QUARANTINE DIARIES, COMFORT FOOD & ALL THE SMALL THINGS THAT KEEP US GOING
Sweet homely recipes! This one is from my friend Athina, currently lockdown in London and in search of regional Greek cooking: batzina, zuchinni pie from Trikala.
Head straight to the recipe.
A few words about you and where did the quarantine find you?
Lockdown found me at home, since the company I work for decided to sent us wfh before the official lockdown. I remember thinking that it might be a 2 weeks situation. 3 months have gone and I’m still home.
What did it change for you ?
My house became my office, my gym, my pub, my restaurant (even though I no longer have a dining table). Surely, it was refreshing to avoid commuting, but I will happily go back to crowded trains if we were to get back our previous innocence (not looking forward to masks and the extra anxiety of being afraid if someone is carrying the virus). I should be positive and grateful, because I still have my job, I had more free time and the chance to communicate with family and friends, but knowing that this a a result of a pandemic makes me disvalue everything that I gained, excluding my savings 😁
How many loo-rolls can you count in your cupboards?
3 left out of a package of 9. Seems I have to go shopping soon. I was in Athens before the lockdown, both here in London and in Athens, the news about low loo-rools stock were travelling fast. I threatened friends that if I can’t find loo-rolls upon my arrival in London, they would have to go and find them for me. They were lucky, market sorted itself out.
Comfort food: Batzina, zucchini pie
Top comfort food is everything my mum makes. That was an enjoyable lockdown activity. I was cooking while on the phone with her. I didn’t go for overly complicated recipes. The latest was a simple but so delicious μπατζίνα, zucchini pie.
My family comes from Trikala and we are serious about our pies. Simple ingredients, easy recipe (with the expected «taste and see» mum’s attitude of course), simple life, gourmet results. This pie is a great match with kefir or ξινόγαλο and as I much as I hate this slogan your children will love it. My mum is a nanny, loved auntie and now a grandmother of two and I can’t think of a child who wouldn’t beg her to make this pie.
Zucchini pie, batzina
- 1 courgette
- 1 egg
- 200 gr feta cheese
- 500 ml milk or divide 250 milk & 250 Greek yogurt
- a bit of olive oil
- flour, just enough to bind in a thick roux
- Grate the zucchini. If it leaves out too much liquid, add a bit of salt and leave in a strainer to get rid of the excess moisture.
- Add in the egg, fete cheese, milk or milk/yogurt and mix well.
- Add a bit of salt.
- Add flour bit by bit until you get the desired consistency. The pie should resemble a pancake batter.
- Oil your baking tray with a bit of olive oil. You could do butter instead if you prefer.
- Pour in the zucchini pie mix and bake at 180 C, for 45-60 minutes (as my mum says, I don’t know how your oven bakes, try it out and check)
- During baking, we check if the pie has risen and we deflate by piercing the tip of the knife through.
How do you cope?
Garden, park, streaming services and «making» party plans with my flatmate. We are not party people but we did have fun playing the party animals
Where will you go eat once this madness is over?
My first option wont be a restaurant. Even though I already had guests in my garden, it was legal when it happened, I can’t wait to remove laptops, screens, cables etc that transformed my dining table into an office desk and have my friends over for mezedes party. And then off to Greece for late lunch after swimming.
Share a wish, just so we can finish on a happy note.
I do hope that we will all understand the importance and the need for a strong and free national health system.. Lives above money.
from London with love,
PS: I hope you enjoy this post! You can be part of my quarantine cuisine diaries too. If you want to share your experience on Eat Yourself Greek (EYG), please drop me a line here. Thanks, Eugeniaby