A Decorated Vasilopita 26th Dec- 4th Jan 2012 We bought Mama a sewing machine and the guy gave us a little demo of its functions. We carried it home on the bus. We made (Mama and I) a covering for it as only a thin plastic one came with it. She was very happy, as she has a hand turning one which is very heavy and needed to be kept in the spare room and used from there. We also bought some fabric and cottons from two different shops in a market area built in early 1900 Going into the city to get it, there were 3 Italian Tourists who must have come from the airport and were catching the same bus as we were. So Michael spoke English to one of the girls and told them we would tell them when to get off and we did take them to their hotel. I am not sure if they were very confident or happy for us to say, “Follow us”, when we went on a 7 minute walk to their hotel. I said, “Don’t worry, we are Australians”. Probably made them feel less secure- the blind leading the blind. Anyway they
The cake like bread baked for the New Year
Mama's New Sewing Machine
Mama learnt quickly how to use the machine
thanked us and shook hands when they reached their hotel. On the Greek news it showed people handing in their motor car registration plates, as can’t afford the repayments, insurance and rego. You see quite a few cars left on the side of the road, without rego plates. Guess that means less money for the government from the rego taxes and also less petrol being used and hence less money coming into the government coffers. I noticed there were electronic recycling bins in the next suburb. I am surprised that anything stays in there, as the gypsies go past our house every day in their beaten up old utes, with the loud speakers attached, asking for old stuff and scrap metal . We had New Year’s Day lunch at Aleka and George’s house. Aleka had made a long fillet of meat, and in the centre was Greek hard cheese. Then wrapped up like a swiss roll and covered over in foil. It was cooked for 5 hours in the oven. Delicious and so tender. For dessert, Elizavet had bought Mille Feuille (translated as a thousand leaves of pastry) in French. You go to this renown Patissiere shop
Fabric Shop, Salonika
This man started working with his Dad in this shop in 1965 when he was 16 years old.
and they ask you the quantity you want- 1 kg or 2 kgs and they make it up for you on the spot. It has crème patissiere, the pastry and whipped cream on the top. Decadent, but delicious. Well, New Year’s Day only comes once a year! Aleka baked several Vasilopitas- New Year Day Bread. You put a coin in it and who ever gets the coin when the vasiopita is cut, then they will have good luck for the year. I was the lucky one when we cut it at lunch at Aleka’s. I have been told that New Year’s Eve, the families have a meal ( very late by our standards- around 10 pm) and stay together to see in the New Year, then the young adolescents/adults go out with their friends and party and dance at various venues. We saw them dancing and enjoying themselves on the TV later in the week. The next day you knew the weather was cold when at 3pm , there were still shards of ice from the rain on the plastic covers of the beachfront chairs. We have done some more hard manual labour ( well, hard for
There were several little haberdashery shops grouped together in Salonika Market area
me) on the vacant block and have piled all the dried grass and cuttings into a big mass to burn. We went into Salonika and took the Tourist Bus which leaves every hour from The White Tower, Salonika’s recognizable icon. It takes 50 minutes on the route and goes from the sea to the Salonika Castle Ruins- the castle initially built in 55 BC. The conductor spoke in English and Greek. I think all Salonika people should do the trip, as very informative and only 2 Euro for the whole trip. You can get on and off and re-catch the bus without extra charge, an hour later when the tourist bus comes around again. After our tour, we went on a walking tour by ourselves, seeing Michael’s parent’s old apartment and the old shop where Michael’s father used to run his taverna
. We also found a shop making bouzoukis and the cost of a bouzouki one was 800 Euro. The craftsman did not mind us going into his shop and taking some photos. We went to another old Turkish Mosque which had been built around 1485. It later became a Christian Church and was now being used to show a
Electronic Recycle Bin
You put used irons,and other electrical items not wanted in this bin.
photographic display. Mama has some good friends, called Vicky and Mr George. When we were on our tourist bus tour, apparently Mr George did the burning off of the piled up vegetation the block. So good of him to do that, as we thought we would have to get permits, etc, as the fire fighting planes fly over each day, probably to keep their engines running smoothly during the winter months. We did not want to get into any trouble by not having the right paperwork. So we had an ouzo with him and Vicky the next day and thanked him very much. He also had pruned the olive trees, as they only produce on new growth. I might add, he pruned them with a chainsaw, so don’t think they have been pruned for years. The rose bushes also needed pruning, as you can see from the photo of Michael holding a rose trunk we used like a crowbar.
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