January 2011 Newsletter Bookmark and Share
 This Month
January's Article: The Greeks of Australia Special Feature: Zakynthos: Food, Wine & Products
What's New: Sterling Silver Jewelry, Greek Music, Books & DVDs, Children's DVDs & Books in Greek, Greek Educational Toys, Vintage Greek Posters Latest Arrivals: Greek Alphabet Block Personalized Apparel, Greek Food & Baking Goods
Featured Destination: Cyclades - Kythnos January's Recipe: Chocolate Ouzo Cupcakes
Saint Namedays in January Suggestions, Comments, Subscription Info


January's Recipe:
Chocolate Ouzo Cupcakes 


A moist, delicious, chocolate cake baked with a hint of anise-flavored Greek liqueur, called ouzo. this gives everyday cupcakes a definite Greek chic twist. Your family will love them, especially the adults! You can use your favorite frosting recipe or the one offered here!


Batter Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Greek Ouzo liqueur
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almonds, slivered
  • 24 cupcake baking cups

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp milk
Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs and butter with mixer on low speed. Add cocoa, water, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, flour, salt, and ouzo. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Divide batter into baking cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan; remove from pan to cool for 20 minutes.

Frosting:
In a bowl, mix butter and chocolate, using an electric mixer on low. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.

Frost and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Excerpts and Photography from: Greek Chic Cuisine
by Stephanie M. Patsalis

 

January's Article:
The Greeks of Australia


The Greeks of Australia

Before World War II concepts regarding immigrants were based on fear, prejudice and ignorance, making white Australia liable to racial discord and bitterness. Intolerance was often manifested in reports and anti-immigrant Acts of Parliament. For example, in debates in the Australian Parliament in 1925, it was claimed that the typical southern European was a 'cheap foreign immigrant who can live on the smell of an oil rag'. One member of the Australian Parliament cited the case of Hellenes on shift work in a South Australian (SA) country town (Bailey, 1933):

The beds they occupy never get cold. As soon as one man leaves his bed it is occupied by another of his fellows, and it is practically always in use. How can we expect such people to adjust themselves to our standard of living. The private life of these Hellenes is far below the standard of the private life of our people and they are quite unsuited, because of their former environment and general outlook on life, ever to become worthy citizens...
Anti-Greek feeling frequently erupted against stranded Greek immigrants accepting employment in strike-bound sites, while threats, stone throwing and actual bombs were hurled at their coffee houses and residential quarters in Melbourne and Broken Hill. The anti-foreign opposition was particularly high during severe national economic crises, and emanated from organized labour, the older immigrant stocks, and certain elements of the conservative media and the mainstream population.

Passage to Australia was exploited by unscrupulous Greek and European travel agents and some steamship companies who made misleading claims hiding from prospective immigrants the danger and privations they would face in Australia. Many of the early Greek migrants after the 1880s came from Kythera, a British protectorate. Kytherians were encouraged to migrate and repatriate without special permission. On many occasions their migration was subsidized, as they were eligible for a special five-pound fare. The first choice was the United States, but when migration restrictions were applied there, Australia was seen as the next land of opportunity. Kythe-rian Platon Levantis was thirteen years old, when after forty-seven days as a stranded passenger in Port Said, he was finally given a place abroad the Italian ship Pena. His memories from the voyage are revealing:
I paid 230 sterling pounds for my tickets to Australia, via Alexandria and Port Said. During this period the weekly wage for seven days work was three pounds. Pena was a very small ship of approximately 2500 tones, carrying 1000 passengers, most of whom were Englishmen. We did not have cabins, no beds, and no lounge to rest. We were confined to sleep on the deck, although we had been issued a full ticket by cunning agents. We were compelled to sleep on the deck lying on single blankets. It was obvious that the agents played a treacherous role... During the voyage I fell sick and exhausted. I thought that this was the end of my life. Some Greeks revolted against the captain. They demanded from him to give me a cabin and proper meals to recover. The Captain succumbed to the exerted pressure... In Fremantle most passengers decided to take the train to Melbourne and Sydney rather than to risk an additional twelve days in the sea. My father was waiting for me in Port Melbourne to take me to his fruit shop in Goulburn. This was the first time in my life that I was meeting my own father. As I stepped out from the ship he took me to the first shop to buy me new clothes. I will never forget that..."

