on the monastic community of Mount Athos and its way of life.

The collection on display includes more than 200 objects from the Mount Athos monasteries themselves and from 15 museums around Europe, including ancient icons, rare manuscripts, unique sacramental vessels, magnificent textiles, wood carvings and other forms of art such as jewellery, crosses, maps, photographs and paintings, according to the museum. It also includes 1,000 year-old icons not previously exhibited abroad.

The Athos exhibition will be the museum’s major event for 2006, running from mid-August 2006 through January 2007.

The exhibition is designed to draw from broad international sources during the year of Finland’s presidency of the European Union. The Helsinki City Art Museum is administered by the City of Helsinki and has three locations throughout the City, the Art Museum Tennis Palace, the Art Museum Meilahti and Kluuvi Gallery.

Related Links > http://www.taidemuseo.fi/indexen.html


Athens Kouzzina August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Athens Kouzzina
Discover Mills, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. 678-847-0150.
2205 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 770-813-1369.

This restaurant, which has locations at Discover Mills and in Duluth, serves Greek cuisine, from appetizers and salads to pizzas and pasta.

Classic toppings, such as sausage, mushrooms and pepperoni, are available. The toppings list also includes artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pineapple, bacon, chicken and ham. Customers like the Mediterranean Special pizza, which features extra cheese, feta cheese, gyro meat, tomatoes and Kalamata olives.

The Greek salads, made with iceberg lettuce, onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, pepperoncinis and Greek dressing, are popular. Customers often order appetizers including spanakopita, which is pastry filled with spinach and cheese, and the dolmades yialantzi, which are grape leaves stuffed with herbal rice.

Traditional Greek cuisine gets an urban update August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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With Parea, Greek restaurants take a giant step toward culinary assimilation. Manhattan pioneers of the post-moussaka era – among them Periyali, Estiatorio Milos, Molyvos, Pylos and Thalassa – continue to make good on the Hellenic promise of gutsy, simple cuisine, with an emphasis on fish and lamb.

But Parea, the first New York restaurant from Cleveland restaurateur Michael Symon, crosses the line from updated Greek cooking into an urban-contemporary-pan-Mediterranean cuisine that happens to have a Greek flair. At Parea, the grape leaves are stuffed with lobster, there’s not a kebab in sight, and the only whole fish on the menu is an American red snapper for two.

That said, a lot of the food is very good. And who am I to stand in the way of Greek culinary progress?

Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s starters include a number of “spinialos,” fish cured in olive brine. This, the waiter explained, was a traditional method used by Greek fishermen to preserve scraps. The tuna spinialo, silky, barely cured slices adorned with toasted almonds and slivers of artichoke, was delicious. But the wild salmon spinialo with garlic, veal tongue and celery, tasted, sadly, like salmon with garlic, tongue and celery.

Crispy pork, however, was near perfect: Chunks of crisp, unctuous pork held their own against cubes of roasted beets and a honeyed sauce. And the zucchini keftedes were exemplary fritters.

I loved my intensely flavored skate, two pan-roasted pieces atop a melange of sausage cubes, tiny mussels and chiffonaded raw mustard greens. A piece of halibut got credit for size, but that only served to remind me how boring a fish halibut can be. The subtlety of the surrounding broth didn’t help: The menu promised fava beans, peas and asparagus, but I got peas, black-eyed peas, a half-dozen fava beans and no asparagus that I could discern.

“Lamb porterhouse” turned out to be nothing more or less than two big, nicely grilled loin chops. Slices of braised veal breast, tasty and tender, were insulted by their accompanying gigantes beans, which were pasty and tasteless, a crime against legumes.

We ordered two a la carte sides: out-of-this-world fries laden with salt, rosemary and oregano, and a refreshing salad of artichoke and fennel with celery leaves.

Desserts were weak. Greek doughnut holes were dense; they had nothing on glazed Munchkins. A little cylinder of walnut cake was overwhelmed by ganache, chocolate syrup and some rapidly melting and rather pallid caramel ice cream. The best thing I can say about the strawberry-feta tart was that it was mercifully small. One bright note: a creamy rice pudding with poached peaches and pistachios.

Parea occupies sleek, loftlike space whose rough-hewn brick columns suggest a ruined temple and the Flatiron District in fairly equal measure. With 24 seats at the bar and a long narrow communal table, it makes good on its name, which means, in Greek, “group of friends.”

36 East 20th Street; 212-777-8448.
Updated pan-Med … la grecque.
Lunch: Monday to Friday noon to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Monday to Thursday, Sunday 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. to midnight.

