Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Greek Festival

Camera woes, camera woes! Mark and Kelley picked us up on Sunday and we headed to the Greek Festival at the local Greek church where we met Billy and Shawn and where Amanda and Dimitri joined us a few minutes later. When the gang was all together, I started to shoot photos, only to find that my battery was dead. Flat dead. How can the damned thing sit on the USB charger all night and be dead the next day?

Suffice it to say that we started with a couple of bottles of nameless red wine that would have been better used as a starter for vinegar. A blend of Agiorgitiko, Mandilaria, and some other grape that I forget, it is best forgotten!

The way that it works at this festival is that all the gilling goes on out back of the church: the souvlaki, gyros, and spitted lamb. And inside: all the pastries (always awesome) and other hot dishes such as pastitsio. From past experience, the inside food is just so-so, so we have been limiting ourselves to the grilled food. Last year, we tried the souvlaki and while they smelled good, they were very disappointing. So this year, we all got in the line for gyros, which turned out to be really good and so much better than what we had at Opa! last weekend. The tzatziki provided with the gyros was absolutely terrrible, though. I do believe that it was nothing other than cheap ranch dressing. Such a travesty!

Shawn, half Greek herself and on her home turf at the church where she was baptized, had the inside hook up: her uncle was grilling the lambs. He kept bringing us bits and pieces, especially lamb liver and venison tenderloin.

We finished up with loukoumades and galaktoboureko, the loukoumades fried while you watched and then drizzled with honey and crushed walnuts. The galaktoboureko was sinful, just sinful. I don't really do sweets, but I have this thing for a little bit of galaktoboureko!

Afterwards, all of us save for Billy and Shawn, went back to the house to get our drink on and to have dinner. I got the camera battery charged a bit, at least enough to shoot a few shots.

Delicious Strozzapreti!
For dinner, we threw together a quick pasta. I cooked down some of my homemade pancetta with slivered garlic while others chopped tomatoes and fresh mozzarella that was leftover from Saturday night dinner service. All this went into a big bowl with a lot of fresh basil. Then the hot strozzapreti went in. I toasted a bunch of panko in the leftover pancetta oil and put that over for some crunch. Delicious!
Finally, Some Good Red Wine!
After the crappy wines of the afternoon, for dinner, we opened a bottle of Topiary and Dimitri brought a bottle of Domaine Skouras Synoro 2007. The Synoro is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, and 20% Agiorgitiko. The excessive mercaptan nose of burning rubber tire was tough to wade through, but once it blew off, the underlying wine was nicely balanced between fruit and acid.

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