QUARANTINE DIARIES, COMFORT FOOD & ALL THE SMALL THINGS THAT KEEP US GOING
Anastasia, like me, is another Greek foodie abroad. You might have come across her blog before, dolmadaki.gr it is a treasure trove of traditional, homely Greek recipes. Although in Greek, but fear not, there is a youtube channel and you need not a word of Greek to understand and make the recipes. She made us the homeliest Greek soup: beef soup with orzo. Read on to see how she fairing from Brno.
Head straight to the recipe.
A few words about you, where did the quarantine find you?
I’m Anastasia, the infamous (in the wonderful city of Kozani at least) Dolmadaki or Αγάπα Με Αν Dolmas!! The quarantine found me in foreign lands where I live and work over the past 2.5 years. I’m in Czech Republic, at the city of Brno (imagine what is Thessalonica to Athens, minus the bougatsa and the sea) I work at the Order Management department for an American firm whilst my goal is to educate the Czechs how to eat proper food and a decent dessert!
What did it change for you ?
The only thing that really changed for me is that I didn’t go to Greece. I have a steady ‘holiday’ record in Greece compared to the fellow Greeks here. I would visit once a month, or every two months at most. Now, I’m stuck here since January!… Other than that, the routine revolves around my place, my workplace and if adventurous a walk in the neighbourhood (with a mask always on & during very quiet times only). Generally Czech Republic is a quiet place, it was like this even before the lockdown. Everything works and services are still going As for work, I could work remotely before, so no change there either.
Comfort food – beef soup with orzo
Although my absolute comfort food is trahanas, I will go with orzo beef soup. It’s reminiscent of mum, of grandma and all things warm and dear!
A remedy for all of us, expats who will have to wait for quite some time until we meet our Greek mamas again, this soup is pure comfort, an ‘ointment’ for our errant souls. Noisy sipping is a must do! “Fssss…! As in every other soup case. ( I personally don’t enjoy much ‘liquid’ in my soups: I prefer solid, creamier stuff)
Beef soup with orzo pasta
- for 4 portions
- 500 gr beef cut in bitesized pieces, already boiled.
- 3 mugs of water
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Tinned Tomatoes
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 finely chopped carrot
- 1 pepper (optional)
- 3 espresso cups of orzo.
- You can preboil the meat to soften and keep the broth.
- Puts 3-4 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the orzo along with the onion and carrot.
- Add in the preboiled meat, the tomato sauce and put off with lukewarm water. Stir well so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Bring to the boil and after 4-5 minutes switch off the hob. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Cover with a lid and let the orzo swell.
- Just before serving you can add a bit of cold water or 2-3 ice cubes so that the pasta doesn’t get starchy.
How many loo-rolls can you count in your cupboards?
1 pack is open and 4 remain plus a fresh 8 roll pack!!
We didn’t have the mad rush of toilet paper here, nor did we see it with pasta. Supermarkets are always full and people don’t panic buy as if we are heading to war. It’s just the pickles, the beers and the tins that have disappeared from the shelves. Oh, and the yeast but the super market association made an announcement regarding the lack of yeast, it’s the suppliers that have run short, not them!
How do you cope?
I don’t! Basically, I am on daily contact with family and friends to fill this gap isolation has created. I did try to learn another foreign language online, to no avail and generally I’ve gone into introspection, thinking about the future and making plans…. I also found the time for some serious spring cleaning! More importantly though, I have a pet: my sourdough starter!!
Where will you go eat once this madness is over?
I don’t like the food here, and generally I don’t eat out!! I am going to run to Greece for gyros, pies, breads, crepes, sandwiches, patisseries, feta cheese. I really fancy a Greek Street food, the proper sandwiches that you fill to the bream and you need to sit on the toaster to make the melty!!
Share a wish, just so we can finish on a happy note.
Think positive! Whatever happens, never stop smiling!
From Brno with love,
PS: If you wish to be part of my quarantine cuisine diaries and share your experience on Eat Yourself Greek (EYG), please drop me a line here. Thanks, Eugeniaby