(Platon Levantis interview, 1 October 1997)
On the other hand the Greek Government did nothing to curb emigration. The outflow of emigrating Greeks was generating an inflow revenue for Greece and in certain cases emigration was the mechanism for getting rid of undesirable people . Distress signals from pioneers appeared in the form of letters in the Greek newspapers in Piraeus, Athens and Thessaloniki. The treatment of the pioneer settlers was worsened by the application rail protection fees and ransom money. Tracklayers constructing the railways in WA and sugar cane cutters in North Queensland were compelled to pay employment commission to leading hands and foremen. Many were compelled to pay bribes to foremen to avoid their discharge by the employing company or to secure their seasonal work. In certain cases some immigrants worked for almost an entire season clearing farms in WA without receiving any payment from the landlords, often a person of higher authority (Tamis, 1994).

Article to be continued next month

 

Excerpts and Photography from
The Greeks in Australia
by Anastasios Tamis

 Special Feature:
 Zakynthos: Food, Wine & Products


Fruits and vegetables are plentiful in Zakynthos. They taste better than in the rest of the Mediterranean because of the fertile soil and mild climate. They are rich in phytochemical organic substances. They are also high in antioxidants and vitamins which have protective features for health.

Aromatic melons are exported in great quantity to the mainland. In 1682 George Wheeler wrote confidentially that the melons in Zakynthos were the best. Katsampes, winter melons in Zakynthos were the best. Katsampes, winter lemons, wild strawberries famous for their excellent taste and as well their special drink, water melons, wild strawberries famous for their excellent taste and as well their special drink, water melons, apples, peaches, citrus, lemons, figs, oranges, mespoles, loquats, koromila, a kind of plums, and lots of almonds which are necessary for Mandolato and their traditional Soumada, almond drink, are all produce of Zakynthos.

Horta (wild greens) grow everywhere in the spring . It constituted the food for the poor as it was rich in vitamins, and Zakynthos have known it since the old days. Even now, then spring comes, everybody goes to the country to collect horta. It is brought home, boiled or steamed, sprinkled with lemon and olive oil, which, accompanied with any other dish or by itself is a healthy food. Even dandelion juice will clean your blood , just as the old people believed.

Asparagus, bulbs, and wild mushrooms sprinkled with lemon and olive oil, make a healthy dish for everyone.

Eggplants are famous for their part in the national dish of Zakynthos, Skorthostoubi. Smothered in garlic, it is a glorious aubergine dish. Sliced eggplants fried in olive oil, Melitzanoaliada, can be a perfect appetizer.

Onions from Belousi Village, sweet, flat, white or purple, are perfect for salads, for making traditional sauces or by themselves in Kolatsio with Riganatha.

Squash has been called the Venetian zucchini. It is similar to pumpkin. Kohlrabi flourishes in Zakynthos as well as chard, string beans, cabbage, artichokes, limes, lima beans and potatoes. Purslane is plentiful and perfect for the Omega and Mediterranean Diets. As an Aphrodisiac, wild black artichokes, fresh lima beans, and tiny sea shells have been popular since the old times.

Celery is dark and green with plenty of thin, soft leaves in Zakynthos. Its stalks are very tender like the Italian celery. It is used in soups, sauces and fricassee.

Botanical herbs, spices and flavors are necessary for the the Zakynthian cuisine, not only for flavoring the dishes but for therapeutic reasons. The hills and plains are full of herbs. Spices were brought here long ago by the Venetians and Byzantine merchants, and have become important.

Oregano, which grows on the hills, is used in most dishes, sauces, salads, baked fish or meat. It is considered the ideal herb to improve the flavor of nearly every dish.

