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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Turkey (Γαλοπούλα)

My cellphone rang at work. When it rings, I know that it will be one of three people: my husband (do we need any bread, honey?), a teacher from my children's school (I'd like to talk to you about your son's behaviour) or a salesperson (Would you like to sign up for a new cellphone contract with us?). But I was in for a surprise: it was none of these three.

"Eeeeeeeeeeh!" my uncle's voice boomed, in the belief that I will hear him better because he's far away.

"Hi Thio," I greeted him. I knew what was coming; my uncle is a member of my family that worries about us when he hasn't seen us in a while. As soon as I heard his voice, I knew he was going to ask me about what we've been up to.

"Where have you been?" This means: I haven't seen you in a long time. Are you guys OK? I made up a few excuses about the cold wet weather keeping us indoors. and work keeping us busy, which wasn't untrue, but it was still in essence an excuse.

"Remember that turkey I slaughtered for Christmas?" my uncle asked me. Yes, I do remember it well. I had visited just at the time when he was laying all the pieces in appropriate containers on the table, to allow them to dry out a little before packing them away in the freezer. "I kept thinking that you'd come round some time," he continued, "so that you'd pick up some of the meat and cook it up at home for the family." In truth, I was waiting for this moment myself.

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"Don't worry, Thio," I reassured him. "I'll be coming round tonight," I informed him, hoping not to make my motives too conspicuous.

"You know how cook it, don't you?" I knew why he was telling me all this: he wanted to make sure I didn't waste the precious presents. "I've got it all chopped up for you, so it's ready to be cooked. All you do is defrost it. First you put some λαδάκι in the pot, and you add your κρεμμυδάκι, and your σκορδάκι, and then you throw the turkey pieces in, and later you add some κρασάκι, ντοματούλα, αλατάκι, πιπεράκι..." He looked at me suspiciously. "You know how to cook it, don't you?" he repeated.

"Oh yes," I assured him. I'll try to remember all your advice. Thanks for the tips. I'll see tonight."

Some people really know how to take care of you.

NB: the above recipe is how most meat cooked on the element is prepared in Crete. Olive oil, onion, garlic, wine, tomato, salt and pepper - that's pretty much it.

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