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?