easter breakfast. tsoureki is traditional easter bread (tastes like what we usually have with dried fruits in it) the one on the left was covered in white chocolate and layered with a chestnut filling. the picture on the bottom is my new absolute favorite: biskotoloukoumo - soft, sugary, sticky, jelly-like and the best is the rose flavored (sounds weird, but tastes like "grandma") squished properly between two petit beurre biscuits. turkish delight, if you will. served with a greek coffee, feels a little old-lady-ish, but it is soo scrumptious.
while enjoying these deliciousness in the early greek sun, behind us was our dinner: a naked lamb spinning on the spit fire, roasting first in buttered paper, then bare above the coals. today was the men's day to cook. not so traditional, they had an electric turner - imagine having to spin that for 4 hours! we went for a walk to the hills while the men tended to the poor lamb that would soon be in our bellies. it was weird to see - the head and the eyeballs, the legs pinned to its body, nailed onto a metal rod - but it was fascinating and all part of the experience you'd expect for a traditional greek easter in a small village. all around the village you could smell meat roasting - some neighbors on the streets, some cooking it in a hole in the ground. it's not quite the thanksgiving turkey.
and boy did we eat. i don't think i've ever had so much meat in one day, arina has never had so much meat in her life. we had boumbari (homemade rice stuffed sausage from a bowl of intestinal casing we saw earlier), dolmades, macedonian cheese, hamburger-like meatballs, ribs, tzigerosarmas (liver and rice stuffed in abdominal casing), greek salad, fresh bread, tzasiki and of course the entire lamb - to be eaten with your hands - and the crispy skin was everyone's favorite. and of course ouzo and retsini.
then of course came the greek dancing, dessert, and another walk. it was a fantastic easter in greece. popi's family was so hospitable, funny, and sweet - but seeing them all together and seeing how happy popi was...it was the first time i really felt homesick and missed my family :( a long distance phone call and a hug from arina helped.