Greek Easter 2013

Today is Orthodox Easter, which includes the Greeks, Russians and a good deal of other eastern Christian religions.

Every year my sister holds Easter at her house, where she roasts a lamb on a spit out back, and we eat pretty much every Greek dish imaginable.

GreekEaster-spread

Somehow, I’ve become responsible for making the pastitsio every year. It’s my favorite, and a bit of a pain to make – not that it’s terribly difficult (if you’re familiar with making a bechamel sauce), but it leaves a mess in your kitchen. It’s basically a pasta casserole – with long bucatini pasta, ground beef and tomato sauce (seasoned with nutmeg and parsley), and then a bechamel sauce (made with parmesan and romano) poured over the entire thing and baked.

My pastitsio.

My pastitsio.

lamb

Here’s the lamb, that was particularly juice today. My American friends don’t always like lamb, but we grew up on it, and I love it.

shish-kabob

Souvlaki, or shish kabob. I didn’t have any, I was too stuffed on the other food.

loukaniko

Loukaniko, which is a wonderful Greek sausage, with a very particular flavor and spicing. The name, I just learned, derives from the ancient Roman sausage, Lucanica. It’s wonderful. You spray lemon juice on it at the end. Yummy!

spanakopita

Spanakopita. Another dish I sometimes make for Easter, this one I didn’t make. Basically layers of phyllo dough with a spinach, egg, feta cheese mix in the inside.

magiritsa

Magiritsa. I refuse to eat it. It’s a lamb soup made from all the stuff you throw away from the lamb before you roast it, including intestines, heart and liver. Yeah, no thanks.

The all-important cracking of the eggs.  Basically, you hold one end of your egg up against some one's and you crack them together.  Whoever's egg doesn't crack then moves on to the next person, and the competition starts again.  You continue until one egg is left, and I suspect that person has good luck for the year.

The all-important cracking of the eggs. Basically, you hold one end of your egg up against some one’s and you crack them together. Whoever’s egg doesn’t crack then moves on to the next person, and the competition starts again. You continue until one egg is left, and I suspect that person has good luck for the year. ┬áMy nephew, top egg, broke mine :(

sasha-out-back

Sasha enjoying her day in the suburban sun before dinner.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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