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Avgolemono soup > egg and lemon soup June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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Ingredients >
2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup long-grain rice
½ teaspoon salt
5 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method >
Bring broth to a boil in a soup pot. Add rice and salt. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine the eggs, lemon juice and flour. Beat well with a whisk or electric mixer until well-combined and frothy. Add ¼ cup hot chicken broth; beat to combine. Keep adding ¼ cup of broth in 3 more additions, beating well each time (this is to temper the egg mixture so the eggs do not curdle).
When the cup of broth has been added, stir the egg-lemon-broth mixture back into the rice pot. Stir to blend well. Heat, but don’t bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Serve in bowls with a generous grinding of black pepper. Serves 6.

New book shows Greek cafes as part of Australia’s history June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life, Hellenic Light Oceania.
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They were a quintessential part of Australian life for decades, then quietly faded away. But UQ academic Toni Risson is not letting the phenomenon that was the Greek cafe be forgotten.

Ms Risson, a PhD student at the University’s Ipswich campus, recently released “Aphrodite and The Mixed Grill”, a chronicle of Greek cafes in Australia. The book outlines how these Greek immigrant-operated shops combined the benefits of milk bars, rest stops and diners and brought American treats such as ice-cream sodas and sundaes to Australian towns from the turn of the 20th century to the 1970s.

Ms Risson said Greek cafes had been part of the Australian landscape as a place to meet after going to the pictures, for travellers to stop on long journeys or families to visit while window shopping in the days before television. Towns such as Ipswich had more than a dozen Greek cafes when the trend was at its peak.

“They were just everywhere; they were like McDonald’s,” she said. “Apart from the face behind the counter, and sometimes the name of the establishment, nothing else was Greek; they served milkshakes, toasted sandwiches, the mixed grill, simple British-Australian food.”

While the food was familiar, the Greek faces and accents were not, and Ms Risson said many cafe proprietors bore the brunt of racism in a way other ethnic groups did not.

“They were at the forefront of multicultural Australia, the Greeks were at the centre of the business district, they were at the centre of people’s lives,” she said.

Ultimately, Greek cafes began to close down in the 60s and 70s due mostly to the rise of television, better cars and American fast food outlets. According to Ms Risson, few traditional Greek cafes remain in Australia; the Niagara in Gundagai and the Paragon in Katoomba are the best known.

Aphrodite and The Mixed Grill started out as an 8000-word dissertation for a one-semester subject Ms Risson took in 2005. She said once she began to learn about the Greek immigrants who ran the cafes, she realised the tale needed a book, not an essay. “It’s just been a privilege for me to meet these people and be trusted with their stories” Ms Risson said.

An exhibition of the photos in Aphrodite and The Mixed Grill, called Greek Cafes in Ipswich, opens at Ipswich Art Gallery on August 11, coinciding with the Ipswich launch of the book.

Festival > It’s Greek to you June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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There’ll be Greek food, Greek dancing, Greek music and, if you adore “American Idol” finalist Constantine Maroulis, a Greek god.

Opa! Festival is coming to Troy this weekend. The 3-day celebration includes a Greek marketplace, wine tasting, cooking demonstrations and Greek dancing lessons. The dreamy-eyed Constantine performs at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

The festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, will be at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 760 Wattles in Troy. Tickets are $2 each, free for kids ages 12 and under. Or to get in free, bring three cans of food to donate to Gleaners Community Food Bank.

For a full schedule and more info, check out www.opafest.com or call 248-362-9575.

Seven days > the best days of your life in sunny Cyprus June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus.
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The history of Cyprus may be long, but the distances are short! That’s why you can spend a satisfying weekend in Cyprus and come away feeling as if you have had a fascinating glimpse of ancient civilizations as well as of the modern Mediterranean lifestyle.

