Tuesday, November 16, 2010

End of October through mid-November: storms and stuff

Yes! You're in luck, this is another 'catch up post' that takes us from "it was a dark and stormy night"  to harvesting the olives (only that post is for tomorrow as this catch up post will probably take up all the space.)

So, since last I posted, we finally found a pumpkin for carving on Halloween. 

- In fact we found the Great Pumpkin.  Since we found it the day after the last post, we had to wait 10 days to carve it...

- We had a great time with some friends who came for dinner.  I made a ham- the kind that takes three days to make!

the recipe - long overdue... sorry  Angie!- (buy a "ham"; put it in a pot and cover it with a mixture of water and apple juice overnight in fridge;  the next evening, drain and refill pot with water and boil gently for about 2 hours for a 6+ lb ham, let it sit in the hot water on stove overnight; Next day, remove from water (re-weigh!!) and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes per pound.  Score fat and put honey-mustard glaze over ham for the last 20 minutes.)

- Went out to dinner with about 14 of our great neighbors to Godero and had a wonderful night.  Our neighbor Jan and his lovely wife Lillian were our hosts.  As it was a meze (starters) restaurant, we ordered at least one of everything on the menu. It was delightful and delicious.

- Finally Halloween arrived and we carved the pumpkin.

Our favorite little ones, came from Holland for a visit to see their dad and grandparents and stopped by on Sunday morning to carve the great pumpkin into TWO faces!

- Then, cut up pumpkin corpse the next day and LOTS of pureed pumpkin for muffins, pies, etc.

Made a terrific Thai pumpkin soup (well that's what I call it as it sort of became more Thai-like, than anything else.) out of some of it.  This was about a third of the pumpkin cooking so I could puree and freeze it in 2 cup bags. (I had blisters on my hands from peeling and chopping that much pumpkin!)

- Discovered a great organic restaurant!  Had a terrific meal and listened to Blues music by our friend and his band.

It got a lot more rollicking, after dinner and we stayed til the very end.  Both the band and the restaurant called it a night at the same time.

- Had the garden tilled for our winter plantings.

We bought some seeds and a few sets.  We'll have fava beans, and broccoli and cauliflower, chard, salad, parsley and onions.  (hopefully by December-January).  We've sprouted seeds under the grow light downstairs and hopefully will get them in the ground shortly.

- Had TWO huge scary storms back to back

that destroyed a lot of the yucca trees behind the fountain/waterfall.  (you can't even see the pond for all the debris!)

The winds also tore an awning in half, and ripped tiles off the roof to leave a fair sized hole right above our bedroom!  We had no electricity for just over 12 hours, but many on the island had no electricity for 24 hours.

- A local sailmaker resewed the awning

and my beloved 'fixed the hole, where the rain comes in' ("to keep my mind from wandering..." as the song says!)

It's a good thing he spent so much time up there this past August, sealing the roof!  That's mostly why the whole thing didn't get blown off! (as you can see from the inside photo, it's not a very "sturdy" roof!)

- Most recently we went to a friends curry night on Saturday, wherein I made a really good shrimp curry.  As it was a combination of two recipes and the ingredients I had on hand, I can only hope I remember it well enough to duplicate someday...

Mostly though what we did this past weekend and yesterday, was harvest the olives and today we had them pressed. 

Tomorrow I will try and reconstruct the process and post a bit of what we did.  Hopefully, adding a little 'show and tell' with pictures from the picking of the olives to the pressing at the olive press.


  1. OK, I need your help here.
    For years, Greek hubby has been nagging me to make ham in the same way that my folks do back in the UK.
    I have the recipe and the steps to follow - but I have no idea what exactly I have to ask my Greek butcher for! Meat they have a-plenty, but so far as I know, they don't sell joint that have been pre-smoked and are ready for the yummy glaze.
    So, please, tell me what you ask you friendly neighbourhood 'hasapi" for to make this delight!

    Thank you!

  2. Dear She,

    Well. You can't really FIND ham (or at least I couldn't!) the way they make it in England (or the US for that matter).

    The Greeks do not smoked ham. They do however do Gammon which is the meat cut from the leg of the pig and then heavily brined in salt and probably chemical things we'd rather not know about. (ergo the soaking in water and apple juice before boiling)

    We have a pork co-op on the island and it's there I buy my pieces of "gammon" (with skin and fat! which you have to cut off before serving!) and then I roll the piece into a ham like shape and boil it and then bake it. (the fat keeps it very moist)

    I will call a friend of mine who speaks Greek and can ford the language river better than I- I will get back to you with the exact name of the "ham" i buy, in Greek.

    When I go to the place here in Corfu, even tho they don't speak much English, we can make ourselves understood because they only sell pork and pork products. I feel sure there must be a place that sells pork "stuff" like that somewhere in Athens.

    I will reply!!

  3. Dear She (again) I spoke with my friend (who is actually Australian-Greek) and she says that Corfu is sort of unique in that we have a fairly large Brit population making the odd Brit 'delicacy' possible here. (i say HA!) Anyway she says to try a cured meats store (Allanto'pio - spelling's phonetic , sorry...) or you could ask you butcher for Bou'ti Omo' me petsi' (leg of pork raw with skin )almiro' (salty)

    The other thing to do is maybe call the embassy and ask them where they get THEIR ham, cause you know they must!

    So that the best I can do other than ask if you want to come and visit and on your way home you can pick one up!




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