Sunday, 5 May 2013

Orthodox Easter

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This weekend is Orthodox Easter.

Yes, not all Christians celebrate Easter on the same day and in this case there is quite a gap between those dates.

We have thousands of Orthodox Christians here in Darwin, mostly Greek Orthodox. There are some Russian Orthodox and various African groups too.

My friend George has been very serious in his Lenten fasting, which began 40 days ago on Clean Monday. No eggs, cream, milk, cheese, fish, meat, or sauces that contain these things. No purchased stir fry sauces because many contain oyster sauce. George is a chef so has necessarily been cooking with these ingredients, but turns around and makes a little vegetarian meal for himself every time. He has not had any tea or coffee through Lent because he would normally use some milk in that.

Tap the red eggs together and say
'He is risen'.
Last night, Saturday, was their night for the homemade fireworks. This was done properly here with Police blocking the roads and so forth. In the past the fireworks has been a problem as they tended to be bombs rather than fireworks. It is illegal to make and set off fireworks here without a permit because of the uncontrolled mayhem, injury, and risk of fire. In the other states it is just plain illegal. The current Greek Orthodox priest has played a vital role in getting everything under control in the NT. Laws now accommodate the customs of various groups that use fireworks in celebrations. Central locations are used rather than everybody's back yard. Safety courses are conducted. Police assist by blocking roads and providing a presence. The hospital appreciates this and so do all the pets.

Do you make Greek Easter biscuits, koulouria? Sometimes I do. This is my recipe which I adapted from my friend's traditional recipe. Helen's made a humongous pile of biscuits suitable for gift giving.


Greek Easter Biscuits (Koulouria)
Makes about 30.

Ingredients
            1 cup sugar
250g butter
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups plain flour
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Method
1.     Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare 2 baking trays.
2.     Into a large bowl measure sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, nutmeg, 2 cups flour, 2 eggs and salt and beat at low speed until well combined.
3.     Stir in the remaining cup of flour and make a stiff dough.
4.     In a cup beat the remaining egg and set aside.
5.     Take about a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a snake about 20 cm long. Fold it in half and twist several times. Place it on the baking tray. Continue until all the dough has been used. Biscuits need to be about 2 cm apart. It should make more than 30.
6.     Brush the tops of all the biscuits with the beaten egg.
7.     Sprinkle biscuits with the sesame seeds.
8.     Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container.

2 comments:

  1. You seem to live in a very multicultural society. I'd almost forgotten that Orthodox Christians don't celebrate Easter at the same time as the "Western" churches. (Not news to me but I rarely hear of it.)

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  2. I am learning so much about different cultures here in blog land. The Greek biscuits look yummy. I think from looking at them they would be wonderful right out of the oven. We all have some different ways that we celebrate holidays. Have a wonderful day. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Friend.

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