Tag Archives: greece

Shortcutting… Heat

17 Jul

I am in Greece at the moment – woke up at 3.45 am to get here (I know, I’m so brave) – and I can describe it to you in one word: Hot. Given three more words I would probably add: So. Bloody. Hot. Although I supposedly have Greek blood in me, it is clearly not very prevalent, as I have an extremely low heat tolerance. I think I’ve touched on this before, but hey – if I don’t really remember you probably don’t either. So here is how I plan to deal with it.

1) Sun Cream (/ ‘Block’). I hate wearing the stuff but without it I am burnt to a crisp, boiled, fried, chargrilled, or whatever other cooking method you prefer. So I slap it on and make sure to check before I leave that it is sufficiently rubbed in and I don’t look like some kind of ghost (although given my English skin and current tiredness, this is somewhat unavoidable).

2) Ice-cold Air Con. When the heat gets too hot, I head inside for a nice cool break, until my boiled/ fried/ chargrilled state is lightly chilled. It’s like putting a roast chicken in the fridge: you can never unroast it (ooh I forgot roasted), but it is nice and cold and makes a damn good sandwich (okay the metaphor kinda fell apart there).

3) The Sea. Tomorrow morning, I will most certainly be taking the plunge. I know some favour the gradual, walking-deeper-and-deeper-in method, but I am more of a find-the-end-of-a-pier-and-get-it-over-with type of gal.

4) Ice Cream. A food that is both sweet and tasty, and highly cooling. What could be better? (I particularly like those sandwich ones with the biscuity stuff on either side – there’s easy to hold and the ‘bread’ of the sandwich is much nicer than cone in my opinion.)

Is it hot in here or is it just you? 😉

Keep shortcutting,


Shortcutting… Greek Food

24 Jun

I mentioned the other day that I’m Greek, and because of this, law dictates that I should have at least a vague grasp of Greek cooking. I am no chef, but I do know a couple of simple little dishes that’ll add a little Greek to your day (they’re not at all complicated and can’t really be classed as ‘cooking’ per se, but this is shortcutting after all!).

First up is the classic that is the Greek salad: cut up some tomatoes and cucumbers, and make sure the pieces aren’t too neat: we’re going for a rustic vibe here. In fact, don’t think ‘pieces’ at all, think ‘chunks’: all rough and ready and fresh from the earth. Now add to the mix some cubes of feta cheese: I’d recommend going for the small but many approach – everyone wants a bit of feta in their portion! (A warning to feta virgins – feta may be widely known as a cheese, but it’s actually not so much cheesy as salty, veeery salty.) Next up, put in some (rustic-ly cut) red onion, and finally dress in liberal amounts of olive oil. Yum!

Fresh from mama’s kitchen…

Another super-easy dish is tzatziki: a yoghurty kind of dip thing which goes really well with bread, greek salad, meatballs, or anything really. This one consists of Greek yoghurt, grated cucumber, crushed garlic, a splash of lemon juice, and a dash of olive oil, all mixed together thoroughly so that the cucumber is evenly distributed. As a finishing touch (but not essential), add a little sprinkling of paprika.

Here’s one I made earlier 😀

 If you can’t get enough of the Greek stuff, then there are some other great recipes out there, but I am not the right person to give them to you. I can however give you the rights terms to search for:

  • Pastitsio – kinda like lasagne but with penne rather than pasta sheets
  • Keftedes – meatballs
  • Moussaka – aubergine, lamb, and a cheesy topping
  • Saganaki – fried cheese
  • Fasolakia ladera – basically oily green beans but sooo good!

Okay, those are my favourites: you should definitely give them a try.

Why did the Roman Empire fall? Because it slipped on Greece! Hehehe…

Keep shortcutting,


Shortcutting… The Euro 2012

21 Jun

At risk of alienating non-European readers, I have decided it is time to publicize my thoughts on the current footie situation that’s going down in Poland and Ukraine at the moment. We’re past the group stage now, and the quarter finals are in progress: the Czech Republic just lost to Portugal a few hours ago. In general I’m not really into football (or soccer as it is also known): I claim to support Chelsea but I could only name about four players and I have no idea what the Champions League is (although it sounds like a big deal!). The reason, then, that I’m interested in the Euro, is that my two countries’ teams are doing quite well: obviously I’m English born and raised, but I’m also half Greek, and it’s particularly nice to see the Greeks getting a bit of good news for a change. There is, however, a potential problem – let me explain:

The quarter final matches are Czech Republic vs. Portugal (happened already), Greece vs. Germany (yes, I’ve heard all the jokes about Germany kicking us out of two Euros), England vs. Italy, and Spain vs. France. I found this nice diagram on the UEFA Euro 2012 webpage to illustrate the situation more clearly: Tournament Map. If England and Greece both get through to the semis (as I’m both hoping and doubting will happen), then things get a bit awkward: the semi final is England vs. Greece. Hmm. Maybe it’s better if one of them doesn’t win their quarter final.

So anyway, there isn’t much more one needs to know about the Euro than who’s still in, but here are some stats if that kind of thing floats your boat: The highest goal scorers so far are Gomez of Germany (yeah, he sounds really German), Dsagoev of Russia, and Mandzukic of Croatia (no, I have never heard of any of them either). Considering they’ve all only had three matches, I am going to assume that that’s pretty good. There have also been three red cards given (Szczesny of Poland, Papastathopoulos of Greece and Andrews of Ireland) and a whole bunch of yellows that I can’t be bothered with.

There’s my in-depth match analysis then, so I guess there’s only one thing left to do: predictions. I reckon the semis will be Portugal-Germany (sorry Greece! I love you anyway!), and England vs. Spain, the final will be Portugal vs. Spain, and Portugal will win. I really hope I’m wrong (although it would be kinda cool if I got a few right).


Keep shortcutting,