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Greek Festival > Fall N2 Art September 21, 2007

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Artists Round Table promotes regional show alongside popular festival

Last year a local group called The Artists Round Table organized an art show to run alongside the ever-and-extremely popular Columbia Greek Festival. This year, the group has aimed for something much bigger. About 60 artists from the Carolinas, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia and a few other places will be in the Fall N2 Art show, and the top prize is $3,000.

The artists, selected from about 85 who applied, will show paintings, as well as glass, woodwork, textiles and ceramics. The Round Table is a young organization, having formed in the summer of 2006 shortly before the first exhibition. The main force behind it was Howard Hunt, a commercial and fine art photographer.

The Round Table is more about giving artists the tools they need to help themselves: tips on marketing, business practices and developing relationships with arts groups and businesses, said Alicia Leeke, president of the Roundtable. The four-day Greek Festival, which has been going on for 20 years, attracts about 70,000 people, so aligning with it was “a no-brainer,” Hunt said. 

One way the show got the attention of artists was the prize money. Winners will be selected by two jurors from Charlotte. The prizes are mainly funded by artists who paid a $10 application fee and a $150 booth fee for those who were accepted. 

Fall N2 Art, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Richland Street, between Sumter and Assembly, Cost is free. For information visit > www.artistsroundtable.com

Greek Festival celebrates 21 years of food, fun September 21, 2007

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Greek culture, food on display

This year the Columbia Greek Festival celebrates 21 years of feeding and entertaining festival-goers from across the Midlands. The celebration kicks into high gear today with performers, vendors, food and more. The Goya Dancers and the Palamakia and Junior Dancers, traditional Greek acts, will be dancing and singing in and outdoors throughout the day today, Saturday and Sunday.

Learn more about the land and its people through displays on Greek culture, history, heritage and modern-day Greecefrom 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. There also will be discussions and video presentations.

Tours of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will start in the sanctuary at 12:30, 2, 3:30, 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. today and Saturday and at 2, 3:30 and 5 p.m. Sunday.

Catch the play “Fun and Fables with Aesop” by the Patchwork Players Theatre Company at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Food is a major component of the lively Greek Festival, and it’s best to come prepared. Unlike roasted lamb and Greek chicken, some foods have unfamiliar names.

Here are some common Greek eats that will be cooking this weekend >
Souvlaki > Marinated tenderloin on a skewer with bread
Gyros > A blend of beef and lamb with onion, tomato and dressing on pita bread
Loukoumades > Greek doughnuts
Spanakopita > Spinach and feta cheese in fillo pastry
Dolmades > Grape leaves stuffed with seasoned beef and rice
Keftedes > Greek-style meatballs with egg-lemon sauce served on a bed of pasta
Baklava > A flaky dough layered with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey

Tulsa’s Greek Festival > culture, dancing and great food September 21, 2007

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From the grilled Greek chicken to the delicious pastries, the festival, Tulsa’s oldest ethnic celebration, seems designed to make people waddle when they head to the stage to dance off their calories.

The 47th annual Greek Holiday festival started Thursday with a younger audience, middle and high school students, in heavy numbers. Students received a tour, followed by food and dance lessons.

For some, the chance to go to the festival is a part of entering middle school, said the Rev. Bill Christ, a priest at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the festival’s host. Students could hear some Greek phrases, learn about the history of writing the Bible and and see how the different Christian faiths relate. Students then tasted Greek food, listened to Greek music and finally, experienced Greek dancing.

The fundraising festival is the church’s largest and Tulsa’s oldest cultural event, said the festival’s chairman, Demetrius Bereolos.

Where > Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1222 S. Guthrie Ave., Tulsa
When > 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
Cost > $2 for adults; children free when accompanied by an adult.

Greek Festival next week in Birmingham, AL September 21, 2007

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The 35th annual Greek Festival next week is one of the favorite food festivals around. It begins Thursday and continues through Saturday, September 29.

The festival, as usual, is at the Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church at 307 19th St. South. Hours of the festival are 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day. Free admission and free parking and shuttle are some of the features that please festival goers.

The menu will include popular entrees such as >
Deluxe plate > Greek-style chicken served with pastitsio, rice pilaf, spanakopita, tiropita, Greek salad and roll. $16.
Souvlakia > Marinated lamb skewered and grilled on an open fire, served with rice pilaf, salad and roll. $9.
Greek chicken > Greek-style chicken baked and basted with a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. Served with rice pilaf, Greek salad and roll. $9.
Pastitsio > A combination with layers of macaroni, ground beef and a Greek tomato sauce, topped with a layer of bechamel sauce. Served with spanakopita, tiropita, Greek salad and roll. $9.
Veggie plate > A meatless plate with rice pilaf, Greek dinner salad, two spanakopitas and two tiropitas. $7.
Also available are gyro sandwiches, gyro and salad combinations and Greek salads. Greek pastries include baklava and chocolate baklava, plus other popular Greek sweets. Also being sold is frozen pastitsio, in a casserole serving from nine to 12, for $30. Tiropites, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and Greek wines also will be sold.

There is ample seating for guests at the festival, and Greek music and dancing will be part of the three-day event. For those who want to take out meals, there is a line on 19th Street South between Third and Fourth Avenues that delivers orders to people as they drive up. For orders of 10 or more, call ahead to 716-3086 or fax 716-3085. No pre-orders are necessary for smaller orders.