Zakynthians love it. There is no garden or balcony without basil in Zakynthos. It has a religious and herbal significance. It is used in the holy water sprinkled by the priest during the ceremony of the Epiphany and on the 14th of September, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, after which the women bring some home to use in making bread. As a herb, it is used in salads, sauces, stuffed vegetables and for garnish on cheese and tomatoes.

Throubi, thyme, is a summer savory, mostly used in the mountains instead of oregano. there is plenty on the hills, and it has a strong taste which is perfect for seasoning meat, game and red sauces.


The Special Feature "Zakynthos: Food, Wine & Products" will continue next month...

Excerpt from
Cooking and Traditions of Zakynthos
by Calliopi Toufidou

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 Featured Destination: Cyclades - Kythnos (part 3 of 22)


GEOGRAPHY This island, the second of the Western Cyclades, lies between Kea, Syros and Seriphos. It is 99 sq. km. in area, has 98 km. of coast, 1,502 inhabitants and is 52 nautical miles from Piraeus. Its capital is Kythnos (Chora) or Mesaria. A ferry boat operates between Kythnos and Lavrion, via Kea, as well as Piraeus (more frequent during the summer).

The terrain is mountainous (highest peak Profitis Ilias, 368 m. a.s.l.) with small areas of flat land and many coves. The population is engaged exclusively in agriculture and animal husbandry. The island is particularly well-known for its therapeutic springs (Loutra), on account of which it was known as Thermia. With very few tourists and lovely beaches, Kythnos is an ideal spot for those seeking solitude and island life with minimal comforts.

HISTORY In antiquity the island was known by several names and has been inhabited since Neolithic times, as evident from recent finds from Loutra, dated 7000 - 6500 BC, the earliest proof of human presence in the Cyclades. In Mycenaean times Dryopes lived here and it was they who gave the island its present name. Kythnos played an active role during the Persian Wars, joined the Athenian League, was subject to the Macedonians, Ptolemies and Romans and in Byzantine times belonged to the Thema of the Aegean. During the Latin occupation it was part of the Duchy of Naxos. In 1337 it was ruled by the Italian Gozzadini family who maintained their preeminence even after the island was pillaged by Barbarossa (1537), up until 1617 when they were ousted by the Turks. During the reign of king Otto it was a place of exile for revolutionaries and political opponents.

SIGHTS-MONUMENTS The island's capital, Chora, stands on a hill in the hinterland and is not visible from the sea. The typically asymmetrical Cycladic houses spread out to right and left of the two parallel main streets. On a nearby spur stands the monastery of the Virgin of Nikos. There are several Postbyzantine churches in Chora (the oldest is the Holy Trinity), built according to Western prototypes since the Catholic faith held sway here for quite some time. The majority have wood carved iconostases (Saviour, Taxiarchs, Christ, St. Savvas, Transfiguration) with important icons in the Veneto-Cretan style, painted by the hagiographer Skordilis.

North of Chora (approx. 1.5 km.) are the remains of a Hellenistic tower. 4 km. south of Chora is Dryopida, a characteristic Cycladic village with its snow-white houses built on either side of a dry river bed. In the church of St. Minas there is an intricately carved wooden iconostasis and despotic throne. At the southern edge of the village is the Katafyki cave with a wealth of stalagmitic and stalactitic decoration, as yet unexploited.

Southeast of Chora (16 km.) stands the monastery of the Virgin Kanala, patroness of the island, whose icon is reputed to have been found in a canal, hence the epithet. On her feast days (15th August and 8th September) pilgrims congregate here in great numbers.

Northeast of Chora (4.5 km.) is Loutra, renowned for its medicinal springs. North of Loutra, at Palaiokastro, are the remains of the medieval capital of the island with the ruins of its Venetian castle on the hilltop. Parts of the enceinte are preserved but almost nothing has survived of the houses, which numbered more than 1000. Only two of the 100 or so churches are preserved, dating from the 13th and 14th century, that of the Virgin (Our Lady) of Mercy being in better condition.

