Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2011! Chronia Polla in Greek!

Our family has a Greek tradition every New Years and that is the Vassilopita bread. The day before New Years, I spend hours preparing this bread. It is a rich, sweet bread that is almost a cake because it contains milk, butter, sugar, and eggs. The secret to it becoming light is to not overload it with sugar and eggs. Some recipes call for using more than one cup of sugar and 6-8 eggs. Don't do it! I did it one year and regretted it. My bread did not rise and was hard and lumpy and didn't even make it to the paximadi category (toasted for dunking in coffee). After the ingredients are added and mixed and let sit for at least 4-5 hours, the dough is punched down and then a small coin wrapped in aluminum is inserted into the dough. After another hour of rising, it is baked. The next day, we celebrate New Years by cutting the bread into slices, with each slice designated for each person of the house, and we also include a slice for Jesus. This year I was the lucky receipient of the coin, which tranlates into having good luck for the year. So I was very pleased with that!

My family likes to play games together. Often, we pull out the Scrabble game and play it, or we'll play Trivia Pursuit, and such. So we did some game playing on New Years, plus piano playing, and watching a good old movie. We had a very nice, enjoyable time. Our New Years meal was roasted lamb with roasted potatoe/red peppers/eggplant. I always like to make pumpkin pie around this time of year, so we had a slice with lavish whipped cream on top. Another holiday pastry is the finiki, or melomakarona. There are at least dozens of versions on the Greek recipe, but the one I chose was simple - orange juice, olive oil, sugar and flour. Inserted in it was a honey/walnut mixture. Then it was baked and dunked in a honey syrup. The finikia turned out large, but very yummy. My husband said for me to keep that recipe! It was so good.


The Muse said...

Hello ms Patty~very happy to be able to visit your blog from your fb link :) And I have very much enjoyed reading your post.
Truly interesting about the coin :) also love the idea of a slice for our Lord :)

May the new year bring your family the most joyous of blessings :)

Patty Apostolides said...

Thank you so much for your well wishes! Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed New Year 2011!