A special treat this year for youngsters is Art Buzz, an arts and crafts activity for children that will be Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. For more information about the Greek Food Festival, call 716-3088.

The first flowers appear September 21, 2007

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The first flowers appear in the fire-ravaged village of Livadaki, about 320 kilometers southwest of Athens. The area was one of many in the Peloponnese hit by massive fires this summer that resulted in the deaths of more than 65 people and damaged or destroyed 1,500 homes.

  Hundreds are working in the scorched parts of the Peloponnese in a bid to build anti-flooding barriers using branches and tree stumps left behind by the fires as the fall wet season approaches.

Cultivating split peas on Santorini and Schinousa September 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Food Culture, Lifestyle.
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Islanders use age-old methods to grow and harvest the crop > Mules and donkeys thresh the crop of fava, preparing it for winnowing, by the same methods that have been in use for some 3,500 years

The more you learn about split peas, known as “fava” in Greek, and the way they are produced, the more fascinating they are, especially when you find out that the same methods have been in use for 3,500 years. The earliest record of the word fava comes from a tragedy by Aeschylus (6th-5th century BC). Later, Dioscurides, the famed doctor of antiquity, linked the word with the food we know.

The inhabitants of Santorini and Schinousa both claim that their split peas are the best and most flavorful. The Rural Cooperative of Thera and the Agricultural University of Athens have applied to the European Commission to have fava recognized as a Protected Designation of Origin. The people of Schinousa insist that their variety is sweeter.

The harvest always takes place early, when the ground is still moist, to protect the crop. In the fall, the farmers plow the fields in a traditional style, though some now use tractors. Christos Nomikos is one of the few who use the wooden plow mentioned by Hesiod. Seed is sown in December. On Santorini, many still sow on December 21, the feast day of Saint Eleousa. Fava grows easily in soil that is dry, sandy and normally infertile. The seeds sprout in about 20 days, depending on the south wind, which brings the rain.

As in the past, the crop is planted every second year. As horticulturalist Markos Kafrousos explained: “Crop rotation stops the land from becoming depleted. It also deters insects and bacteria.” The plant flowers in April and the pea starts to form. This is the most crucial phase, when rain is essential.

Two or three people can thresh and winnow a harvest of five tons. When the weather is right and the wind has taken away the straw, leaving the split peas, the harvest begins. The fava is threshed on stone mills identical to those used in antiquity. The workers do not talk, but concentrate on getting the job done in favorable weather conditions. It is like a ritual.

Mimika Kringa, a scholar of prehistoric archaeology, tells us about samples of fava found in vases in the West House at Akrotiri, and the conversation turns to dietary habits down the ages. There is a lovely chapel dedicated to St Epifanios in Akrotiri. On May 13, the saint’s name day, locals cook fava and share it out at the feast, served with sardines.

The island’s chefs have conferred gourmet status on fava. “Such a humble and neutral ingredient is bound to intrigue any cook,” said well-known Santorini chef Nikos Pouliasis. His collegue Giorgos Hadziyiannakis is delighted every time he creates a new dish, even desserts, using fava. Their efforts have paid off. On Santorini the demand for fava now exceeds supply. Similarly on Schinousa, Evdokia Despotidou and Dimitris Papadakis take a creative approach to cooking fava.

A glorious UEFA Cup night September 21, 2007

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Larissa, AEK and Panionios all scored wins in the competition’s first-round first legs > Ibrahima Bakayoko scored Larissa’s first goal in its 2-0 home win last night over Blackburn Rovers in Volos.

Greece enjoyed a rare sweep in the first three UEFA Cup matches involving Greek teams last night, with unfancied Larissa triumphing 2-0 over Blackburn Rovers, AEK overpowering Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 and Panionios coming home with a precious 2-0 win over Sochaux.

Later last night Panathinaikos played in Slovakia against Artmedia Bratislava and Aris hosted Real Zaragoza in Thessaloniki. The second legs of the ties will be played on October 4.

Larissa recorded an historic victory over English Premiership side Blackburn thanks to two goals in two minutes during the first half. Undeterred by the reputation of their big rival and the ball possession in the first halfhour, the Greek Cup holders surprised their famous visitors with former Everton star Ibrahima Bakayoko’s deflected volley from 25 meters that made it 1-0 in the 34th minute.

As if that had not been enough for the Rovers, two minutes later Brett Emerton tried to pass the ball back to goalkeeper Brad Friedel but Nektarios Alexandrou stole it and tried to beat Friedel, but after two more goal efforts it fell to Clayton Silva, who slotted the ball in.

Larissa manager Giorgos Donis, a former Blackburn player as well, said: “We delivered what we had promised to do. We tried hard on the pitch and could have had an even better result.”

AEK holds a clear advantage over Salzburg with its 3-0 win at the Olympic Stadium, after a performance that promised a great season for the Greek side.

Geraldo Alves gave AEK the lead from a Rivaldo corner after just two minutes, Rivaldo added the second in the 57th minute with a wonderful left-foot volley inside the box, and Panayiotis Kone wrapped it up with a header in the 82nd minute from a Daniel Toszer corner on the right. Salzburg finished the game with 10 men as Jorge Francisco Vargas was sent off in the 70th minute for a second bookable offense.

In one of the best European nights in its history, Panionios beat French club Sochaux 2-0 away and is the odds-on favorite to advance to the group stage.

Refik Djibour scored the first for Evald Linen’s team after 27 minutes and Dario Fernandez sent a corner straight into the net in the 55th minute.