There is much to do and see in Cyprus, therefore several days are even better. If you allow yourself a week or more, you will truly experience the wonders that Cyprus has to offer. You can choose any of the daily itineraries listed below according to the length of your stay in Cyprus. If you are at the port of Limassol, as a cruise passenger for a day, it is suggested that you visit the Limassol area and Pafos.

DAY 1 > Nicosia > In the morning, visit the Cyprus Museum, Agios Ioannis Cathedral, Byzantine and Folk Art Museums and the Famagusta Gate area. Lunch at Laiki Geitonia. In the afternoon, visit the Leventis Municipal Museum, and take a walk in the pedestrian shopping area.

DAY 2 > Larnaca > In the morning, visit St. Lazarus Church, Pierides Museum and Kition. Lunch at the “Phinikoudes” Promenade. In the afternoon, visit the Lefkara village famous for its local lace and silverware, and the Choirokoitia Neolithic settlement.

DAY 3 > Ammochostos Area > Visit Agios Georgios Church at Sotira, Agia Napa Monastery and spend your afternoon swimming in the crystal clear waters of Agia Napa and Paralimni. Explore the rugged coast of Cape Greko.

DAY 4 > Troodos Mountains > Visit Asinou Church at Nikitari village, Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis Church at Kakopetria village and stop for lunch at Platres. In the afternoon, visit Trooditissa or Kykkos Monastery. Explore picturesque villages in the area.

DAY 5 > Limassol > In the morning, visit Kolossi Castle, Kourion ancient site and the Sanctuary of Apollo. In the afternoon, visit the Medieval Museum and the ancient site of Amathous.

DAY 6 > Pafos > On the way to Pafos stop at Petra tou Romiou, legendary birthplace of Aphrodite and Agia Paraskevi Church at Geroskipou village. Lunch at the harbor. In the afternoon, visit Pafos Medieval Fort, Mosaics, Tombs of the Kings and the Panagia Chrysopolitissa, the St. Paul’s Pillar.

DAY 7 > Pafos > In the morning, visit Agios Neofytos Monastery, Agios Georgios near Pegeia village, and Polis. Lunch at Latsi. In the afternoon, take one of the nature walks at Akamas Peninsula, starting from the Baths of Aphrodite.

Related Links > Cyprus Tourism Organisation > www.visitcyprus.org.cy

BBCWW to make more Greek sales June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV.
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BBC Worldwide, BBCWW, has sold rights to its Great Britons format to Greece among other countries, bringing the number of territories taking the show to more than 20.

Greece’s Skai Radio and TV will make local versions of the series, which originally aired on BBC2 in the UK five years ago.

Denmark returns fragment of ancient marble to Greece June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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A fragment of an ancient Greek marble relief was returned to Greece on Thursday by a Danish family that had owned it for over a century

Carsten Dahl had contacted the Greek Ambassador in Denmark last April on his own initiative, informing him of the fragment’s existence, because he believed that “antiquities should return to their country of origin.”

The fragment was from a 4th century B.C. Attica carved relief shaped like a small temple that portrayed the goddess Athena. It had been given to the Dahl family in 1897 by a Danish writer and war correspondent working in Greece at the time.

It was officially received on Thursday by Culture Minister George Voulgarakis in a special ceremony at the Culture Ministry, though Carsten Dahl was unable to attend due to ill health and was represented by his nephew.

Voulgarakis thanked and publicly congratulated Mr. Dahl, stressing the “huge symbolic importance” of his decision to transfer ownership of the fragment to the Greek Culture Ministry.

“It vindicates our efforts and points to similar actions and initiatives,” the Minister said, repeating that the antiquities taken out of Greece were “lost pieces of our history”. “The Culture Ministry of Greece will serve in every possible way the building of the policy that will result in the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles,” he added.

Promoting young dance talent June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Festivals, Ballet Dance Opera.
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Fifth Athens International Dance Festival pays tribute to Germany, with many parallel events > Welsh group Diversions will perform on July 9 and 10.