Tzatziki recipe August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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10 cups plain low fat yogurt
4 cucumbers
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
Peel cucumbers and shred finely
Puree garlic, oil and salt in blender
Add puree, shredded cucumbers to yogurt in large bowl and mix
Serve with pita

Serves 12 people

Is it Greek to you? August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Nearly 20 years ago the area known then as Long Branch Pier burned in a massive fire. But a year ago, Pier Village rose from the ashes.

It’s a tony shopping area. There’s a beach club, rental apartments and restaurants. Many offer outdoor seating, like “It’s Greek to Me.”

Anthony Papavasiliou’s family started the restaurants. The recipes all come from his grandmother.

His family owns two locations. The others are franchised. The Pier Village franchise belongs to Theo and Peter Savrides.

Peter is quite partial to the tzatziki. He simply shreds peeled cucumbers, then he squeezes out the water. You’ll need a little muscle for that. Then he folds the cucumbers into plain, low fat yogurt. Next he purees oil, salt and garlic. That’s flavors the yogurt. A little paprika, a lone olive, and it’s served with warm pita. It’s the perfect party dip.

The menu is quite traditional, from orzo to Greek salads. So after a day at the beach, or shopping, or just relaxing, a taste of Greece may be calling you.

It’s Greek to Me
44 Centennial Drive
Pier Village
Long Branch, New Jersey (Monmouth County)

For a tzatziki recipe check our “Food Recipes” category.

Books > Colossus of Maroussi August 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life.
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colossus.jpg  Colossus of Maroussi, by Henry Miller
Paperback, ISBN: 0811201090
Pub. Date: June 1958, Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation

This book about Greece, by the author of Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, is incandescent with his feeling for a great people and their past. ‘It doesn’t seem far from a miracle to me, the emergence of as friendly and joyful a book.’

Henry Miller in his “Colossus of Marousi” provided the most famous description of Poros: “The island revolves in cubistic planes, one of walls and windows, one of rocks and goats… Yonder, where the mainland curves like a whip, lie the wild lemon groves and there in the spring young and old go mad from the fragrance of sap and blossom. You enter the harbor of Poros swaying and swirling, a gentle idiot tossed about amidst masts and nets in a world which only the painter knows.”

Miller’s famous quotes:

Greece >
To know [Greece] thoroughly is impossible; to understand it requires genius; to fall in love with it is the easiest thing in the world. It is like falling in love with one’s own divine image reflected in a thousand dazzling facets.
Inventing Paradise The Greek Journey 1937-47 Greece

I choose this image at random but how appropriate and accurate it is! When I think of Katsimbalis bending over to pick a flower from the bare soil of Attica the whole Greek world, past, present and future, rises before me. I see again the soft, low mounds in which the illustrious dead were hidden away; I see the violent light in which the stiff scrub, the worn rocks, the huge boulders of the dry river beds gleam like mica; I see the miniature islands floating above the surface of the sea, ringed with dazzling white bands; I see the eagles swooping out from the dizzy crags of inaccessible mountain tops, their somber shadows slowly staining the bright carpet of earth below; I see the figures of solitary men trailing their flocks over the naked spine of the hills and the fleece of their beasts all golden fuzz as in the days of legend; I see the women gathered at the wells amidst the olive groves, their dress, their manners, their talk no different now than in Biblical times; I see the grand patriarchal figure of the priest, the perfect blend of male and female, his countenance serene, frank, full of peace and dignity; I see the geometrical pattern of nature expounded by the earth itself in silence which is deafening. The Greek earth opens before me like the Book of Revelation. I never knew that the earth contains so much; I walked blindfolded, with faltering, hesitant steps; I was proud and arrogant, content to live the false, restricted life of the city man. The light of Greece opened my eyes, penetrated my pores, my whole being.I came home to the world, having found the true center and the real meaning of revolution. No warring conflicts between the nations of the earth can disturb this equilibrium. Greece herself may become embroiled, as we ourselves are now becoming embroiled, but I refuse categorically to become anything less than the citizen of the world which I silently declared myself to be when I stood in Agamemnon’s tomb. From that day forth my life was dedicated to the recovery of the divinity of man. Peace to all men, I say, and life more abundant!
Greek File, The Colossus of Maroussi

Peace >
There will be no peace until murder is eliminated from the heart and mind. Neither God nor the Devil is responsible and certainly not such puny monsters as Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, et alia. Certainly not such bugaboos as Catholicism, Capitalism, Communism. Who put the demons there in our heart to torture us? A good question, and if the only way to find out is to go to Epidaurus, then I urge you one and all to drop everything and go there at once.
Inventing Paradise The Greek Journey 1937-47 Colossus of Maroussi