Domestic (Greek) Goddess in the making

The Greek God(zilla)’s sister, Eva, said when advising me on what shoes to wear to her twin boys’ christening, that if I was a full Greek, I’d definitely wear the black sequin heels.

‘Do you think I am actually half-Greek then, Eva?’ I laughed.  

She obviously forgot for a moment, that I am pure Essex born and bred. 

I loved it though, what a gorgeous compliment to be thought of by the real Greeks as one of their own!

But, I knew that in order to fully complete the Greek wife and mother look, I would first need to face my fears… of the kitchen.

This is how it works in Greek households –  I could pop round to YiaYia’s house, unannounced, at 3am, and she would whip up a spanakopita.  Every time YiaYia visits us, she brings cake, houmous and usually either a roast or lentil soup. 

While I was in hospital after having Zachy, she brought me Kleftiko and stocked our freezer with meals for a month. 

In Crete this summer, we all descended upon YiaYia’s family on a whim one day and within seconds, a plate of food was being pushed into our hands and the Raki was out.

This is how it works in our household – if someone popped round, unannounced, at 3am, I would assume it was a lunatic and call the police. 

When we visit family, we take shop bought cake and if someone is in hospital, I might take flowers. 

If ten people descended upon my Essex family on a whim one day, they would put the kettle on (when they had finished picking themselves up off the floor).

So to be taken seriously as a Greek wife, I needed to up my game. 

I started off gently by making cheesecake for the Steak/Off.  I have made this before, it is always a winner and I needed the confidence boost before tackling proper baking. 

When the Griwi twins turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, I made my own cupcakes with buttercream icing.  These seemed to go down quite well, so feeling braver, I baked and iced a chocolate sponge cake from scratch last weekend.  This also seemed to go down quite well and Papou even had two slices!

This weekend it is the Greek God(zilla)’s birthday, and my friend Lindsay will fall over reading this, we are opening our house to 25 people and I am cooking.

Yes, you read that correctly Lindsay.  I am cooking for 25 people.

I do not mean cooking as in I am reheating stuff I have bought from a shop.  I have created a menu, sourced recipes and shopped for ingredients.

I will be baking a birthday cake and cupcakes (both Primrose Bakery recipes) and making a fridge cheesecake (Nigella). 

Tomorrow night, I will slow cook a beef & ale casserole and throw together a vegetable curry (the sauce will be shop bought simply because of how much else I have to do).  I will make the cheesecake and leave it to set overnight.  I’ll also put a macaroni cheese in the oven for the kids.  On Saturday morning, I will start on the cupcakes and the birthday cake. 

I am a little nervous and a little bit excited.

My sister is bringing aubergine parmigiana and a bean salad.  YiaYia is bringing spanakopita, roast chicken, houmous and Greek biscuits, so at least if it does all go tits up, people will still eat.

And I will slip on my black sequin heels and try simply looking the part instead.

Are you a domestic goddess in the kitchen, or a mess?  What is the most people you have cooked for?


  1. Noo
    December 8, 2011 / 4:42 PM

    Darling – as always you will be amazing. I’m exhausted just reading about it so good on you. And Happy Birthday to Mr P xxx

    • Grenglish
      December 9, 2011 / 10:56 AM

      Thanks Noo! Pop in if you are in the area – open house from 1pm xx

  2. Angie
    December 8, 2011 / 4:48 PM

    Hehe….love it. And looking forward to seeing it with my own eyes on Saturday! I’m sure yours will be a roaring success. I’m not so confident about my own contributions though!

    • Grenglish
      December 9, 2011 / 10:56 AM

      Well, yes I am going to need you there early……….
      So much to achieve… so much pressure. Bring your iphone, we’ll video blog it xx

  3. December 8, 2011 / 5:43 PM

    Oh Smudgey – I have had such a totally crap morning today (tantrum related, as per usual). So there I was, feeling sorry for myself and consoling myself with a cuppa in starbucks when I read your blog. You had me ‘LMAO’ to say the very least. It’s such a funny post, as yes, I am totally amazed at your domestic endeavours. And very proud of you too. I’m sure it’ll be a roaring success (remember, planning is everything – and you seem to have got that bit sorted). I knew you had more in you than a microwaved omlet. You go girl, and I’m sure you’ll rock those sequin heels.

    Love you loads, Lindsay x

    • Grenglish
      December 9, 2011 / 10:55 AM

      Sorry you had such a bad day but pleased to have made you LMAO!
      I know how to heat hotdogs up now too 😉

  4. December 9, 2011 / 12:57 AM

    Good luck with the meal Grenglish. I am totally impressed. I always make my husband cook when we have people over although like you I have recently started making desserts. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

    • Grenglish
      December 9, 2011 / 10:53 AM

      Thank you AB, I do feel safer with desserts I have to say and Panagiotis does usually do most of the meat cooking as he is so much better at it. But I do need to up my game a bit. I will definitely let you know how I get on…

  5. December 9, 2011 / 6:25 AM

    Wow!! I hope it is amazing! We have come a long way in ten years! Remember heating up Sainsbury’s already cooked meals for dinner! Gosh when we have people over I put Matt on the BBQ and whip up a few salads so you are very inspiring! I hope it is an amazing day for you xxx

    • Grenglish
      December 9, 2011 / 10:51 AM

      I do remember! Also, risotto in a packet… just add water hahahaha!

  6. Florence
    December 11, 2011 / 10:45 AM

    You will totally be the domestic Essex-Greek Goddess! I was like you, super scared of cooking anything for anyone in case it FAILED (shock horror) and Mike’s mum is also an incredible cook so the (greek) pressure was ON.
    Well guess what? It didn’t actually fail that much (Thanks Jamie) and when it did, we had a good laugh about it, which our guests seem to enjoy as much as good food (most of the time…I mean i havent lost friends over a faulty gratin…).
    I haven’t cooked for big crowds like you yet (max 8 people) but pulled off a full xmas dinner feast 12 days after giving birth to baby Costa last year so I was pretty chuffed about that (although I almost lost it at about 3pm on that day hehe, and was rescued by a good soul that agreed to watch the turkey while I was breastfeeding- phew)
    Am sure you will be amazing and Pan will bask in glory from having chosen such a perfectly Greek wife 😀
    Good luck with it all!

    • Grenglish
      December 14, 2011 / 6:19 AM

      12 days after giving birth?! My goodness, you are definitely one of the Greeks now!
      Thank you so much, will follow up soon to let you know how it all went xxx

  7. Bianca Cox (@RichmondMummy)
    December 13, 2011 / 9:28 PM

    Brilliant post, made me laugh, lots, love it! Hope the birthday was brilliant and all your kitchen endeavours were a success – am sure they were. PS. is there a way I could maybe be adopted by YiaYia? – she sounds INCREDIBLE!

    • Grenglish
      December 14, 2011 / 6:20 AM

      She is incredible, I will ask RM, I am sure she will be happy to adopt you, you being so local and all xxx

  8. Thomo
    December 14, 2011 / 4:41 AM

    Ah Smudge, only just read this one. How did it go? So proud of you.
    I know exactly what you mean about the baking. I used to be totally scared of it, and now I love it. Even made Christmas biscuits with Elkie on Monday, I’m hoping she grows up thinking her mum is a domestic goddess!

    • Grenglish
      December 14, 2011 / 6:21 AM

      ooooh Christmas biscuits, maybe I will give those a go!
      I think you have always been a bit of a goddess – in the kitchen and everywhere else! Am sure Elkie will be bragging to all her mates about you at the school gates xx

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