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January 31, 2013

Greek Trivial Pursuit


RANDOM GREEK FACT #4


WEDDING RINGS IN GREECE


These are samples of what Greek wedding rings look like! No, unfortunately, we don't have the custom of the engagement ring with the 'rock' (even though we do get these, too, they're just not signifying betrothal or wedding proposal -  just love.)

 


The most common are the plain gold ones, (almost always 18K) even though the last few years couples chose more elaborate rings that have at least some design (yes, they pick them out together!)...








    .... such as these...







 ...of course the couple wears matching wedding bands!


 

 
 

Many couples, instead of gold, chose platinum and white gold wedding rings that have also become very popular. There are so many beautiful designs! It's simply what you can afford. Traditionally, it's a cost that the groom picks up but lately young couples share all the expenses.





 


 Now, how about many little 'rocks' on the wedding ring? (I'm okay with that!!!!!)





 

In the USA, and in other countries as well, the wedding ring is worn on the left hand. In Greece though it is worn on the right hand. 

When a Greek couple becomes engaged they do so in the presence of family and friends by exchanging rings. The priest blesses the rings and the couple will wear the rings on their left hand until the wedding.  (Of course after the engagement there is always a big feast.)

These same engagement rings will serve as the wedding rings! The engaged couple will not buy another pair. These rings have been blessed and are binding them. At the wedding ceremony, the priest once again blesses the rings at which time the bride and groom switch the rings to the right hand.



Right before the wedding the couple gives the rings to the goldsmith to have them polished and inscribed on the inside with their names and date of the wedding. After the ceremony, the man will be wearing his ring that has the name of his wife engraved and vice versa. 






"Wedding rings are symbols of eternal love and devotion just as the circle of these gold wedding rings has no beginning or end."

"


All photos are courtesy of Google images.

January 30, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY #11


MEN CAN FIX EVERYTHING !!! (part 2)











Did you miss Part 1?  Check it out here!


All photos are courtesy of Google images.
 

January 28, 2013

PARIS BY NIGHT!


      Last November I had the absolutely, once in a lifetime, awesome opportunity to visit Paris, France! Do you remember? Then again how could you forget the series of posts about that trip! Part 1, part 2 and part 3. Geeez!!!! Did I overdo it?!!!!!
      
      Well, I found some more photos from that trip! LOL!!!!! It's okay,  I promise it's the last ones

      I'm not a photographer and I didn't have a good camera with me but still I think these photos are worth being posted!

The city of lights! It really is so! 


Just as the sun was setting...

...the lights were turned on....
 
...there was even a revolving probe light...
 
...from afar...
 
As it got darker the tour boats were lit as well...
...and the tours continued till really late...
 


 
 
Hidden lights really help illuminate the statues and landmarks!
 
The Hotel des Invalides (Napoleon's tomb is there)



January 26, 2013

WHY I DON'T MISS MICHIGAN WINTERS!!!


       Most of you know that I have lived in Michigan, U.S. for many years. I loved it and miss it terribly! BUT one thing I definitely do not miss, is its winters! 

This is why:



January 24, 2013

YOUVARLAKIA SOUP (Meatball-egg/lemon soup)

Youvarlakia Avgolemono (Greek Meatball-Egg/Lemon Soup)




       As we are in the heart of the winter I thought I'd share with you a delicious hearty Greek soup called Youvarlakia. It is one of the most favourite soups of the season and very easy to make.

 


       In Greece we love soups and stews especially when they are accompanied by a warm crusty bread for dipping in the sauce. 




       Avgolemono (av-go-LE-mo-no), a creamy egg-lemon sauce, is a staple of Greek cooking that we often add to our soups and not only. You could cook the soup without it - it would still taste good!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 cup long grain rice, uncooked for the ground meat
  • 1/3 cup long grain rice (or more depends how thick or watery you prefer your soup)
  • 1 onion,minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. dried mint and rubbed between fingers into powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock or broth (if desired)

For the sauce:
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • Juice of two or three large lemons, strained
 

Preparation:

In a large bowl combine ground beef, rice, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, 1 egg, just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. 

                    

Knead for a few minutes, then shape into walnut-sized meatballs and set aside. 

                   

  In a soup pot, bring the water (or you can use stock for added flavor) to boil and then carefully add the meatballs. Don't forget to add a little salt and olive oil to the water. 

                      

 Simmer semi-covered over low heat for 15 minutes and then add the rest of the rice to the water. If you would rather not add any rice then let it cook for about 25-30 minutes or according to taste.  Add more water/broth as you would like.
     
In the meantime prepare your avgolemono sauce:

 
     
 Using a whisk, (I find that a simple fork does an excellent job) in a medium bowl, beat firstly the 2 eggwhites alone until frothy. Then add and beat the egg yolkes.



Slowly whisk in the lemon juice while beating all the while. Ladle one cup of the pot liquid little by little into egg-lemon mixture to temper the eggs beating steadily, until nearly all the hot liquid has been added

     Remove the soup pot from heat and add egg-lemon mixture stirring gently. Heat over very low heat until sauce thickens (3 minutes perhaps) and is heated through. Be careful not to allow the sauce to boil or the eggs will curdle.



ENJOY! A rich soup that will fill and warm you up!
 
Don't forget to serve feta cheese and crusty bread alongside.





First and last photos are courtesy of Google images.