Running for the fifth consecutive year, Athens’s International Dance Festival is back. From July 1 to 14, the festival will be held at its usual venue, the Technopolis Arts Complex in Gazi, where Greek and foreign dance companies will present their latest work. Highlights include a tribute to German dance as well as the parallel events that always accompany the festival.

“Our aim is to present Greek and foreign companies that have not performed here before,” said Sophie Mytilinaiou Daskalaki, head of the Cultural Organization of the City of Athens which organizes the event, at Monday’s press conference. “The City of Athens wants to promote new talent, because things are hard for young artists.”

The festival will kick off with a German week of dance and performances by two Berlin-based companies. Argentina-born Constanza Macras, who has done joint productions with the Schaubuehne and the Berliner Festspiele among others, will present “Sure, Shall we Talk about It?” on July 1, 2 and 3 with her company Dorky Park. In the choreography, 11 female dancers comment on the expectations from women’s bodies.

Following last year’s performance at the festival, Toula Limnaios will present her latest choreography, “Life is Perfect” an imaginary narration that casts an ironic look at modern society, on July 5 and 6. Greek-born Limnaios, who lives in Berlin, founded the “cie. toula limnaios” with Ralf Ollertz in 1996.

Berlin is a city of major importance for the development of the arts in general and, as pointed out by Wolfger Poehlmann, director of the Goethe Institute’s Cultural Program, it has become a meeting point for artists from all over the world. “The Week of German Dance will also serve as an introduction for the Weeks of German Culture, which will take place in the autumn,” he added.

Award-winning Welsh company Diversions, whose work strikes a balance between theater and dance, will present “Peeled”, a choreography with innovative lighting and intense music, as well as “Practice Paradise,” a performance where strange creatures meet in the forest, on July 9 and 10. The San Francisco-based Kunst-Stoff dance theater, with Yiannis Adoniou as artistic director, will present “Yia Yia,” an elderly person’s glimpse into the past as well as “In 4 Sections,” a work inspired by four contemporary composers, on July 12 and 13. On the same days the Smack contemporary dance company, founded by Stella Zanou in August 2006, will perform “Under Cinderella’s Skirt,” a choreography inspired by the short life of a video game character.

The festival will end on July 14 with two duets, one by Stella Zanou and Francois Renault and the other by Ayman Harper and Alexander Ekman, followed by a hip-hop show by three French dancers. The ending will be marked by a fashion show, where well-known Greek actors and dancers will parade with costumes designed by Ioanna Tsami for theater and dance productions.

Parallel events include seminars, exhibitions and the “Open Stage.” The seminars, conducted by choreographers Ayman Harper, Constanza Macras, Toula Limnaios and Wayne Parsons, are addressed to dance students and professionals, the deadline for applications is June 25. There will be two photography exhibitions: a group display by 15 German photographers who will present all tendencies of the German contemporary dance scene, held in collaboration with the Goethe Institute, as well an exhibition with highlights from the festival’s five-year run, by Haris Akriviadis.

The Open Stage is an institution that promotes young local talent. After a process of selection, dance school graduates can present their choreographies at Technopolis before the official program, this year the Open Stage will run on July 3 and 10. “Our next step is to be able to have a second Open Stage and maybe host performances by young artists from all over the world,” said festival artistic director Margo Perdiki-Archondaki.

One cannot help but wonder why the Athens Festival has to almost coincide with the summer dance highlight, the Kalamata International Dance Festival, which has always run mid- to end-July and will celebrate its 13th year from July 13 to 22 this summer. According to Perdiki-Archondaki, summer is the only appropriate time for a dance festival and by now it has become an institution for the Athens Festival to run on these dates. Yet summertime is not restricted to July and why should dance lovers be forced to choose between the two, especially when there are such few dance happenings taking place in Greece?

Tickets cost 15 euros and are already available at the Municipal Cultural Center, 50 Academias Street, Athens, tel 210 3612920 and at Technopolis Arts Complex, 100 Pireos Street, Gazi, Athens, tel 210 3235353.

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