Where were we? Right, I had left the offices and was trying to stay ahead of the traffic, in which I succeeded marvelously, thank you.
A bit before 6 o’clock I was home. Now that Yvonne doesn’t have to work anymore at night, I usually start with the preparations for our evening meal right away. Yep, that’s a task which has been delegated to me right from the start and I like experimenting with the natural ingredients that you get in abundance here. I make up my own versions of Greek dishes and as long as I don’t use the name of the dish in the presence of Greeks, everybody seems to like what I cook. Or is too polite to show otherwise, whichever applies.
Most of these receipes ask less than an hour of preparation and are typical oven dishes, with lots of olive oil. Add cooking time of an hour or less. No matter what you cook, olive oil is the basic ingredient, together with onions and tomatoes. With nothing but that you have a dish already, albeit admittedly a very basic one. So I then add whatever I find in the refrigerator: potatoes, ansjovis, beans, peppers, eggplant (aubergines), zucchini (courgettes), fish or chicken, whever else might be available. Not all of the aforementioned together, of course. If I have rice and minced meat I might make stuffed tomatoes and piperies. With it goes a salade of tomatoes, cucumber, onions, olive oil and crumbled feta cheese. Or sometimes just a big slice of feta cheese, covered with oregano and olive oil. When I have them I might add some olives, tsatsiki or tarama salata. Let’s not forget a decent lump of white bread and — last but not least — a very pleasant light wine, usually white, sometimes rosé. Half a liter should suffice for the two of us. If we have more people — a neighbour might pop in and invite himself to the food — we need more wine too.
We usually eat around nine o’clock. After the meal we do a very un-greek thing: we drink a nice cup of coffee. Greeks never drink coffee that late in the day. Maybe one day we will get used to that too. For the moment we stick to the old habit.