On the west side of the island (approx. 8 km. from Chora) is the harbor of Mericha and north of this, at Vriokastro, are traces of the ancient city. Northwest of Mericha is the islet Aghios Loukas, joined to the main island by a narrow spit of sand. South of Mericha, in the locality of Flambouria, is the church of the Virgin Flambouriani.

The island's azure waters and numerous sandy beaches are excellent for both swimming and fishing: Episkopi, Kolona (only by caique), Kanala, Flambouria (by boat), Aghios Stefanos, Aghia Irini, Kalo Livadi. These beaches are accessible by bus or on foot, whereas those with a boat may explore all the island's coves, as well as visit neighboring Tzia. Refueling station at Mericha. There are a few hotels, rooms and apartments for rent.

Next month: The Islands of the Cyclades - Seriphos, Part 4 of 22
 


 January 2011 Greek Orthodox Calendar

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
            1
Fast Free

Circumcision of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia

Gregory, Bishop of Nanzianzos, Father of Gregory the Theologian
2
Fast Free

Sunday before Epiphany

Forefeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Sylvester, Pope of Rome
3
Fast Free

Malachi the Prophet

Gordios the Martyr of Caesarea

Forefeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
4
Fast Free

Tuesday of the 16th Week

Synaxis of the 70 Holy Apostles

Theoctistos the Righteous of Sicily
5
Eve of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Martyrs Theopemptos and Theonas

Righteous Syncletiki of Alexandria
6
The Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Theophan the Recluse
7
Synaxis of John the Holy Glorious Prophet, Baptist, & Forerunner

Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
8
Saturday after Epiphany

George the Chozebite

Domnica the Righteous of Constantinople
9
Sunday after Epiphany

Polyeuctos the Martyr of Meletine in Armenia

Eustratios the Wonderworker
10
Monday of the 12th Week

Gregory of Nyssa

Dometian, Bishop of Melitene
11
Righteous Theodosios the Cenobiarch

Vitalis of Gaza

Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
12
Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Tatiana the Martyr of Rome

Martyr Mertios
13
Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Hermylos & Stratonikos the Martyrs at Belgrade

Maximos the Righteous of Kapsokalyvia, Mount Athos
14
Leavetaking of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

The Holy Fathers slain at Sinai and Raitho

Agnes the Virgin-martyr
15
John the Cave Dweller

Paul of Thebes

Pansophios the Martyr of Alexandria
16
12th Sunday of Luke

Veneration of Apostle Peter's Precious Chains

Righteous Hierodeacon Makarios of Kalogeras
17
Anthony the Great

Anthony the New of the Berropas Skete

George the New Martyr of Ioannina
18
Athanasios & Cyril, Patriarchs of Alexandria

Zenia the Martyr
19
Makarios the Great of Egypt

Mark, Bishop of Ephesus

Arsenios, Metropolitan of Kerkyra
20
Righteous Euthymios the Great

Zacharias the New Martyr of Patra
21
Maximos the Confessor

Neophytos the Martyr of Nicaea
22
Timothy the Apostle of the 70

Anastasios, the Persian Righteous Monk-martyr
23
14th Sunday of Luke

Clement the Hieromartyr & Bishop of Ancyra

Agathangelos the Martyr
24
Monday of the 15th Week

Xenia, Deaconess of Rome

Vavylas the Holy Martyr
25
Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople
26
Wednesday of the 15th Week

Xenophon & his Companions

Symeon the Elder of Mount Sinai
27
Removal of the Relics of John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

Peter the Righteous of Egypt

Demetrios the New Martyr of Constantinople
28
Ephraim the Syrian

Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah

James the Righteous
29
Removal of the Relics of Ignatios the God-bearer

Laurence the Recluse of the Kiev Caves
30
Synaxis of The Three Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, & John Chrysostom

Hippolytos, Pope of Rome

Athanasia the Martyr & her 3 daughters
31
Cyrus & John the Unmercenaries

Holy Women Martyrs Theodote, Theoktiste and Eudoxia

Our Righteous Father Arsenius of Parus
         


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